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new year - a picture paints a 1000 words

With the start of a new year, a lot is written and talked about setting goals. The topics are often an opportunity to course-correct particular things which are not as we'd ideally like. From what I see it's important that we find a method for setting goals that work for us. This is so often overlooked and people end up relying on ineffective methods to help them achieve what they want. This leads people to become dishearted because they end up falling short of what they like to achieve. The are many reasons for this and often people blame themselves.

Please stop the blame thing - it doesn't help. Do however have personal accountability for the things you'd like to achieve.

The goal-setting method you chose can help or hinder personal accountability. A popular method is SMART goal setting. Somehow in the early eighties, the SMART method gained traction and to be fair, works for many people. However, I'd argue it really doesn't work for all and for all types of goals. Knowing ourselves and how we generate a commitment to something is worthy of our consideration.

An alternative method that I've seen work brilliantly for some people including myself is the use of pictures and photos. You know when you see a photo flash up on your social media timeline or phone, you are often taken back with all sorts of details flooding into your mind. You can use this same approach for setting goals. Here's how.

Think of something you want to achieve and how it could be visually represented. For example, I want to get back to riding my bike more consistently. I could set all sorts of SMART-type goals for this - frequency of rides, times, distance, etc. Alternatively, I have picked a photo of a place I know I love to ride to which will require a commitment to get my fitness up to going there - the photo is included in this post. Providing I look at this frequently* I know I will do what's needed to get myself doing the right things to reach my goal.

If you are thinking this sounds too simple then try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

* Important to define what frequently means in this context. Leap years are frequent and they happen every four years...

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