Goals for the New Year

The New Year will shortly be upon us, bringing with it the chance to make some great resolutions and to not break them for once. It always seems to happen, you come up with a great list:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Lose Weight
  • Use the Organiser that Aunt Flo gave you for Christmas

You feel great for a few days but at the weekend you have a sneaky cigarette at your friend's fondue party where you eat twice your weight in brownies, whilst playing noughts and crosses on the first month's worth of paper in your new organiser!

Although that might be an exaggeration, its probably not far from the truth. New Year's resolutions are often started with the best of intentions but are soon forgotten when real life catches up with us. The promise of redemption that the coming of a New Year brings suddenly dissolves into murky feelings of regret and that you could have tried harder.

There is hope though. Why not resolve to have no more resolutions and to set some realistic goals instead? Goals are very similar to resolutions except that goals allow you to set times and targets on the road to achieving them. Goals are also better because the words “My goals for the New Year are” sound a lot more solid and achievable than the doomed words “My New Year's resolutions are”.

Here is some advice for achieving your goals:

Set specific goals - Wishy washy or uncertain goals will leave you confused. Be firm and realistic with yourself about what you want to achieve. It's better to have a few definite goals than a whole list of things which you are not sure about.

Set measurable targets - An architect is only as good as his or her rulers and compasses. If you are too hasty or impatient you will fail, so try not to push yourself too hard. Set milestones – the small steps you need to achieve in order to reach your goal. Put times and dates on when you would like to achieve them by. This allows you to judge your success and feel good about what you've done.

Reward Yourself - Every time you achieve a target, give yourself a pat on the back. Treat yourself by going out for dinner or booking yourself in for a massage. If you are quitting smoking try not to treat yourself to a cigarette, it may seem like a good idea at the time but you will fill terrible as soon as you finish it.

If you follow this advice, you will achieve your New Year's goals. Remember, you have all year and you can take small steps at a time. Don't think that you have to change by the time you wake up on the first of January with a foggy head. The difference between a New Year's goal and a New Year's resolution is that it can be carefully thought about and planned out.

Have a fantastic New Year and I hope you achieve all of your goals.