Gemma McCaw on how to kick-start your goals with positive new habits

Simple tips to help keep your eyes on prize.

By Gemma McCaw
Like a good old-fashioned spring clean of your home, the change of season is a great time to get rid of things that are weighing you down and set new goals.
People who make goals and achieve them are often happier and more successful in all areas of life, including marriage, friendships, career and health.
Establishing good habits helps us achieve our goals and it all begins with the decision to start. Ask yourself, what do I need to start doing, what do I need to keep doing and what do I need to stop doing? And are my habits on par with my dreams?

Set meaningful goals

Think about what it is you want to start and why.
If we attach meaning to our goals, we are more likely to achieve them.
The most motivating goals are ones that align with your "why".

Play to your strengths

Identify what you're good at and use it to achieve what you want.
Research shows that focusing on your strengths increases motivation and enjoyment.
It's natural to concentrate on your weaknesses, but it's not always effective for growth or motivation.

Believe in yourself

Sometimes we all have that little voice in our head saying "I can't", but when it comes to achieving goals, it's essential to change this to "I can".
Adopting a growth mindset that sees challenges as opportunities, and understanding that skills and abilities are not fixed, really makes the world your oyster.

Take small steps

Break your goal down and identify milestones along the way to celebrate the small improvements.
Often it's hard to see big changes as you are working towards your goals, but having key markers will show you how far you've come.

Share your dreams

When we tell someone about our goals, they're likely to support us in our pursuit.
Having people ask how we are tracking also gives us a renewed sense of accountability. Plus, it always helps to have some cheerleaders in your corner encouraging you, even when things get tough!

Think positive

Use positive language when you think about your goals.
Rather than "I want to lose weight", how about "I want to get fitter and healthier to enjoy my summer holiday"?
Attaching a positive orientation to the goal makes you more likely to achieve it, rather than avoid it. Work for what you want, not what you want to leave behind.

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