Monday, January 9, 2012

Goal Setting for the New Year - Staying on Track

By Guest Blogger Melanie Bowen:

For many, the start of a new year means new beginnings and new resolutions to undertake. To help improve quality of life, having tangible goals and putting your thoughts into words is crucial to crystallizing intent and helping ensure that you follow through with your dreams.

Writing down a goal helps it become more concrete. For example, a familiar New Year's resolution for many people is, "I want to lose weight." However, many people fail to write down this mantra. Over time, it is easy to become distracted. Writing this goal down somewhere you will look at it every day is a better way to remind yourself of your dream.

Blogging is a great way to start the process. With virtually the entire Internet as your audience, you are more accountable to upholding your promises. The support you can receive from followers on the road to achieving your goal can be overwhelming and help you face odds with determination and confidence even through difficult setbacks. For example, for people suffering from rare cancers like mesothelioma to a more common disorder like diabetes, the love and support that an unexpected community can provide can be the push one needs to make it through any prognosis.

Here are some easy ways to start the process:

- Write down your goals on paper. This will help you create concrete objectives so you can accomplish your goals.

- Be specific. Set goals for yourself that are realistic and obtainable, the more specific the better. For example, "I will take one hour out of each day for myself" is more realistic than "I will make sure to have free time."

- Set a period of time in which to accomplish your goal.

- Share your goals! Communicating with others will help you feel accountable to yourself. Once you finish them, the support and encouragement you get will continue to spur you on.

As you begin to accomplish your goals, your quality of life will improve. This method works not only for resolutions like weight loss, but also for overall lifestyle improvements. Are there things you've always wanted to do, or places you've always wanted to go? Make a list. Put the ideas into concrete words. This will reinforce the desire to accomplish those things, and soon you will feel empowered and strong enough to do anything.

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