As we start the first full week of the new year, we have a blog by Rachel of Organising Claudia on Top Tips to smash your goals in the new year.
So, even though we only at the very start of January, there has already been a lot of #newyearnewme floating around. Whether you want to get fit, get organised or pursue a new hobby, you have come to the right place. I have trawled through hundreds of blogs, spoke to many-a-person and made a fair few of my own mistakes to find seven sequential tips which will give you the very best chance of smashing your goals in 2019.
Read on to get inspired and make this year the one you realised your dreams.
TIP 1- Admit #NewYearNewMe is not a stupid thing and use it as an opportunity
Ok, so if we are being completely honest, most people think New Year’s resolutions are stupid. Before we continue, let’s just say; these people are liars, you are not most people and I am not going to waste any time on naysayers. Now to the real tips…
The end of one thing and the start of something new, the New Year presents a very good opportunity for change. Although a new week or a new month presents a similar occasion, by default of not coming around quite as often, a New Year provides us with a chance to make some major changes to our lives. By admitting that you want to make changes, and using the break of 2019 as an opportunity to really sit down and think about what you want to achieve in the year ahead, you are already further on than most in smashing those goals.
The doomsdayers will remain to say the same thing, but once they see what you have achieved, they will be asking you for tips come 2020!
TIP 2 – Focus on no more than three things
I have made this mistake so many times; enthusiastically chosen 5,689 things to ‘focus’ on and then spent the whole year spreading myself so thinly that I achieve absolutely nothing and deem myself a failure at life.
Whilst it is great to be energised and motivated for change, you are more likely to achieve what you set out to do if you channel your energy into a few key areas, rather than trying to change everything at once. Adopting this approach affords you sufficient time to dedicate to each goal, enough motivation to plough through your chosen steps, and ensures you are not running around like a headless chicken.
Therefore, – and to avoid the headless chicken look- I advise choosing absolutely no more than three goals for the year ahead. Whether getting fit, learning a new language or advancing your business, there are lots of options out there and making the choice is difficult, but choose more than three at your peril!
TIP 3 – Write your goals down
Writing things down makes it more likely that you will actually do them, so grab that pen and commit those goals to paper! Open a new page in your diary (tips here on how to make your diary your goal-smashing friend), get some fancy stationary -anything but a crappy post-it note and write down the three things that you have chosen to focus on in the New Year.
What you write is of course also important here. ‘Get fit’ or ‘Get organised’ isn’t quite what we are looking for. Neither is ‘Lose 10kg in 2 seconds.’ When writing down your goals, make sure they are specific so that you can remain focused and motivated throughout the year; measurable so you can track your progress; realistic enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up on day two; and, bound by an achievable time-frame.
Thinking about what you write here will help you to see a path to success and gives you a fighting chance of achieving what you set out to do.
TIP 4 – Plan, plan, and plan some more
Now it’s time to create a plan! Not to treat this like a work project, but if you want to accomplish these goals then you have to have a strategy.
Using the same specific, achievable measurable et al. guidelines from above- break each of your three goals into monthly steps. Think about these steps as much as you did your main goal, and note down what actions you will take in order to realise your 12 ‘mini-goals’. This will help you to remain spurred on and motivated throughout the year. In addition to these smaller targets, you should also look to making daily and weekly steps towards realising these dreams of yours. To help with this I recommend setting aside around 15-30 minutes on a Sunday evening to make a plan for the week ahead that includes some concrete tasks and to-do’s that will move you towards your much bigger aims.
TIP 5 – Celebrate when you do well
Whilst I am not saying to crack out the champagne every time you have learnt a new French word, it is really important to take the time to be proud of what you have achieved and recognise when you have successfully executed your plan and smashed what you set out to do. Celebrating each milestone with something that feels luxurious to you, not only makes you feel fabulous in the moment, it gives you proof and confidence in your abilities and creates a positive cycle that will spur you on to reach your next target.
A night in with your favourite book when you have organised your cavernous wardrobe, come my way! A face mask for going to the gym four times this week, woohoo! Dinner at your favourite restaurant when you have hit a business goal, yes please!
TIP 6 – Use failure to your advantage
Though we would all love to be goal-smashing machines, we are of course humans and so have off days, or- let’s be honest- off weeks. Whether you didn’t go to the gym even though you brought your kit to work, you ate a whole box of Maltesers in 20 minutes flat, or for one reason or another you let a business deadline to pass you by, these things happen. We all ‘fail’ sometimes and that is ok.
The tip here is to admit your little whoopsy, think about what might have gone wrong, and make some changes to make it less likely to happen again. Several times I have set myself completely over-ambitious goals- walking an entirely arbitrary 30,000 steps every day to become ‘fit’ being one of them. I recognise this and now work hard to make sure that the goals and plans I make are actually realistic rather than completely ridiculous.
TIP 7 – Revisit your goals often
Although the thought of not planning fills me with horror, things will happen over the course of a year that you cannot foresee and cannot plan for. They will come in all shapes and sizes and- contrary to popular belief- can sometimes be good; for example, being offered a job overseas or being presented with a partnership opportunity you had never thought of.
When such an occasion arises, revisit your goals and evaluate how the new opportunity could alter them. Would this opportunity accelerate progress towards an existing goal? Is it something that you can take on whilst maintaining focus on your existing goals? Or, would pursuing a new prospect force a change in focus? Thinking about all these things, do you therefore seize the opportunity with both hands and take an exciting new direction, or continue fabulously smashing the goals you have already set yourself?
There is no wrong answer; things change, but the act of thinking and making an active choice is important. By doing this, you will ensure that your life is going in the way that you want, and that- whatever your goals end up being by the end of the year- you remain focused and end 2019 with a big huge smile on your face.
Et voila! A few pointers on how to smash those goals in the year ahead and achieve what you thought you could only dream of! Of course, there is the teeny* task* of actually following the plan in order to achieve what you set out to do- which could probably go from tip 8-100. However, if you allow yourself time to think what you really want, plan well, celebrate often and don’t be so hard on yourself when you fall down, you are much more likely to be welcoming 2020 with ‘Go me!’ attitude and a huge smile on your face than wondering what the hell happened to 2019.
Get your thinking cap on, your pen out and your plan on the fridge, and let me know which tips prove to be most successful in the comments below.
I would love to hear about what your goals are for 2019, and of course how you are getting on throughout the year. As always, if these tips are not enough and you would like some more dedicated assistance to really make sure that 2019 is your year, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Organising Claudia for more dedicated assistance.
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in 2019; starting with banishing those January blues by how to plan the perfect getaway!
Happy New Year!
Rachel Fox set up Organising Claudia last year, offering bespoke organisation services by the hour, by the task or for a dedicated amount of time each month. She offers lifestyle organisation (event planning, gift holiday research, paperwork, time and diary management), business organisation (setting up space and systems, developing database, event organisation, paperwork, exploring new opportunities), home organisation (decluttering, organising moves, home styling, home organisation, family scheduling) and assistance in realising your dream (defining goals, action planning, mentoring).