When you think about typical goals people set around this time of year, like loosing weight or getting healthy, it can be discouraging if you have a large goal to hit. It takes time to undo a lifetime, or at least years, of bad choices. But you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in 3-6 months if you’re committed and take consistent action.
You CAN make a huge change in your life in just half a year. This is enough time to make good progress without being overwhelmed by a huge goal like, “I want to be worth $2 million in five years.” Six months is manageable.
Use these strategies to change your life in just six months:
1. Set four goals. Set a goal in each of the following areas: Financial, Health, Career, and Other. Most of us set goals in areas of money, health, or career. That leaves one miscellaneous goal. Choose from family, friends, faith, or fun.
◦ Financial. You might want to set a goal for your investments for the future, current income, or to pay off your debt.
◦ Health. Need to lose a few pounds? Want to improve your stamina? Interested in shifting to a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable?
◦ Career. Perhaps you want a promotion, to change companies, or to change fields.
◦ Miscellaneous. You could set a goal to travel somewhere, spend quality time with friends, deepen your relationship with your spouse, or reconnect and deepen your faith. The possibilities are endless.
A good goal is something that you believe is possible but would be challenging. It should also be something that makes you excited when you think about achieving it and something you can measure to see how close you are to achieving it.
2. Measure your current situation. Understand where you’re starting. If you want to reduce your debt, you need to know how much you have right now. The same goes for your weight if you’re trying to lose weight. If you want to run a 5-minute mile, how fast can you run a mile right now? If you want to shift to healthier lifestyle, what things do you do now that you need to change or do better.
3. Create a plan. Based on where you are, and where you want to go, what is a logical plan to get there? Remember that you have six months and plan accordingly. If it's helpful, break it down by half way at 3 months and again to each month. Those are your stair step goals.
4. Determine the habits you need to ensure success. If you want to lose weight, your exercise and diet habits are important. Setting a monthly budget is important for financial goals. Sending out resumes or getting new training might be important for certain career goals.
◦ Your habits have a tremendous impact on the results you achieve in life. Good habits yield good results.
5. Take action. Even with the best plans in the world, nothing happens until you take action to reach your goals. Every night before bed write down 3 steps you can take the next day to get you closer to your goals. You can take that even farther and actually block time in your calendar to do them.
6. Keep a journal. Record your feelings, plans, ideas, results, and observations. This can give you insight on what is working or what isn't. Then you can shift strategy if needed.
7. Measure your progress. Regularly measure your progress. It’s important to know how you’re doing, so you can make any adjustments. Are you running your mile faster? Can you see the debt going down each month?
8. Be flexible in your approach. You’re probably not going to create the perfect plan right out of the gate. There will be a lot of fine tuning along the way. Stick to your goals but be willing to change how you accomplish them. It's ok to need to get more information and ask someone who has made it to where you want to be, how they got there.
9. Cross the finish line. Giving up is the only way to fail. Keep going. When you feel like quitting- think back to why you started and why you set that goal. Remembering your why will give you motivation to get back to it.
What can you accomplish in six months? Take a guess and see if you’re right! You can do a lot in six months. In fact, you can probably accomplish more in the next six months than you have in the last five years once you start taking action everyday.
It’s easy to fall into a routine that does little more than maintain your life. You can do much better! Set a few goals and work hard for just six months. This will take discipline, realistic expectations, effort, and perseverance. But you’ll be pleased with the results. And achieving that much will inspire you to do more.
This is part of what I help my clients with in my 12 week coaching program.
If this is something you’d like to pursue as 2021 winds down, contact me and we can jump on a 15 minute phone call to see if working together on your goals is a good fit.