As a New Year rolls around, what better time to look forward, analyse what’s ahead and set goals. Becoming more focussed on you and setting personal goals is an important exercise to better your mental health. Here are some important tips for goal setting for 2020.
It’s natural to be wide-eyed and motivated as the New Year starts. The anticipation of an entire calendar year lies ahead and waiting to know what’s in store for you is exciting.
A New Year’s Resolution is a common form of goal setting, and goal setting increases motivation to help you on your mental health recovery journey.
But how often have you forgotten that goal by February? Ultimately, succeeding in your goals comes down good planning and dedication.
It’s important to organise a flow of ideas so you don’t become overwhelmed or confused. Whether you’re looking to achieve personal or professional goals—or a mix of both—there are some methods to clearly identify and outline your objectives for 2020.
If you’re new to creating goals, a good template to use is SMART, which is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed. Use this framework to ensure your goals are accomplished.
Specific: Why do you want to accomplish the goal? Have you avoided generalities?
Measurable: What will be the significant outcome of completing the goal? How will you measure it and with what tool?
Achievable: Do you have the right skills and resources to complete the goal? Is it more relevant to break the goal into more actionable mini-goals?
Relevant: What will be the benefit of achieving the goal? Does its result lead to a larger goal?
Timed: How long will it take you to achieve? Is the completion date within your means and can you foresee how much time will be needed?
Visualise, then take action
Visualising your goals is about creating clarity and taking action.
Before you set yourself a goal, you first must have an idea of what it is and what its outcome looks like.
Believing in yourself is a big part in goal setting, harkening back to the age old saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Visualisation is a well-documented approach to performance improvement as seeing your desired outcome provides more motivation.
It’s simple: create a detailed mental image of your outcome. How will you feel after you completed your goal? What will be different in your life?
For example if your goal is to learn a new skill, what aspect of your life will be better for knowing this skill?
If you aim to lose weight, how will you look and feel at the end of the road?
Using mental imagery to keep you dedicated and focussed on your goal is a powerful method to achieve while creating positive behavioural changes.
How to keep track of your goals
It’s important to find what works for you when tracking your goals.
Creating lists on paper or whiteboards can be effective if you prefer physically checking off items as you go. Keep some post-it notes handy to see your goals in a visual setting.
For the more tech savvy goal setters, there are some in intuitive and free mobile apps that keep track for you.
Evernote is a very powerful note taking, file organising and item actioning app that makes planning, executing and completing goals a breeze.
Wunderlist and Todoist are simple to-do list task managers, which will make your 2020 much easier.
Trello is a perfect organisational app that syncs across mobile and desktop. It offers flexible workflows for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and it can be shared across multiple people at once.