Life Coaching Blog

How to ‘kick start’ your goals for 2023

As the end of January fast approaches it’s a good time to pause and reflect on those areas of your life that you want to improve eg doing more exercise, eating healthier, making more time for friends
whom you haven’t seen for a while or planning a holiday, and to start to set some goals around these.

While the thought of ‘goal setting’ may make you cringe, it’s worth keeping an open mind and maybe giving it a go.

Not setting goals has been described as deciding there’s somewhere new you
want to be, getting in your car, turning on the GPS, setting off on your drive but forgetting to enter a destination. Which begs the question ‘how will you know when you’ve arrived?’.

So if you do want to get to that destination, here are six steps for successful goal setting:

  1. Choose one goal to focus on at a time. There’s an opportunity cost in terms of your time and
    energy. So, if you’re pursuing many goals simultaneously your effort in each area will be diluted, as will your progress.
  2. Be clear on the “Why”. Take a good look at the goals you’ve set, and ask “Why is this outcome important to me?” It’s not enough that it’s what my company or my partner
    wants, or what I’ll be measured on.
    For a goal to motivate you it must relate to you personally ie your aspirations, life priorities and values. For example my goal of getting fitter is important to me so I can do my walk in
    Tasmania this year.
    Try writing your goal as a positive statement, using the SMART framework and then describe why it’s important to you, and specifically how you will feel when you’ve achieved it.
  3. Go for “small wins. List all the steps involved in getting to that goal, and break them down into specific actions and time frames. Set a regular time to review your progress and remember to notice and celebrate the steps you’ve taken so far.
  4. Make it Stick. When you’re needing to build new habits, it’s been shown that an effective
    way to create a new habit is to stick it on to something you’re already routinely doing e.g. after brushing my teeth at night time, I’ll sit down and do a 10 minute meditation.
  5. Build in some Flex. If you’ve had a clear and motivating goal, but there’s been a bit of inertia in moving towards it you may need to create or revise your action plan. If you’ve missed a step to date, revise the time frame and break it down into smaller, even micro steps – which are realistically achievable in magnitude and time frame.
  6. Notice the Roadblocks. If taking any action feels impossible, then be curious and with an
    open mind look at what’s getting in the way eg prioritising work, needing further skills or some long held but limiting beliefs?
    If so, then acknowledge these and simply include action steps to help you work through
    them. It may involve finding and using new tools e.g. time management tools, some further training or obtaining coaching or other support.

It all starts with choosing your destination, having a clear “why” and consistently taking steps in that new direction. Remember to monitor your progress, celebrate successes and accept that there may be roadblocks and detours along the way, but nevertheless keep going and build momentum as you go.