Setting Achievable New Year Goals with the Goldilocks Method
As the New Year approaches, it's a common tradition to set resolutions. However, only about 9% of people actually stick to them, and some don’t even make it to the end of January. We often fail to stick to our goals because they can be overly ambitious. It's great to aim high, but sustainable habit formation often starts with smaller steps. This is where 'Goldilocks Goals' come in – a method for setting goals that are just right for you.
What Are 'Goldilocks Goals'?
'Goldilocks Goals' are based on the idea of setting objectives that are not too challenging, nor too easy, but are perfectly suited to your individual circumstances and abilities. Starting small is the best way to build new habits sustainably. This approach focuses on setting goals for three-month periods, allowing for regular evaluation and adjustment. It also means you’re not overwhelmed by feeling like you need to do something drastic for 12 full months.
How to Set Goldilocks Goals
Only set a few goals
Choose a singular goal for each area in your life, such as health and fitness, career, financial, or personal development. Or you can set 1-3 general goals. By only setting a limited number of goals, you’ll be more likely to keep to them.
Be specific and attainable
Each goal should be clear and achievable. For example, instead of saying ‘exercise more’, set a number of times a week you want to work out. To make sure they’re attainable, set them against your current routine. If you currently exercise twice a week, aim for three times a week.
Centralise and visualise your goals
Write down your goals in a place where you'll frequently see them, keeping them at the forefront of your daily life. Habits take a few months to build to make it as easy as possible for you to achieve them. So if you want to scroll less when you wake up, prep the night before by leaving your phone away from your bedside.
Review and adjust every 3 months
Every three months, take the time to review your goals. Adjust them if necessary to ensure they remain challenging yet achievable. If you set a goal to exercise three times a week and you want to push yourself a little more, then adjust your goal to four times a week.
The secret to keeping to your new year resolutions
By making your goals attainable, you’re much more likely to achieve them. They also need to be realistic. For example, if you’ve never meditated before then start with a goal of a couple of minutes a day. If you slip, it can be easy to go “oh well, I’ll try again next year. So lastly, you need to repeat habits and set yourself up as best you can to make them easier. After repeating something a lot, not only does it get easier it also becomes part of your routine.
Setting 'Goldilocks Goals' is about making small, consistent changes that lead to significant improvements over time. The efficacy of this approach is supported by goal-setting theories and research such as SMART goals. By focusing on realistic, well-defined objectives and regularly reviewing and adjusting them, you can create a sustainable path to personal growth and success. Here's to a productive and fulfilling 2024, with resolutions that truly stick!
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