By Ted Nuyten
Jeff Olson is the Founder and CEO of Nerium International, author of the bestselling book, The Slight Edge, and owner of Live Happy magazine.
This is what he had to say about goal setting:
“My advice for the new year is to set your goals — right off the bat”
Goals are the gateway to living your dreams. Why wait? These six principles are essential for successful goal setting:
Write It Down:
Whether your goal is to lose 25 pounds or make $100,000 a year — by writing down your goals you’re saying “no” to unnecessary distractions and “yes” to focusing on what matters most. Setting clear, measurable goals will help you see your way forward. Writing down your goals and posting them where you can see them every day becomes motivation for you to reach the end.
Just writing down, “I want to lose weight,” is not specific enough — but committing to losing 10 pounds over 30 days gives you a clear and realistic objective to work toward. Clear objectives will also make it easier to see pitfalls in your plan and will help you recognize the right choices from the wrong ones. If my goal is to lose 25 pounds in three months, eating a donut a day may not be the best route to being successful.
Set a Deadline:
If you have an open-ended goal, you’re less likely to stay focused. I suggest setting a realistic deadline — one that is challenging but not so difficult that you lose hope or give up. You should be excited and motivated to reach your milestone, not discouraged because it’s not attainable.
Identify your Plan:
I can’t stress the importance of this point enough: the plan you start with is not the plan that will get you to your end goal. The plan only gets you started. But, ultimately, it’s your responsibility to adapt and adjust your actions to guarantee the most successful outcome.
Pay the Price:
I’m not going to lie to you — there’s always a price to pay. Think about it this way: If you want to go back to school and work full time, you’ll have to make sacrifices. Perhaps you give up your favorite TV shows or your weekly happy hour with friends. Instead of thinking about what you have to sacrifice now, focus on how making the hard choices now will benefit you in the future! The price you pay goes hand in hand with how you prioritize your to-do list. In fact; it’s all about priorities — an hour of TV versus an hour of studying. If you want that A, you may want to study an extra hour and sacrifice an episode of your favorite TV program. That’s the price you’ll have to pay. That’s how you reach your goals!
Do you know what some of the world’s most successful people have in common? They repeat their goals to themselves at least twice a day — out loud. The reason for this is that by saying your goals out loud, you’re training your brain to focus and recognize what’s positive instead of immediately jumping to reasons why you might fail.
Here’s the thing: most people set New Year’s resolutions and then forget about them within a couple of weeks. By setting your goals in writing and speaking them out loud, you’re sure to be motivated to act on them. If you’re worried about staying on track, proclaim your goals to loved ones.
There’s nothing better than having a cheer squad! A true support system will always help you stay on track!