New Year’s resolutions, eh? They barely survive past mid-January. Well, not this year! We’re going to turn your dreams into reality. Simply follow our 90 Day Challenge and you will achieve your personal goal. Still unsure? Happiful will join the challenge too. We’re in this together now. Let’s make the change!
Before we start, let’s remember that setting a goal for yourself will deliver three positives to your life: empowerment through what you can achieve; motivation in how you will get there; and determination – because now you’re aware of how much progress is possible. So, let’s get cracking.
Goal setting is a way of growing, uplifting and developing yourself. It’s not about pressuring yourself to get something done, or ticking a box, or feeling deflated when you haven’t reached your destination. Think for a second about previous goals you’ve set yourself. Be honest with yourself. Now answer these five questions:
Was your goal real? Or was it just words you spouted on New Year’s Eve?
Did the goal hold genuine and personal meaning for your life?
Were you able to visualise the end result every day?
Overall, how did the goal make you feel – excited or pressured?
Was it a new goal, or was it something you always see on your to-do list?
Think about these questions as we start to dig deeper into goal setting. After all, the objective here is to create a positive, lasting impact on your life.
The first 30 days
Before we create the right plan for you, it’s important to understand a few vital things about mapping your goal journey. A goal shouldn’t be something you can barely achieve in your current situation. Nobody can say: “I will own a cottage in the country and work from home” – because that’s too tall an order. Instead, ask yourself:
Is my goal realistic?
Have I set this goal before and never achieved it?
Can I make this goal happen in my current situation?
Your goal needs to be real and true to you. Don’t set yourself a goal on what you think you should be achieving, or how you think others would regard you as successful. Make sure your goal is personal in that it holds real meaning to your life. And remember, goal setting is a journey, and something that progresses over time. But you’re not alone. Happiful is right there with you. We will be going on this journey together.
The 60 day crunch
How do we maintain new habits? That’s where the real effort comes in. When the going gets tough, these five realistic commitments will help you maintain your focus in February:
Get yourself an accountability buddy
Determined to get fit?
Having someone to share your journey not only makes it more fun but also helps to keep you driven. If you book two gym classes with a friend each week, you are more likely to attend because you don’t want to let your friend down, nor do you want them to go and feel great without you!
Want to keep your car tidy?
Tell your neighbour and invite them to join you. When you next see their shiny clean car in the driveway, it will remind you to spend 10 minutes at the car wash after work!
Eager to eat healthily?
You and a work colleague can take alternate weeks to make lunch for each other and share the burden. This lightens the load and time commitment.
Having someone to share your journey not only makes it more fun but also helps to keep you driven
What can you do every month that will edge you closer to your end goal? If you want to go the gym, set yourself a monthly target of going 10 times a month. You won’t be filled with guilt if you miss a session on a certain week, and if you only went to the gym once this week, you can fit in an extra session the following week.
By creating mini-goals along the way, it will support you reaching your final destination. Mini-goals allow flexibility and the awareness that life may get in the way on occasions. But remember: don’t use this flexibility as a reason to “write off” the week. Let your mini-goal fuel your desire. Mini-goals allow you to achieve what you want to set out to achieve.
Celebrate along the way!
Recognition and acknowledgement are important for achieving goals, so reward yourself in a positive way.
Make a weekly list of the ways you are successfully working toward your goal. For instance, jot down things like: gone to the gym twice; made fresh soup; gone for a 20-minute walk; attended a language lesson; completed another chapter of my manuscript; called an extended family member; cleaned the car, saved £10 on shopping; drank green tea all week.
Remember to celebrate. Trust us, whatever your end goal is, celebrating the mini-goals is vital to reaching your final destination. We all enjoy praise and recognition in different ways, so make sure your “treat” is relevant for you – and make yourself feel good for the progress you have made.
You will start to associate your hard work and commitment with praise and success, and this will drive you to continue your journey. Also, bear in mind that maintaining your initial drive is the hard part. Having small rewards for yourself will heighten that drive factor and motivate you to continue doing what you are doing. Every small goal you reach will ultimately lead you to achieving your big goal.
The 90 day barrier
Here’s some wisdom from the ages: “Nothing changes until we change.” “Everybody thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing herself.” “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” These wise words are timeless because they are true. If you set yourself a new goal for 2018 but continue doing what you always do, then how can you reach your goal?
To achieve new things, you must be willing to do new things, and create new habits. This is how success is formed. Your new habits must be a help, not a hindrance, as you approach your goal. If you are starting to wobble in March, here are three simple habits that will definitely help you go the distance:
Get up 15 minutes earlier
If you want to prepare fresh lunches, to have time to eat breakfast, to feel less rushed in the mornings, to spend 10 minutes meditating, to jot down some creative notes, to make that early morning gym class – do the sensible thing and set your alarm back 15 minutes.
To achieve new things, you must be willing to do new things, and create new habits
Set a daily intention
Each day should have purpose and direction. Whatever your end goal is, every day should take you that tiny bit closer to achieving success. Make each day count. Don’t let the days roll into weeks and then months; otherwise your goal will become a distant January daydream.
Create phone alerts
Remind yourself to go the gym, to call a friend, to wash the car. Prompt yourself with motivational quotes on your phone. Set yourself alert notifications to remind you to prepare your lunches. These reminders send a quick signal to your brain and give you an instant boost to refocus your needs. The more you listen to your “reminders”, the more they’ll become second nature.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
We want to be honest. Some readers will stay the course and achieve their goals, and others will lose their way. Why? Because it’s all in the mind. People who achieve their goals keep them fixed in their thoughts. Everyone can do this. Positive or negative thinking – it’s up to you! Your mind is a muscle; the more you flex it, the better it becomes.
When you use your mind for positive, engaging, empowering thoughts it will want to work with you, not against you. Your mind will support you, give you confidence and fuel your success.
Have you ever noticed that when your day starts well, it usually ends well? But when your day starts with lousy traffic, or being late for a big meeting, your day rarely gets any better? The way you perceive a situation is what your brain will continue to give you in return.
Focus on how you want to feel, how you want your day to pan out, and what positives you can notice.
Doing this helps your mind achieve your goals, and allows your thoughts to work in your favour. Instead of bringing you down, your positive perceptions will lift you up!
HAPPIFUL WILL JOIN YOU!
As promised, we are going to be your accountability buddy and take the journey with you. In April, we will be back to talk about your achievements, how to keep the momentum, and how to build upon your success.
Remember, dear reader, this is a journey – not a destination.
You will be crawling at first, but then standing, and then running. Happiful is with you every single step of the way. Make you goal personal, relatable and achievable. Most of all, make it fun. Let’s make 2018 the best year yet.
HAPPIFUL TEAM GOALS
Samantha: I want to save up for a surprise holiday as a thank you to my husband.
Jake: I want to finish the final chapters of my manuscript.
Lauren: I want to learn how to cook proper meals, rather than just baking cakes.
Matt: I want to compete in a half-marathon in March.
Ellen: I want to devote more time to practising my calligraphy.
Amy-Jean: I want to learn Makaton language.
Maurice: I want to join a gym and get back to my ideal weight.