The start of the new year often brings to mind new ideas, new beginnings and the possibility for change, which is why it's the perfect time to think about your goals and what you want to achieve.

If you do any kind of goal setting, you're among the minority. It is estimated that around 80% of people give no thought whatsoever to goals. Of those that do contemplate goals, only 1% actually go so far as to write them down in a detailed plan to get them there, and those are the people by far most likely to achieve them! So if you haven't already done so, it's time to make your plans for 2017!

Goals are stepping stones to a happier life and working towards the things we want is part of being human and a part of what makes life good.  It gives us a sense of purpose, meaning, direction and motivation. Paying attention to how we set goals will make us more likely to achieve them, and achieving them makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives. So what's in store for you this year, and how can you create the changes you want in your life by setting plans and goals that you will stick to? 

Four Steps To Setting Goals You Will Achieve

1. Figure out what you really want:  Setting off full steam ahead towards goals that aren't really what you want is not the way to go! Being clear on what it is you truly want is essential to planning your goals. Even if you do feel really clear about what it is you want to achieve, ask yourself why you want it? What will it mean to you when you achieve it? Dig a bit deeper to ensure your goals are congruent with your values and your bigger reason for being. 

2. Be clear about your starting point: Before you begin any journey it’s important to know where you’re starting from in relation to your destination. A map is no use if you don’t know where you are to begin with. So think about where you are now in relation to your goal. This will help you break down the steps you need to take to get you where you want to go. 

3. Make a plan: Writing down your goals increases your chances of sticking with them, and making a detailed plan to get you there enables you to break them down in to specific, measurable steps and create your blueprint for success.  Think about how you will know when you've reached your goal, describe it in specific terms and with timescales. Particularly with bigger goals, break them down in to smaller goals to make sure you have a regular feeling off achievement to keep you going. Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so think about your first step, and then the next, and the next, and so on.  Keep focused on your destination, and you'll get there as long as you continually take those small steps towards it. 

4. Increase your accountability: Getting other people involved is a good way to increase your accountability - tell people, “go public” with your plans, let friends and family know what you’re trying to do and how you're planning to do it. This not only enables you to ask for support, it also makes you more committed. Better yet, join a group with other people who are trying to accomplish the same things you are. It’s a lot harder to let others down than it is to slack off when you’re the only one who will know about it. It’s also hugely motivating when you think about your achievements in terms of benefiting others, and this will spur you on enormously. 

If you would like step-by-step support to setting and achieving your goals this year, please contact me to find out more about my coaching programmes and how I can help you.