1. The first step to goal setting is being specific! Examine your life and figure out what you want to change, then narrow it down to one specific thing you can realistically change in a specific time period.
2. Once you have chosen your goal, write it down and post it where you will see it multiple times a day. A customized screen saver is a great way to keep your goal in front of you; a note on your fridge or taped to your TV remote can work too!
3. Break down your goal into milestones, and mark your calendar with a completion date for each one. If your goal requires daily tracking, make a chart and hang it next to the calendar. That way when you drink your bottle of water, do your yoga workout, or write in your journal, you can mark your progress and see how far you’ve come!
4. Get backup. Tell someone about your goal, and ask for tough love! There will be times you want to give up, and a good hard shove is just what you need. A friend or spouse can help remind you about how great it will be to reach your goal!
5. Reward yourself. Whenever you complete your next step towards your goal, give yourself a small but tangible reward. Light a candle and enjoy the smell; treat yourself to a non-sugar chocolate mint; read a chapter in the book you’ve been saving or just reach around and pat yourself on the back! You deserve it!
6. Mix achievement with affirmation. Positive affirmations can get you psyched about your goal, and reassure you that you have what it takes to last the course. Remind yourself that you are capable, you are strong and most of all you are willing to do whatever it takes to meet your goal.
7. Use every trick at your disposal to reach your goal. If that means getting up while everyone is in bed to study a new language in peace and quiet, that’s what you will do. If you decide you bit off more than you can chew don’t beat yourself up - simply kick the final goal’s deadline a month down the road and instill a midpoint goal to get you ready to face the extra challenge.
8. There’s no shame in asking for help. If you just can’t drag yourself out in the rain for that mandatory jog around the block, ask your friend or spouse to come with! Who knows, it might end up being fun getting soaked together, and you can bond over the slap of jogging shoes on wet pavement with the promise of hot coffee at home.
9. Don’t let your momentum fade after reaching your goal. You won! You did it! Now - set another goal! Goal setting should be an ongoing process, leading to bigger and better things every year you live.
10. Never, never, never give up. Fight for the person you know you can be. Set goals that make you push yourself, but don’t give up if you miscalculate and set the bar a little too high. Readjust and keep going - you can do it. Be your own strongest supporter, and you will find your goals get set higher and higher as your self confidence takes off and you learn to surpass even your own expectations!