As I mentioned in my previous article, I love a New Year, I love setting new goals, reflecting on the previous year, and generally planning ahead, there’s just something so refreshing about it. We all want the year ahead to be a happy, healthy and prosperous one, of course, and I’m fully aware that things don’t always go to plan, but I’m also a strong believer that planning is key, you must plan and focus on how you want YOUR 2019 to look. Think of it like an athlete, in order to excel or be the best, you must plan and stay focused.

In my opinion, it’s good to have short, medium and long term goals for the year ahead. A short-term goal is often something that can be done with immediate effect, or with little or no planning, for example, one of my short-term goals is to drink a glass of lemon water every morning before I have a coffee and my other is to consume less meat. A medium goal is usually from two months onwards, mine are to go the gym more often and run at least twice a week, increasing my mileage appropriately, a long-term goal is often of the back of your medium goal, for example, my long term goal is to participate in an organised run (I haven’t yet decided the distance). 

You may be wondering why I’ve just told you my goals? It’s because I’m a strong believer in sharing your goals, that way your friends and family can encourage and support you.

Three rules I set when I plan goals are:

1.    REMIND YOURSELF: Set reminders, write notes, anything to remind yourself of your goals.

2.    CELEBRATE: Every single time you accomplish a goal or even make a step towards doing so, and tell someone!

3.    SHARE: As I said above, tell your friends and family your goals. Once they know, they’ll be sure to be rooting for you.

Ok so that’s your 2019 goals set, but as we all know too well, the hardest part is sticking to them, it can be so easy to lose track of the goals and year we envisioned, and easily find ourselves settling back to our everyday routines, trust me, I’ve been there. Below are my six top tips for helping you stay on track, and keeping your eye on those all-important 2019 goals:

1 - Surround yourself with positive people

Rule number one and in my opinion, the most important. It’s so easy to be influenced by the people around us, especially those that are close to us. But if those people don’t bring out the best in you, make you feel good about yourself and help you to realise your potential, try to spend as little time with them as possible, if at all, simple.

If you want to be positive, happy, and achieve greater success in your life, who you spend your time with plays an important role.

2 - Set realistic goals

 One of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to setting (and not achieving) a resolution or a goal is that we simply set unrealistic goals. For example, don’t set the goal of going the gym five days a week immediately if you know this is totally unrealistic. Maybe that’s a goal for the future, but my advice is to start smaller and step it up if you need to. If you take the time to make your goals manageable, it’ll makes the process more enjoyable and you’ll get better results. 

3 - Reflect

Before the years out, take a moment to reflect on 2018 and ask yourself the following: What did you do well? What are you most proud of? What did you not get around to doing that you would like to do in 2019? Did anything/anyone make you unhappy? Why? This will inevitably help you stay focused on your 2019 goals and encourage you to stick to them.

4 - Make your goals a habit or a routine

For example, one of my short-term goals is to drink a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. The easiest way to change a habit or behavior is to attach it to one that is already established, so I’ll do this immediately after I brush my teeth.

One popular method to build a habit is the 21/90 rule. This rule suggests that if you commit to a personal goal for 21 straight days, after three weeks, the pursuit of that goal should become a habit. Once you've established that habit, you then continue to do it for another ninety days. Give it a try!

5 - Have a partner

Having a partner on the same journey is great, especially if they’re actively helping you achieve your goals as you’re engaged with someone committed to your success. I’m lucky enough to have my sister joining me on the running journey, both emotionally and physically.

A common New Year’s Resolution is to set yourself the goal of going to the gym a certain amount of times a week. They’ll be days when you don’t feel up to it and having a partner to encourage you will make all the difference and motivate you.

6 - Start with the end in mind

Future thinking will help. Think about a friend asking you how your year has been at the end of 2019. Think about how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved your goals, how good you’ll feel if you’ve been successful.

So, there you have it, my six top tips to help you on your way to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2019. I hope you achieve everything you set out to, and remember if you fall at any hurdle, it’s ok, pick yourself up and go again, not every journey is smooth riding, most journeys have a bump or two.

Nicole Clewer