Goals aren’t just for the New Year. Throughout our life, they are a great way of helping to keep us motivated to achieve our dreams and sought-after plans. Making goals is easy, but sticking to them takes a little more work. A good analogy compares accomplishing your goals to flying a plane. We have the destination in mind, but in order to reach it, we’ll have to constantly adjust our journey in response to turbulence along the way. As we all know, it can be very easy to get blown off course! Our handy guide is here to offer some helpful tips and tricks to help you stay on track with your goals, no matter how big or far away they seem!
It can be tempting to turn goals into wish lists - giving ourselves a huge list of things we’d love to achieve. However, this makes it much harder to stay on track with our goals, especially when things get difficult. Keeping your list of goals short and sweet will prevent you from getting overwhelmed, and will no doubt help you focus on the most important things. You’ll be much more likely to accomplish goals when you can channel your time and energy into a few of them, rather than spreading yourself too thin over too many options.
Quantifying your goals makes it much easier to see how far you are progressing, helping you stay motivated and focused. What do we mean by quantifying them? For example, rather than setting the goal of ‘losing weight by December’, change that to ‘losing x Ibs before December’. Instead of ‘learn the guitar’, change that to ‘learn X song/chords’. This is really important when it comes to planning the steps you’ll need to take to achieve that goal. If it’s turning out to be too difficult a task, you can adjust the measurement to something more realistic, without feeling like you’ve failed. Always remember that adjusting to the journey is an important part of being able to reach the destination!
This may sound like a cliche, but studies repeatedly show that people who write their goals down are much more likely to accomplish them. Whether in a journal, on a whiteboard or in the back of your diary, the physical process of writing down your goals lets your brain know that this is important information to retain. Putting this list somewhere prominent as an everyday reminder is another way of keeping your goals fresh in your mind, making you much more likely to take steps to achieve them.
Get into the habit of working towards your goal every single day, no matter how small or insignificant the task may seem. This could be researching new running routes, planning weekly meals or simply reminding yourself of the finishing line. These small actions will accumulate and you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to accomplish goals when you incorporate them into your everyday life. Review your goals every month to help you keep track of how far you’ve come - this is just as important as seeing how far you have left to go.