In our last post, How to Achieve Your Goals in 2019, we talked about the process of setting SMART goals, and why these are necessary for achieving your 2019 resolutions. However, even with SMART goals, it is possible to end up with a drawer full of good intentions and regrets at not achieving what you set out to do. You need to focus on turning your goals into a process.
With the New Year comes so much hope and motivation to make this year finally the year you make those needed changes. But how do we make this actually happen? How do you end 2019 leading the life you want, instead of wishing for more changes?
It is all about the process.
Turning Your Goals into a Process
To be 100% honest, this is not the sexy side of goal setting. Whenever you achieve any amount of success, your brain releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine. This helps you continue to chase more success down the line, but there is a negative side, too. You release dopamine just by setting goals. This means that SMART goal you just set makes you feel accomplished – even though you frankly haven’t accomplished anything yet.
Setting a process solves this problem
You won’t ever achieve your goal unless you set action steps to make it happen. Let’s take the example of becoming more financially stable as our resolution to prove this point.
According to Statista, saving more money is tied with eating healthier and exercising more as the number 1 New Year resolution. Great, so you want to save more money this year – excellent goal. How will you ensure this happens?
Many people will set that goal, and then not do anything to create the environment which allows the goal to happen. For finances, this means you may check your credit card spending every month, but you haven’t done anything to ensure you don’t spend outside of your budget.
Example process to save more
- Establish a budget. If you don’t know how much you can spend on things such as restaurants and shopping, you’re bound to go overboard. Add up your income, put in your fixed expenses, and then put variable expenses into their buckets. That’s your budget.
- Create a measuring system. Dave Ramsey, an expert on saving and financial stability, talks about using only cash and putting it in individual envelopes as a way to make sure you maintain control of your income. For so many people, this is a great process. But, maybe for you, it is unrealistic to carry around cash. You can still use this method! Grab a package of envelopes, put the amount of money you can spend in each area on an individual envelope, and then put all your receipts in their correct spot. You can add it up weekly and make sure you’re staying on budget.
- Do a monthly review. Is your original budget appropriate? If you’ve set a budget which doesn’t actually fit your income and expenses, this process will fail. Each month, get your bank statement and see if you are accurate in your income and spending. Especially in the world of the gig economy, you can have variety in your income, so be careful to make sure you’re tracking any variables closely.
Now it’s your turn. What goals can you make happen with a process?
We’ve just given an example for financial stability, and as a health-focused company we know many of you are really focused on making 2019 your healthiest year yet. What sort of health related goals can you tackle in the same way?
If you’re trying to lose weight, how can you turn the goal of eating healthier and exercising into a process? How can you measure this? How will you make sure it is working with a monthly review?
The great part about turning your goals into a process is that it takes the stress of achievement off your back. If you follow the process, the result takes care of itself. You get the abs you’ve been looking for. You have the energy to play with your kids. You get out from under that looming debt. All you have to do is commit, and make it a process.