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Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Well, I recently completed several goals already for 2020! Read further to find out what they were (although you can guess from the photo). Reaching, and setting, your own goals is a great way to make changes in your life and grow as a person. You can focus on one big goal, or a few smaller ones.

The best thing to do is take a few days and brainstorm all the things you’d like to do. There are no wrong answers when coming up with your list. Dream big! You can keep the list private, or share with close friends and see if they can help you brainstorm. Do not invite people who tend to be negative thinkers at this point in the process.

Once you have a nice list going, try organizing it. You can list items by how long you think it would take to achieve, by most interesting, or by most fun. Use whatever you’d like. For each goal, you will need to break it down into specific, achievable steps. If you are too vague, it will be too hard to stick to each step. An example of a goal would be “lose weight”. A great goal for most of us. You might think about how you can make that more specific, like “lose 40 pounds”. A bit better, however, it’s still too open- ended to be a set goal. The best version would be “lose 40 pounds by June 1st”.

The second part is to make sure your goal is achievable. I don’t mean easy. This is a good time to let those pessimists give their opinion. For the above example, if you want to lose 40 pounds and get back to your high school weight, it might not be achievable. Perhaps 30 pounds is more realistic. If you aren’t sure if your goal is realistic or not, check in with an “expert” in the field your goal is in. For weight loss, you can consult your doctor (me), check what your BMI is (goal is to get below 27), a nutritionist, etc. It also helps to set a backup goal—if I don’t lose that amount by June 1st, then it has to be done by August 1st as my backup, or 20 pounds by June 1st.

Now that your goal is specific and achievable, you need to make or follow a plan to get it done. You might need to write out each weeks mini goals on a calendar or app. You might need a little time to research the best method to get to your goal. You might note for weight loss, that you should aim to lose ½ to 1 pound a week to keep it off easier. Does that still fit with your timeline, or do you need to adjust something? Your weekly goal could include sticking to better eating each day (you will need to be specific here—5 veggies a day?) and losing 1 pound a week. This is the point that you should start telling others what your goals are. It helps you stay accountable.

The 2 goals I was able to achieve were going to Maui as a vacation (Christmas present) and completing another marathon. Both took time to plan and save and train for. The sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is truly a priceless and wonderful feeling. You can also achieve that sense of success— start planning today!


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