New Year, New You

A guide to goal setting

By Karen Pambianchi, CLC January 1, 2020

As we ring in 2020 there will no doubt be lots of conversations about New Year’s resolutions and goals for the coming year. What can you do differently this year to set realistic goals for yourself to make improvements in the new year? And more importantly, how can you hold yourself accountable to actually make the change? Here are 5 steps to setting your resolution and achieving your goals.

1. Pick something that matters to you

Just because everyone else says they are going to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to. Sure if that is what really matters to you by all means but maybe that is not at the top of your list this year. Maybe you want to focus on spending more quality time as a family, maybe you want to work on your career, or maybe you want to pick up a new hobby. Whatever it is, make sure it’s important to YOU, not just to everyone else. 

2. Articulate your WHY

Now that you have picked something important to you, can you explain to someone else why it’s important to you? If you can’t, it may not be that important after all. Articulating WHY a particular goal is important is a huge step in helping you follow through on achieving this goal. It’s something you will visualize and revisit when life gets in the way. 

3. Quantify your goal

If you set a goal with no parameters it will be hard to measure your success. Since this is your goal, you get to pick the measurements. Be sure they are challenging yet realistic and measurable. Also make sure they are measured in a way that works for you. For example, if you want to spend more quality time with your family - you could say 3 hours every day but that might be not be realistic. You could also say 2 dedicated activities a week - giving you flexibility on how much time that means based on the activity. Also consider what qualifies as ‘quality family time’ - set the boundaries for yourself ahead of time so you can easily follow them in the moment.

4. Identify potential roadblocks

While you can’t possibly predict everything that might get in your way, think about the things you can predict that might interfere with your success in reaching your goal. With the top few potential culprits in mind, think about some possible solutions so you can be prepared to combat the roadblock before it interferes. For example, if you want to work out and your sitter cancels, have a few backups, use the child care at the gym, find an at home workout, or take your kids for a walk/run with you. It won’t cover you 100% but it will minimize the times you get derailed because life happened. 

5. Share your goal

I don’t mean quickly post to your Instagram account although you certainly can do that too. Start with having a conversation with someone who cares about you and tell them your goal, talk about why it’s important to you and how you hope to implement it. Sharing this goal will help you really articulate the goal even further but also make you more likely to follow through since someone else knows you are working on it. Maybe choose a friend or family member who wouldn’t mind asking you about it in a few months to help hold you accountable. 

Don’t forget to enjoy the journey of working toward your goal. It’s not always about the end result, though it always feels good to accomplish something you set out to do.

Karen Pambianchi, CLC, is a certified life coach and founder of Swift Water Life Coach, LLC. She lives in Merrimac, MA with her husband John and their children, Leo and Avalyse. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Providence College where she began developing her coaching skills as a resident assistant. Through her career in event planning and marketing she has been focused on helping people self-identify their needs and goals and working alongside them to reach a successful outcome. 

She now works with clients through transitions or on self improvement with thoughtful conversations that through self-discovery help clients uncover their goals, the skills they have to achieve those goals, and an action plan to get there, all with judgement-free accountability. 

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