Usually goal setting happens at the end of a week/year. The cliché is that everyone starts goals/changes on a Monday, or at new year. However, there is a huge difference between setting and achieving your goals.
Gyms are regularly filled up in January and February and then as the year goes on it gets a bit quieter. Those with more motivation, determination and dedication stay the longest. Most people will set goals for January/the following Monday but then give up quickly because of small set backs or barriers to overcome. This is something I will admit to have done MANY times, I think most people have experience in this area.
What goals have you previously set? Were you successful? Why/why not?
I’m sure you have read in many different articles, or heard on podcasts, that it takes 21 days to set a new habit (or break a bad one), yet so often we give up within the first 14. The following tips may not be new to you but if you are goal setting and motivated to achieve them, these can really help.
1 – Stretch goals
Think of your goal. Why are you setting it? What would you gain from achieving your goal (or lose by not)?
Think of the big picture. Is your ultimate goal so big it terrifies you? Great! We don’t get far when we stay within our comfort zones.
If your goal is related to fitness/wellbeing, what is your ultimate aim? To reach a certain weight? Do a certain amount of pull ups? Run a marathon?
What is your dream? To run your own business, travel the world, change careers?
Think of the biggest target, THAT is the stretch goal. Now you can break it up into smaller more manageable (and less scary) yearly, monthly and daily goals.
2 – Achieving your goals using SMART rules
Once you have your stretch goal and broken it into bite sized chunks you also need to check that your goal is ‘smart’; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
Make sure you goal is specific. Rather than I want to reduce single use plastic in my life, work out what specific steps you will take to make that happen.
Your goals should always be measurable. It means you can see how well you are doing and celebrate your wins, but also if you’re falling behind it’s good to see how quickly you can pick it back up again or work out a better way of achieving your goal/s.
Although I said make a stretch goal that is terrifyingly huge, it does need to be something achievable.
Do not be disheartened though, if you want something enough you will be able to find a way to achieve it. There is always something to help, it could be attending training courses, networking events, getting a business loan, budgeting your finances better to pay for your dream holiday etc. Whatever it takes to get you closer to your goal. You will know if it is something achievable once you start breaking it down and starting your journey.
Is you goal relevant to you? Does it align with your morals and values or are you just following a trend? The goals you set should be authentic to you, do not set goals you are not passionate about or that are for unhealthy reasons. Make your life the best it can be, don’t pressure yourself to look or act the same as everyone else to fit in. Be yourself and you will attract the people you were meant to connect with, no matter how long it takes.
Give yourself a time limit. This will help with motivation and accountability. Set yourself a timed goal but also targets for each year, month, week and maybe even each day to help you toward achieving your goals.
3 – Write it down
Writing goals down, telling others about them and having reminds that you see regularly all help with accountability. This in turn makes you more likely to keep going and find success rather than giving up at the first hurdle.
If writing it down doesn’t hold you accountable, how about finding a friend or family member who can hold you accountable. Regular check ins, motivating you when you have a set back, maybe even sharing the same goal. Accountability buddies/partners/groups can be very useful when everyone is actively playing their part.
4 – Achieving your goals with your routines
Getting into routines always helps me with sticking to a goal for longer. I have routines for most things as I love a good list. Morning routines help to set you up for the day and following things like the Miracle Morning can really help to optimise your day. Evening/after work routines can help to segment your day to allow for work, rest, self care, socialising and working on your own projects by setting aside time in your day/week. Personally I also have cleaning routines during the week so that I have the weekends free from chores. However, you do what’s best for you, to help fit your goals/target schedule around your other commitments.
Over to you
What other tips have worked for you?
How do you keep motivated when things get tough?
What books/podcasts/media have helped you with goal setting?
How do you decide which goals to focus on?
No matter what your goal, I wish you all the best in getting closer to living your dream life.