The January rush to turn into ‘the new you’ has come and gone. Now’s the time to set in motion more realistic goals to enhance your life.

There’s something about the beginning of the new year that motivates us to start January in a strong, clear way. Gyms are full, we commit to adopting healthy eating habits and even muster up the enthusiasm and productivity that sees us doing our best at work, at home and for ourselves. But how long does this last – a day, a week, or at best, a month – before you find yourself sliding back into the old, familiar habits?

While the initial enthusiasm is to be admired, the reality is that you can decide to recommit to your actual goal setting now. You don’t need to wait for another milestone; you just need to commit. And now is as good a time as any.

Make it practical

We’d all love to become millionaires overnight, but goals aren’t wishes. The best way to make them a reality is to be realistic. A simple method that helps you do this is the SMART method. We’ve even added a new twist for those who’ve heard it before.

Make your goals:

  • S – Specific (or Significant)
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful)
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented)
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding)
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable)

This method will go a long way in ensuring that you achieve the things you want for yourself.

Big Picture Thinking

Think of the most important areas of your life and score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each area. As humans, we tend to focus on one or two facets of our lives, so this year set goals for the areas you can see you want to improve to increase your work-life balance, overall wellbeing and productivity.

The areas of your life to consider are:

  • Relationships – romantic, family, social
  • Career and learning aspirations
  • Financial security
  • Physical health/leisure
  • Society and community contributions
  • Mental, emotional and inner wellbeing
  • Spiritual and religious life

To read more, check the information on the Wheel of Life at the MindTools website.

Small changes, big results
If the idea of goal setting makes you feel a bit anxious, it’s important to remember that small changes can lead to big results. For example, if your goal is to lose 5kg and drink less fizzy drinks, small changes – like walking 20 minutes and drinking two litres of water a day – will help you get closer to your goal. If you want to get a promotion, make a point of going the extra mile and documenting the wins and contributions you make to your team – it will better prepare you for your next performance review.

Digital help
These goal-setting and tracking apps will help you stay on track with your goals. Check out each one so that you select the one that fits your needs best.