Written By Tara Lehman Copyright 2019
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you have a goal you are working on? Then we have the acronym for you! G.O.A.L and it stands for Goal, Opportunity, Apply/Action and Learn.
G is for Goal. Everyone makes them, especially at New Year’s but only about 30% of those who actually make a New Year’s resolution or goal actually achieve them. Why? For many reasons – some may not have a goal that makes sense, perhaps they felt they failed and gave up, maybe it was too big a goal for them and they felt overwhelmed. When setting a Goal, make sure it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Resources, and Time Bound. If your goal is to eat more vegetables this year, make this a SMART goal. Let’s change this goal to be: I am going to eat more vegetables daily so half my dinner plate is vegetables and I will try 1 new vegetable every week. Is this Goal now SMART? It is very Specific, it is Measurable (I can measure it by my plate being half covered vegetables and by trying 1 new one every week), it certainly is Attainable as vegetables are available at all grocery stores, it is very Realistic for me and Resourced (meaning there are different vegetables and I will try new ones) and it is based on Time (daily and weekly goals).
O is for Opportunity. You have your SMART goal all set, so now is the time to take the Opportunity to start working on it. Discover and brainstorm ways you can make this happen. Try looking at a SWOT analysis. You review your Strengths – for this it may be that I happen to have a great internet site that helps me discover new vegetables and is clear about how to prepare them. Then review your Weaknesses – perhaps I dislike the taste of many vegetables such as brussel sprouts. Then review your Opportunities based on your strengths and not your Weakness. For example, I don’t have to eat brussel sprouts as there are many other green vegetables I can chose from. Lastly is the Threats – perhaps I am allergic to bell peppers. For the Threats, in this example, you would need to stay away from certain vegetables when making your dish or eating out. Not sure your great at brainstorming Opportunities? Ask a friend for help, search online, buy a book – the Opportunities are endless.
A is for Action or Apply. Here we are looking at what our Opportunities were that we brainstormed, and we create an Action plan to reach our goals and we Apply and put into our Action plan. The Action plan can be smaller, simple goals to help you achieve your larger Goal. Perhaps we decided an Opportunity was to join a local cooking class so we can better understand how to prepare vegetables, and to get some new ideas. Our Action plan would be quite simple: ensure I have the funds to join and then sign up. Once you sign up, tell someone about you going to the class or post it on your social media page – you are much more likely to Apply your Action plan and do what you have set out to accomplish if others know about it (holding yourself accountable). Now all you need to do is go to the cooking class and you have Applied your Action. You can do this process (setting smaller goals, finding a way to hold yourself accountable) for any smaller goals you set to improve your vegetable eating habits, as in this example.
L is for learn. This is where, if we fail or “fall of the wagon” we need to get back up and not give up. We need to review what worked and what did not work. Why did we “fail”? I hate the word “fail” and “failure” as I see this as too negative. Every time we do not achieve our goal, we need to review it and try, try again. For the smaller Actions that worked, we need to keep moving forward with them and reviewing them from time to time to ensure they are still working well and tweak them when needed. For the smaller Actions where we feel we did not achieve what we set out to (failed), we must remember that success usually happens this way (with “failures”). What I mean by this, is that if we “fail” or do not meet our Goal, we need to see why, make a new Action plan and try again. Doing this will assist us in ensuring we are learning from what did not work, making some improvements and trying again until we succeed.
Goal, Opportunity, Action/Apply and Learn and a great Life Coach are all you need to make your goal or New Year’s resolution stick and be achieved or even refined. If you “fail” or “fall off the wagon”, consider it a great Opportunity to Learn from, so you can update your Goal and put a new plan of Action into place for your success. If you need some accountability or help, that is where we come in.
Remember: You’ve Got This!