Parents Need Self-Esteem, Too – Part II Setting and Reaching Goals

Now that we have settled into January of this year, how are you doing on your New Year’s resolution? Chances are you probably made at least one New Year’s resolution. According to TIME Magazine, the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and get fit, quit smoking, eat healthier, get out of debt, spend more time with family, reduce stress, volunteer, and drink less.

Making a New Year’s resolution is basically setting an individual goal. I had the pleasure of providing leadership support at UMC Tucson in developing organizational and individual goals.  I learned that setting a goal can be as easy as 1, 2, 3–(1) Set your goal, (2) develop an action plan, (3) track and measure. When you meet your goal, CELEBRATE!

Below are some tips on setting goals and being successful.

  1. Focus on the KISS principle–keep it simple and sweet.
  2. Keep your number of goals to a minimum, one to three goals per year.
  3. Create SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-Oriented. This sounds more complex, but it is simple. Here are some examples of SMART goals:
    • I will work out an average of 3 times a week this year.
    • I will reduce my monthly spending by $500, starting no later than March of this year..
    • I will quit smoking by this July.
    • I will reduce my weekly alcohol drinks from 10 to 7 per week, starting this week.
  4. Write down your goal, just like the examples above.
  5. Take a baseline measurement of where you are today. For example, how many times am I working out each week? How much money am I spending per month? How many alcohol drinks do I have per day or per week?
  6. Once you have set your goal, develop a simple 90-day action plan and write it down. Here are some examples. (Keep in mind that the dates are just examples. You can accelerate or extend your time frames within 90 days.)
    Ex. 1 – I will find and sign up with a fitness club that works well for me by the end of January and work out three times a week from January through March.
    Ex. 2 – I will ride my bike three times a week from January 1 to March 31.
    Ex. 3 –I will sign up for the stop smoking class at my work by the end of January and attend all the classes.
    Ex. 4 – I will review my expenses and determine which expenses I will cut by the end of January. By February 28, I will make any necessary changes needed to eliminate $500 month. By March 1, I will implement the changes.
    Ex. 5 – I will have no more than one alcoholic drink per day and no more than 7 per week.
  7. Start and track your progress – Take a simple measurement of how you are doing each week or month, whichever makes more sense. For example, I worked out three times this week, so I am well within my goal. Or, I only worked out two times this week, so I will work on three times for next week. Work on fulfilling your goal for at least 30 days, as that will help you turn your goal into a habit.
  8. CELEBRATE! Once you reach 30, 60, or 90 days and you have achieved a milestone, based on your plan, CELEBRATE! Even if you partially meet your goal, but you made progress, CELEBRATE and keep going!

Grandpa Steve’s Kids wishes you a wonderful year filled with many celebrations!