5 Ways to Create Successful Goals

How to not fail at your New Year’s goals- 

If you read Monday’s email, you saw that almost 25% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions/goals by the second week of January, and almost 80% give up by February….

Here’s the thing, most of us set goals wrong or take too big of a bite on New Year’s Resolutions, and we end up creating a mountain we can’t climb and secure a permanent backpack of disappointment on our next adventure. Some people even consider “goal” a bad word and won’t even say it anymore. Yeah, they think goal is worse than f*ck - okay not really, I just wanted to throw that in there for funsies. 

I’m a goal-setter, I always have been, and I probably always will be. Over the years I’ve succeeded at many goals, and I’ve failed at a lot of them too, but what I’ve come to realize is that it takes more than just thinking about the goal. It’s thinking about it, visualizing it, creating a plan and process, and then taking action. 

So, whether you want to “get healthy,” “drink less,” “be more present,” or “spend less time on your phone” ask yourself first the biggest most important question: WHY? 

Make it purposeful

Even if you have a goal already in mind, you’re dead set on your next mountain to climb - ask yourself WHY?  Asking yourself who this goal is for and what purpose it serves can be a key first step in achieving them. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that individuals who set and pursued meaningful goals experienced higher well-being compared to those who did not set goals or set goals with less personal intention and meaning. 

Also, if you haven’t figured out we do things on purpose here, you’re really missing out on a lot.

Not only will you feel like your working on goals that also align with your purpose and intention, working on goals that you actually want to work on will help you enjoy the process: SHOCKING I KNOW!

Processes. Systems. Public Commitment. 

If you missed the blog post all about how 21 Days is just a myth, you can read about it here. It actually takes 66 days to create a habit, it’s not just about forcing yourself to do that habit, but creating systems and processes that actually help you along the way. Things like habit stacking, frequency of doing that habit and process, breaking your larger goals into smaller ones, and telling someone what you’re working on can impact the overall outcome of your goals.

Yes, there is power in moving in silence. Yes, you can accomplish goals and tell no one and still be successful. Yes, you can do BFD (Big F*cking Deal) things in your life and share about it on social media and not be bragging. A study published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that making a public commitment to your goals increases the likelihood of success. So, when you tell someone there is some social pressure to follow through. Here’s where I throw in a caveat: you don’t have to share with people who are going to sh*t on your goals, you only have to tell maybe one person who you know will support you. You can still move in silence, if that’s what you want, and have support. 

Make it about YOUR environment. 

On the topic of unsupportive people: let’s just go ahead and say yes to creating goal-healthy environments. So, if you want to participate in sober January…you should probably not hang out with your friend Mildred who likes to pop, lock, and drop it on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Maybe Mildred is easy to avoid, but you and Molly end up opening a bottle of wine after yoga - see if you and Molly can switch to coffee in the mornings if that works with your schedule. Being in an environment that supports your goals and purpose, will only help you thrive. 

So, how does it really look to habit stack and create a supportive environment? That looks like packing your workout clothes when you pack your (or your kid’s) lunches, and then driving by the yoga studio on your way home from work…EVEN IF YOU DON’T GO. The act of starting that habit will build, and each time you see it, it will jog your memory. 

My favorite habit stack: Skincare routine. Meditation. Morning Chaos. I love a sheet mask/face mask/ eye mask. Usually, when done properly, you’re supposed to wear these for about 30 minutes. Well, why not put it on first thing in the morning, do my meditation, make my kid’s lunches…then wash it all off and begin the day. Boom - Skincare routine (CHECK)

So, your goals are purposeful, processed, shared, and in the perfect little incubated environment for growth - are they doable? Like for real? 

Large to small. Broad to specific. Society to personal. 

It’s one thing to want to “be healthy,” but what does that even mean? Are you looking to lower your blood pressure? Increase your protein intake? Lower your A1C levels? Or are you broadly basing this goal on what society *thinks* you should be? Okay okay, I know, before you roll your eyes at this one, just hear me out…

…don't forget most of us over-plucked our eyebrows because we had a goal to look like a 90s supermodel. Damn, that didn’t go well for me at all…..remember, societal pressure is not a good enough reason to set a goal. Start back up top - it needs to have purpose. 

Make your goals SMART GOALS - give them some depth. They need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. A goal of “be healthy” means nothing when creating SMART goals. However, starting with a larger goal of “Increasing Protein Intake” and breaking it down into small SMART goals, does make sense. “Eat DF Greek Yogurt with mangos each afternoon after strength training.” According to research conducted by Dr Edwin Locke, setting specific and challenging goals (as opposed to vague or easy) led to higher performance 90% of the time. BOOM. 

Setting achievable goals and breaking them down into manageable tasks can reduce the overwhelming nature of big challenges. By combining a focus on goal setting and prioritization can increase your concentration and mental clarity - ya know, the whole “taking your yoga off the mat kinda thing.” 

So, get out there and do your thing, and if you want to share your goal with me, I’d love to hear it!

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