Setting yourself up for success in 2016 and beyond

We might be halfway through the year (yes, already!), but don’t worry if your New Year resolutions didn’t quite go to plan — you can set goals at any time of the year. In fact, the winter months are the perfect time to start planning your next 12 months and beyond — you’ll be well ahead when New Year’s finally comes around.

In the first part of a two-part series, we’ve put together a list of handy tips to help you set and work towards your goals in 2016 and beyond. 

Be realistic

It’s going to be very hard for you to reach goals that are just plain unrealistic. When setting your goals for 2016, it’s important to go for ones that you can reasonably achieve in the time you have given yourself. Saying you’re going to go to the gym every single day is probably going to set you up for failure (unless you’re particularly enthusiastic, of course), whereas setting a goal to go to the gym twice a week is more achievable — and if you go more often, you’ll feel even better about yourself!

Setting a secondary or mini-goal that is part of a larger goal is another great way to keep yourself motivated throughout the year. For example, if your goal is to be able to run a marathon in 2017, set yourself a secondary goal of being able to run a 10 or 15 kilometre fun run in six months’ time.  This is still a fantastic achievement and will help you stay motivated to keep working towards your goal.

To help you keep on track BetterHealth has some more great tips on setting your fitness goals here.

Focus on one thing at a time

In a society where ‘more is better’, it’s easy to feel compelled to stretch ourselves to the point of complete exhaustion. One of the key things to remember when setting goals is to not set too many.

Focusing on a small number of achievable goals will help keep you energetic and focused throughout the year. Success shouldn’t be a chore, you need time to sit back and enjoy the rewards too.

‘If at first you don’t succeed’

Even the best of us suffer from a lack of motivation, and it can be easy to lose willpower if we accidentally slip up on our journey towards a goal. The worst thing you can do at this point is give up — remember, if goals were easy to achieve they wouldn’t be goals! Remind yourself that you are only human and that sometimes humans make mistakes — then get back on your horse and keep on riding, as they say.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for setting and reaching goals. Everyone is different and there will be different things that work for different people. Have you set yourself any goals for 2016? If so, what things are you doing to help maximise your chances of success? 

Read part two: Resources to Keep your 2016 Goals on Track

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