How To…Set and Reach Goals
How To…Set and Reach Goals
New Year’s is a time we are so focused on goal setting and setting resolutions for the coming year. While I don’t particularly believe in resolutions because they’re typically short lived, I do firmly believe in goals and action plans. As you’re making goals for the upcoming year there are a few things I want you to keep in mind.
1. Set realistic goals for yourself
The biggest culprit to unmet goals is setting unrealistic or drastic goals for your life. When setting goals, it’s okay to make baby steps in a positive direction and focusing on implementing lifestyle changes. If your goal is to lose weight, don’t start with a goal of losing 30 lbs in one month. Instead focus on creating better eating habits and working out as a regular part of your lifestyle. Within the bigger goal, make sure there are smaller achievable steps that align with your goal but gives you successes along the way.
2. Accountability is key
With every goal I’ve achieved, there has been accountability in place to ensure these goals are in place. If you are unable to hold yourself accountable, share your goals with others and ask them to hold you accountable. When you know someone is going to be following up and checking in on your progress, it will push you to have positive results to share. Give people in your life permission to hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set for yourself. At one point in my life I had a financial, career, business, spiritual, overall life, and relationship accountability partners. These people were invested in those parts of my life and encouraged me to stick to the goals I had set for myself, especially in those times I got discouraged.
3. Set measurable benchmarks
It’s great to have big goals, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! I’m also encouraging you to have smaller and measurable goals to achieve along the way to serve as benchmarks. This will help you stay motivated and see tangible results in your progress, which will create momentum for the next goals. Personally I like to start with the smaller/easier goals to get more things crossed off my list so I could see some results. When I was aggressively tackling my debt, I wrote all of my debts down first and started with the smallest bills and worked my way up. Every time I was able to cross something off my list, it gave me motivation to tackle the next thing.
4. JUST. DO. IT.
Your goals are simply dreams if you don’t put any action behind them. You can have the most elaborate ideas, come up with the most effective action plans, but if you don’t put in the work it’s simply a waste of time/energy. Nothing is more frustrating than someone who’s always talking about these great ideas and getting input from those around them…but they never follow through. To those who contributed input, it feels like a waste of their time, and it makes them feel like ‘what’s the point’. And eventually you’ll become like the boy who cried wolf, and no one wants to be like that guy. So talk less and do more! For this very reason, I don’t like to talk much about ideas I’m not currently putting action behind because I want to make sure that whatever I say I’m going to do…I do!
5. Celebrate small victories
I absolutely love celebrating small victories, although I will admit this isn’t my norm. Sometimes I have to be reminded to stop and appreciate the progress I’ve made towards certain goals, but I’m always willing to do so. Celebrating these accomplishments (regardless of how small) are important because it gives you excitement towards the next goals. I also feel it contributes to your self-love by acknowledging the good you have going in your life. Far too often we only see what we need to improve in life, spend more time focusing on what you have already improved.
* BONUS * Write it down!
One thing that’s helped me along the way is having goals written down. I have a white board on my wall and different things tapped to my wall to help me stay focused on the goals I want to achieve. Crossing different goals off my list are the greatest motivation and serves as a great reminder to that I’m making progress along the way. I also put different inspirational messages on my mirror to help me stay motivated, because I’ve learned that what you see regularly begins to happen. If my goals weren’t on my bedroom wall, it’s possible I would forget some of them or they would fall by the wayside over time. Don’t let your New Year’s Resolutions die in February…