We all have goals we want to achieve, especially when the new year rolls around. Maybe it is the same goal we have been striving for all year or maybe we are accomplished and on to bigger and better goals. Goal setting is essential in all and any area of our lives. It is so important to know where you are headed and then make a plan to ensure you get there.

Here are some tips to help you create a successful roadmap toward reaching your goals in the New Year.

SPECIFIC. Be as specific as you can. Rather than saying you want to do more cardio, specify, how many days, what days and how much each day will you do? The clearer and more specific your plan, the more likely you will be to stick to it because you know what expectations you have set for yourself.

MEASURABLE. In order to know when you have achieved your goal, you have to be able to measure it. If your goal is to decrease your high cholesterol levels, that isn’t enough. You need to have a set measurable goal so when you have your cholesterol tested you know if you reached your goal and lowered your levels. If you want to lose weight, you should specify a certain pair of jeans you want to fit in. Once you get yourself in those special jeans, whallaaa, you reached your goal. Set guidelines for yourself so that you know when you have hit your target. (This is where my Challenges are KEY, having a goal, setting your mind to it and seeing it through!)

TIMELY. To stay motivated, your goal needs to have a deadline. When do you want to reach your goal by? Once you set up that timeframe, you also have mini goals to reach along the way. This will keep you motivated and continuing on your journey. If you have a goal weight to lose 30 pounds, doesn’t that seem like a lot!? If you break it down to 2 pounds a week or 5 pounds a month, see how that appears so much more reasonable!?

REALISTIC. Set yourself up for success. Set goals that are realistic for you, your life and everything you have going on. If you set your goal to start your fitness routine the day you leave for vacation, now is that really realistic? NO! You want to set yourself up for success. Think throughly about your goals and life before you set them up and plan on going for them.

PATIENCE. It is only common, in our society, that we want to reach the goals we set out for ourselves today, yesterday! When we decide we want something, we want it NOW! This is completely unrealistic and setting yourself up for temporary results, if results at all. If you want permanent results, you have to be patient and trust in your journey. Consistency and small changes will add up to big results but they do take time! Changing habits and making smart choices will get you where you are going, little by little. It is your patience and trust in yourself and where you are going that will transform you forever. It is the habits you create along your journey that will become a way of life and your lifestyle! As hard as it is, patience is #1.

YOU. Your goal has to be for you! A goal that you create has to be a goal that is something you want and not what someone else wants for you. There will be challenging times along your journey and if your goal isn’t for you, you are less likely to push through those times. In order to stay motivated and determined you have to do things for you. You need to know what it is you want and why you want it. Once you understand the basis of your goals, you will be your own motivation and you WILL reach your goals. When you are doing things for you, your own inner fire will carry you along your journey.

CREATIVITY. When you go after your goals, be creative with your approach. There is not a one size fits all approach. If your goal is to do cardio x amount of times per week and for x minutes each time, don’t get stuck in the same cardio, day in and day out. How boring will that be? Have fun and be creative with how you do your cardio. There are many ways to do cardio and get your heart rate up. Have fun with it and be creative. In order for you to stick to your goal and make your efforts long lasting, they have to be enjoyable. We are talking about making lifelong changes. With this, this means being creative and finding ways that you can carry out your habits for the rest of your life. Step out of your box and use your creativity to have fun with your goals!

ASSOCIATION. You are who you hang around. It is so true that if you want to reach your goals, you have to surround yourself around people that are like minded, into the same things you are into and those that believe in you and your efforts. Surround yourself around those that motivate and inspire you. Those that are on the same page as you. If you have weigh loss goals, it is important to be around those that A. believe in you, B. help motivate you and C. those that are into living a healthy lifestyle. If you surround yourself around people that like to eat pizza, drink beer and watch movies all day long, is that going to be beneficial to you and your goals? Even if you have the upmost self-control, that is going to be a much more challenging journey than being with those that you can eat healthy and do active things with. Find people that are on the same page. If you surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live, it will make reaching your goals much easier and more enjoyable.

WRITE. You need to be able to put on paper what it is you want and see those things daily. Commit to yourself by writing down your goals. This simple inking can make your goals a reality rather than just thoughts and wishes.

If you map out your goals and think thinks through, you are creating your plan that will lead to success. Give these pointers some thought and create your vision today!

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