Setting goals for a new year

The year is almost over. Each year is full of ups and downs so there were definitely some positive moments as well as the struggling times. Was your year more positive or negative? Did you learn anything from these experiences? How are you going to respond in 2017? Now it is the best time to plan it.

All people have resolutions for a new year. Some want to read more books, others want to lose weight. It is a great first step to set goals but you can’t end your process at this point. Most of the people are motivated to change only for few weeks. After the beginning period they come back to old habits and they don’t follow the plan anymore. If you want to be the best version of yourself you have to be different. Each day you have to make some steps that will get you closer to achieving your goals. And this article will show you how to do this.

Before we take any activities to effectively set goals we have to understand why we want the change. Change is mostly related to doing something uncomfortable so being aware of the reason for this change will help us maintain proper attitude and perform specific actions. If you have the right mindset you have a big chance to finish the next year as a better person. If your mindset is wrong even the biggest motivation will collapse.

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Setting goals and achieving them is a meticulous process. Here are the steps you should take to achieve it:

  1. Why do you want to changeThe first question you have to answer is „Why”. Are you doing it for yourself or for your family? Do you want to change for your boss or for your well-being? Answer this question and next steps will be much easier. Make sure that you want the change and you are aware how it can help you. If you do something for someone else it has small chances to last for 365 days.
  1. Analyze your last yearYour goals will be much more effective if you relate them to your past. Analyze your last year and see the areas you would like to improve. Be aware of reasons of your past actions and make sure that you learn from mistakes. It is not about doing everything right – it is about learning from mistakes and getting better at them.
  1. Set long-term and short-term goalsNext year will be spectacular if you will set challenging goals. Firstly, focus on long-term goals e.g for the entire year. It can be reading 20 books, losing 7kg of weight or going to London to watch Wimbledon. After you have your major goals set it is time to set short-term goals that will act as your steps toward the most important things. If you want to read 20 books a year (long-term) you can write down to read 2 books a month. If you want to lose 7kg of weight (long-term) you can use January to create your eating plan and February to implement new changes (short-term).
  1. Prepare for obstaclesLearning from the past you understand that life is not easy. That is why you have to be ready to fight against negative scenarios. Try to write down possible difficulties for own goals and think about solutions that you can apply. If you plan to read 20 pages a day but you have 1-week conference you can read more before to make sure that you won’t stay behind while being away. If you often eat in a hurry and you buy unhealthy products try to prepare food by yourself and take it with you every time you expect a busy working day. The more prepared you are the bigger chance to achieve your goals.
  1. Review your goals consistentlySet dates when you are going to review your goals. If you are happy with results then  continue your good work. If you stay behind with your actions then analyze what the reasons are and implement proper corrections. Year is long so without supervision it is really hard to remember about your resolutions every day and every week.
  1. Use remaindersThe more you remind yourself about your goals the bigger effort you will put to achieve them. Set wallpaper in your laptop that will get you focused on your goals. Set reminders in your phone to make sure that each day you spend some time on working toward your goals. Put sticky notes around your house to make sure that you do something extra when you spend more time at home. Your creativity is limitless. Use easy ways to help yourself becoming a better person.

In my opinion the most important things that decide about effectiveness of your actions are: analysis, setting goals, reviewing goals and motivation. If you will make these 4 actions as your new habit you can be sure that at the end of next year you will be happy of achieving all your goals. Ready? Set. Go!


Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website Marcin has been working with USTA, top 100 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA. 


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