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6 steps in making a half-year goal for yourself
Once the new year starts, there tends to be two types of people: those who set out ambitious resolutions, and those who simply don’t believe they’ll stick to their goals.
But whether you have aspirations of improving your fitness, or want to go after a personal goal – just because you didn’t start that journey on the first day of the year doesn’t mean you still can’t achieve it. The new year may be the perfect day to start something new, with the metaphorical ‘new beginning’ and all, but the time you start is actually irrelevant.
The important thing is: the improvements you’re capable of making in your life are truly boundless. The way you set your goal is hereby the crucial point.
How to make your half-year goal
Tips from life coaches on ways to create the perfect, most achievable half-year goal.
Get right into the action
It might be attractive for you to wait until June 1st, so you can begin your half-year dream chasing exactly halfway through the year. However, according to life coach Jane Scudder, if you’re serious about achieving your goals, there’s no better time to start than the present.
“First and foremost, start considering the definition of a half-year, which is six months,” Scudder says. “The last thing I want my clients to think is that they have to wait until the beginning of June to start if they are ready to achieve their goals in March. If you’re ready to make a change, start tomorrow.”
…But don’t just blindly jump into it
Of course, just because you’re ready to start making changes in your life immediately doesn’t mean you should start tomorrow if you don’t have your actual goal defined. Instead, “spend some time actually thinking about what it is that you want,” Scudder explains. “Ask yourself, ‘In six months what do I want to accomplish?’ or ‘In six months, where do I want to be?’ Let your mind wander and write it down.”
What do you really, truly want to do? It can be a hard question to answer, but try to find a way to make it concrete. Try to find out what’s currently slowing you down in life and then look for a graspable solution. So instead of ‘being healthier’, translate that to numbers, like going for a run three times a week or eating this many grams of fiber every day.
Determine how you’ll measure success
As NYC-based empowerment coach Diane Passage tells us, simply having a goal isn’t the same as achieving it. “Checking in regularly to evaluate what’s working and what’s not is a great way to stay on track,” she explains. “It allows you to make adjustments where necessary.” If your goal is fitness- or health-related, make sure you’re tracking your workouts and everything you eat––and we do mean everything.
Create a buzzword
When striving toward a particular goal, sometimes it helps to remind yourself why you started. And according to Katie Bennett, co-founder of life coaching company Ama La Vida, that recollection can be achieved in as little as one word. Your ‘buzzword’. As long as it reminds you of why you are working on your goal:
“I always recommend to my clients that they set a buzzword,” she says. “It should be one or two words that encapsulate why you are working on your goal, and how you will feel once you achieve it. Put the word in places you will see it, like your bathroom mirror, to provide continuous inspiration.”
While achieving a personal, professional, or physical goal is no easy feat – and will require some hard work on your part – taking breaks from your journey can help curb the temptation to give up when the going gets tough.
“Whether it’s something small like getting your favorite meal or something bigger like a weekend away, assigning a reward to your goal helps you feel motivated to achieve it and also allows you the opportunity to recognize and celebrate yourself when you do,” says Bennett.
Working hard on your goal can feel isolating. You know you’re the one who needs to achieve it. And it doesn’t help when you see friends indulging over unhealthy foods while you’re trying to be healthy or see people going to the movies on a Sunday afternoon when you’re working on your project.
It helps to know you’re not alone in your dream-chasing. You can still surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are working on their own goals or simply follow inspiring people on Twitter and Instagram. Watching others pursue their goals can give you the drive to reach for your own.