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Clarion Ledger

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How to Set and Reach New Year's Goals

01/13/2018 06:00AM | 704 views

By Becky Vaughn-Furlow

 

A new study conducted for PowerBar found that sticking to your New Year's Resolutions gets easier as you get older.

While many believe that September is the new January, the first month of the new year is still the most used time to set goals for the new year. Today marks the end of 2017, and Monday will bring in a new year.

You will begin with zero profits and zero sales. Take some time to reflect on 2017 and consider what you achieved, goals you met and some you did not meet. Don’t allow others to dictate what your goals should be, both personally and in business.

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While we are more likely to achieve goals if we feel accountable to others, you should personally feel passionate about what you want to accomplish. To figure out what you really want to accomplish in life, you should consider making a list of your desires, no matter how long the list may be. Then narrow down the list to those that you are willing to commit to making reality. Consider what has to happen to reach the goal. Lay out the steps that must be taken, setting a timeline so you won’t procrastinate.

Goals should be SMART — Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-worthy.

Creating a system of review and any needed updates or revisions is key. Issues that you may not have anticipated could require you to make adjustments in your goals. Often more time than originally anticipated may require you to make adaptations. Plan for quarterly reviews to measure and track your progress or lack thereof.

At this time of the year it is appropriate to indulge in introspection and retrospection, both in your personal or family life and in your business. Reevaluate your choices and turn resolutions into goals for positive change. Prepare a list of important lifestyle changes you want to make and what it will take to accomplish them. The majority of people fail to keep resolutions, so ensure you are serious and committed to make any changes necessary to keep them.

On the personal side, the top resolution for Americans is getting in shape and losing weight, and when combined with exercising more and staying fit and healthy, over one-third of the population wishes to achieve this goal.

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One of the biggest barriers that keeps most people from reaching their goals is procrastination. Once you start procrastinating, it becomes difficult to stop. The first step is the most difficult.

When you begin to receive the bills from your credit cards and other charge accounts from your Christmas buying, it will often trigger a common beginning of year resolution/goal to spend less, pay off debts and save more money. In business, it translates to increasing sales and reducing long-term and short-term debt. All of these can be summarized into working harder, doing the things we know we should be doing and getting in better shape, physically, financially and emotionally.

We often make promises to ourselves and others that we know all too well need to be done and require commitment to achieve. The easy part is making the goal. The hard part is following through and converting words into actions.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t revert to old habits that have resulted in missing the mark in the past. Make changes in small things on a daily basis. Find people who will help and support you and hold you accountable. Reward yourself along the way when you reach milestones. It will motivate you to keep going toward the goal you have set.

It is important to have a road map, for without one you may meander through life. The saying that without a plan you won’t know when you have reached your destination is true. Live your best life and refuse to stop until your goals are attained. Some failures in life are inevitable. Never give up. “

"To sit back and let fate play its hand out and never influence it is not the way man was meant to operate,” said John Glenn.

The new year is right before us, like a blank page waiting for you to write a book. Without dreams and goals, you will merely exist.

C. S. Lewis said: “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.”

Ask yourself if you are doing your best in all areas of your life.

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