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Goal setting in 2019

December 31, 2018

Human Resources

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Human Resources

This month, we look at how to create goals effectively to start the year strong.

Often at the beginning of a new year, with the comfort or stress of the holidays behind them, people set new life goals for themselves. These proposed milestones can be exceptionally wide ranging, from physical health and fitness to financial.  It is a great time to do so, but it can be difficult to even get them on paper, much less plan out and work on.

Below are some ideas on how to make your list, focus it, and act on it to help you make the progress you are looking for!

  • Brainstorm: Figure out which areas of your life you want to improve, from small, even one-off goals to massive projects. After doing this…
  • Set a small number of goals: Focus is important, and making too many wide-ranging goals makes it easy to let them slip away. Meeting even one goal can be challenging enough!
  • Make goals that motivate or excite you:  Pick something you are very interested in actually accomplishing. Often people will set vague goals they do not really want to do or are not ready to tackle, but feel like they should. If you are not in a place to honestly say, for example, “I’m going to eat healthier,” then don’t set that goal until you are ready to do so.  Focus on other areas of wellness that actively excite you.  
  • Make specific, manageable goals you can track: Once you’ve set a goal, track it in writing! It is helpful to be specific. For example, rather than just stating, “I will exercise”, you can list, "I will exercise at the gym for 30 minutes, three times this week,” and check off each successful visit.
  • Maintain consistency: The most common outcome for goals is to fall by the wayside, usually after the initial effort has been put in. The gym, for example, is often very crowded for the month of January, and then attendance significantly decreases. The more consistent you are in working towards your goal, the more routine it is and the more naturally it will begin to fit in to your day-to-day life. One way to help maintain consistency is to set aside small rewards for meeting weekly goals.
  • However, be kind to yourself if you miss:  Many people become discouraged and self-critical if they begin to slip up or struggle with meeting their goals. You are only human! Try not to let a slip up build momentum into no action, and get back to it the next day.

Be sure to check out last year’s Employee Assistance Program January 2018 blog post for more ideas on kick starting a healthy year. Active Times created a great starting point for picking manageable goals. For help making fitness specific goals, check out this fitness goals blog post. For other health tips, check out this post on New Year's health goals.

Here's to a happy and successful 2019!