How to set (and achieve) your goals

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Chances are, at some time in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it.

 

A new year means a new you, right? As the calendar flipped to 2023, you probably made some commitments that could change your life — if only they weren’t so hard to stick to (we’re looking at you, Veganuary)…

 

This year, it’s time to stop the cycle of resolving to live a healthier, more productive life without following through.

 

Change is hard. We’re creatures of habit, after all. But there’s a difference between coming up with a New Year’s resolution and committing to achieving a well-thought-out goal — and that’s having a plan in place to make it happen.

 

Wondering where to start? Take a look at our top tips for turning your ambitions into actions…

 

Get SMART with your goals

 

Setting goals — however big or small, personal or business-orientated — can give us the push we need to invest in our objectives fully and improve our focus.

 

Plus, having a goal to strive towards gives us a sense of direction, helps us gain perspective, motivates us and puts us in the driver’s seat of our lives.

 

However, understanding how to take your targets from dream to reality is an entirely different ball game.

 

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can follow to achieve your goals — starting with the SMART formula. This commonly used methodology can help you set goals, trigger new behaviours and sustain the momentum you need to make lasting changes…

 

Specific

 

Research has proven that people given specific and challenging goals tend to perform better than those given more straightforward ones, as we’re more likely to formulate plans and task strategies to help us reach tougher targets.

 

So, it’s crucial to have a clear vision of your purpose and how you’ll work towards it to keep you focused and ensure you don’t start to feel overwhelmed.

 

Measurable

 

Do you struggle to stay motivated toward your goal when you can’t see the finish line?

 

Whatever you’re working towards, figure out how to make it measurable. Whether that’s through time, distance or simply how you feel, benchmarking your progress will help you know when you’re close to achieving your goal.

 

Attainable

 

You might be keen to get started on your new objectives, but it’s always a good idea to do some research first to keep realistic and attainable expectations in mind.

 

According to Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, a new habit can take from 18 days to 254 days to form fully.

 

Understanding your goal won’t be achieved overnight (and the challenges you may face along the way) can help to avoid you being discouraged and kept on the right track.

 

Relevant

 

Sometimes, our missions are for personal reasons — eating healthier, being more social or reading more. Other times, they’re work-related, helping us succeed in professional settings by getting more organised or taking on new responsibilities.

 

No matter your motivations, determine if and how your goals will be relevant and valuable for your life. Will they be a positive contribution to your day-to-day? Are they coming from a healthy place? The key to success is to nail down why you’re working towards something and what it’ll help you do.

 

Time-bound 

 

It’s not very productive to set a longer deadline for a simple goal — but it’s also not helpful to give yourself a short deadline for a more complex ambition. Think realistically about when you want to accomplish your goal and why, and be strict with yourself when it matters.

 

Time for action (you can do it!)

 

You know what you want to achieve. You know WHY you want to achieve it. Now the question is: how?

 

First and foremost, make a list of your goals and break them down into manageable pieces. For example, you probably won’t be able to run that marathon after just a week of training — but increasing your distance by half a mile every run could help you get there.

 

Staying motivated is often half the battle — so if you’re struggling, just know you’re not alone. Set reminders for yourself via your planner, alarms on your phone or even notes on your mirror to keep you on track.

 

Need a helping hand? Find yourself an accountability partner (or group). Surrounding yourself with people that’ll motivate you to stay on track (and celebrate your wins with you — big AND small) will make the mission easier and more enjoyable.

 

If you start to doubt yourself, think back to when and why you set your goals in the first place and be kind to yourself, allowing room for mistakes and growth whilst acknowledging how far you’ve come.

 

And remember, you can always ask for support along the way — no matter what you’re working towards.

 

Creating and achieving your goals is always easier when you have a place to knuckle down and collaborate. Our coworking spaces in Shoreditch are perfect for that. View our private office spaces around London and request a quote today to start your journey.