We know it’s the end of January, but we want to keep up the momentum from the new year holiday and head into next month inspired and excited to continue our personal and professional improvements.
We’ve dedicated some time compiling a list of inspirational quotes that we will continue to share throughout our social media network.
To supplement that, we wanted to give you some practical suggestions for staying motivated in the new year.
1. Set smart goals
Have you heard of goal-setting theory? One well-tested theory commonly used in project management techniques is that of SMART goal setting. SMART is a mnemonic acronym that helps you fit your goals into specific criteria that are proven to make achieving your goals more likely. SMART goals are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ASSIGNABLE, REALISTIC and TIME-RELATED.
Specific means the goal is focused on a particular area of improvement. Measurable means that improvement can be quantifiably measured. For example, don’t just say you want to learn to play piano, but rather, say, “I want to learn to play five compositions from memory on the piano.” Sometimes coming up with ways to quantify your goals can be difficult, but it makes a difference in tracking your progress. Assignable means any goal needs someone in charge of it. If you are working on a personal goal, it can be helpful to pick someone to be accountable to. Goals must be realistic, so be ambitious, but not too much! Look at the resources available to you and honestly assess what you can get done. And then, set a deadline. Time-related means your goal must have a deadline, and maybe posts along the way.
2. Set personal growth goals that depend on you
Sometimes, we have goals that become unattainable because of factors outside of our own control. You could set a goal to get married and have kids in five years, but the likelihood of achieving said goal is completely dependent on another person fitting into your plans. It’s better to focus your personal growth goals on yourself, and things that are dependent on you. You can certainly spend less money, or change your diet, without depending on someone else going along with you.
You can also seek to manage the risks that might affect your ability to achieve your goal. There is a saying in English that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes, but you can do your best to assess the risks associated with your goal and do what you can to mitigate them. Do you know you’ll have a lot of business meetings out, despite your goal to lose a few pounds? Maybe try to schedule more calls or lunches, and suggest healthy restaurants to meet at. Life can get in the way of a lot of our goals, but that’s the whole reason we set and track them!
3. Get inspired
Leonardo Da Vinci is quoted as saying “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” And so he did! The man created beautiful artwork, participated in politics, and left us with inventions that are still relevant today. He was constantly inspired by nature and the things he saw around him, and we want you to channel that can-do attitude to propel yourself into your projects this year.
One way to do that is to create a vision board. Vision boards are tools that rely on the Law of Attraction to bring good things into your life. The idea is that you identify your wishes and desires for your life, and then actively seek out words or images that represent those things so you can create a board or poster and have a visual reminder of your goals somewhere useful to you. Our brains are very visually stimulated, and seeing an image of your dream can certainly be a great way to motivate you to stick to your goals.
First, plan your board. Think about your values, career goals, family life, love life, health goals, financial desires, and maybe a new skill or self-improvement project you want to take on. Determine whether you want to compartmentalize your goals into multiple boards, and purchase the materials to build your board. Then begin collected images or words from different sources such as newspapers, magazines, images or quotes you find online, photographs, book pages, brochures, etc. Images are especially powerful for this exercise. Then, set aside some time and space to really give your board some thought and construct a useful tool that will have you visualizing your goals on a continued basis to keep you focused and inspired.
We’d love to hear about your goals for 2019, and are happy to help in any way we can. Let us know what projects you’re taking on!