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Firstly, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year, I hope you’ve had a lovely time over the festive period and have plenty of exciting things to look forward to in 2016.

There is a lot of talk at this time of year about New Year’s Resolutions, with promises of giving something up or starting something new to lead a better life. There are some classics like quitting drinking or smoking, eating healthier food, seeing more of our loved ones, or just trying something completely new (one of my resolutions since I can remember has been to become fluent in Spanish…suffice to say, this pipe dream is still just that…a pipe dream).

For the majority of people, a New Year’s resolution will involve some form of challenge or another. If nothing else, just finding the time to undertake a new challenge is hard enough, but finding the motivation to make changes seem to get harder as the year goes on.

One of the easiest ways of making a New Year’s resolution a reality is to set a target, but not just any target. The system that I’ve used for years is by using the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines. Whenever I’m faced with a challenge, I ensure that I set a target or goal that is Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Two of the most underrated of these guidelines are Measurable and Timely but I believe these to be essential for motivation. For example, I wouldn’t set myself a target of “I would like to cycle more in 2016”. A far better target would be more specific, something like, “By the 31st December 2016, I will have cycled 5000 miles”. The latter has a specific target and a specific timescale, this is far more effective.

I also like to add on a fifth element, being Accountable. Being accountable to others is a huge motivator. I was reading recently about a woman who was successful in trying to give up smoking. She’d tried pretty much everything, from patches through to support groups. The single most important factor however, was when she publicly announced to the world on social media that this was her goal. She was accountable to those people and they were the strongest driving force behind her success.

Having organized and lead countless events, I know a fair bit about challenges and how life-changing they can be. I am passionate about helping others achieve and exceed their challenge targets. The fact that many then have the opportunity to raise thousands for charity is a fantastic bonus too!

If you’d like help setting yourself a SMARTA goal for 2016, please get in touch, I’d love to help out!

Here’s to 2016!!!

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