Did you know only about 8% of people actually achieve their new year’s resolutions? Major mistakes include quitting everyday habits or the sudden introduction of new and unfamiliar changes. Effective goal planning requires a little more thought than going ‘cold turkey’. It’s important to adjust your mindset to think of your goals as a gradual process rather than expecting immediate change.
While the effort to choose a new year’s resolution shows a great sense of positive intent, a more effective alternative is to adopt new goals for the next year. Read on to discover how you can set goals for 2019 that you’ll actually achieve.
Like with most plans and projects, it’s important to evaluate previous cases and plan accordingly. Review and reflect on the last year; you need to look back at your past actions to decide how best to move ahead. What did you achieve in the past year? What would you like to improve upon?
For a moment, forget the next 12 months and consider your future goals. Where would you like to be in 2, 5 and 10 years time? The goals you set now need to bring you closer to this bigger picture. It’s also a good idea to keep this image in mind when planning your new year goals; knowing where you want to ultimately be will encourage you to stick with them.
Tip: iMindMap 11’s Mind Map View will allow you to come up with as many ideas as possible so you can address the above questions and consider all your options. This doesn’t mean you’ll act on all of your ideas, but it’s good to get an overview of all the possibilities. Build upon your main ideas with child branches and images to get to the root of what, why, and how you could implement your ideas for improvement in the next 12 months.
When choosing your goals, think of what you’d like to add to your life, rather than take away. For instance, rather than cutting something out of your diet, decide to introduce a healthier eating plan. It’s often easier to add a new behaviour instead of stopping one, while still accomplishing the same goal. No one likes to be told they can’t do something. This approach will also help you to feel more positive about the changes, rather than feeling restricted.
Before you create a plan, you need to understand the scope of the change you’re looking to implement. Goals that are too difficult to stick to will be more likely to get dropped and forgotten. Plan in terms of broader changes, rather than specific behaviours. This will allow room for growth and change as you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. For example, choosing to ‘manage your stress’ is much more flexible than simply deciding to ‘do yoga every morning’ – you may discover that yoga isn’t working for you and feel as though you’ve already failed.
Similarly, traditional resolutions such as “I will go to the gym regularly” or “I will stop eating fast food” are problematic because they suggest somewhat big changes with no buildup. Goals, on the other hand, can be broken down into steps that increase in difficulty as you become more accustomed to the change. This careful process gives you room to be flexible and responsive to the steps you have taken so far. This more fluid approach also makes your goals more realistic and attainable than resolutions, so you can achieve lasting change.
Tip: iMindMap 11’s Organisational Chart View will help you to map out the steps needed to achieve your ultimate goal, as well as alternative ideas if others don’t work out. Using this tool, it’s easy to switch up the steps in a process and take another route to success. With iMindMap, you can benefit from the reassurance of a structured plan without it being too rigid.
Deadlines keep you motivated. There’s nothing wrong with having 12 months as the deadline for your goals. But, it’s important to assign mini-deadlines to individual steps. Completing smaller steps in the process of achieving your bigger goals will give you a sense of accomplishment, and keep you moving in the right direction.
Once you have set your goals, keep them at the forefront of your mind. Now, and this is the important part, in order to achieve these goals, you will need to create new habits. Think of what specific habits you can maintain that will lead to bigger changes in your life. By embedding them into your daily or weekly schedule, you’ll be eased into more natural adjustments, rather than big changes that inevitably won’t last.
Tip: Using iMindMap 11’s Radial Map View, enter one of your goals into the centre of the map. Surround the goal with nodes that contain the main steps you need to take to achieve it. Then, add nodes around these that will describe your new habits. As you decide what’s working, and what isn’t, refer back to your Org. Chart to see alternative steps you could take. Increase or decrease the sizes of the nodes within your Radial Map as their significance, in terms of priority and time, shifts. No matter what you change, your ultimate goal will always remain at the centre of your attention.
Assign a time each day when you’ll practise each habit. As the habits become more ingrained in your routine, increase them in stages. Don’t forget to reward yourself for continuing to stick with your new habits – until you make enough progress toward your goals that the progress becomes a reward in itself. Remember: good things take time and change doesn’t happen overnight. But, by taking gradual and sustainable steps, you’ll be on the right track to achieve not only your yearly goals, but also lasting change for life.