A friend and I were recently chatting about how difficult it can be to achieve goals. We shared on how busy our lives were, how challenging it can be to maintain balance, and fear of starting something new. Having different goals, we felt it wasn’t necessarily about the type of goal but the paths we were taking.
So I began to think; I’ve got goals (too many goals to be honest), and you’ve got goals (probably too many too), so let’s get inspired to achieve them! Today’s blog shares steps I’ve found helpful. From personal fitness, career goals and more, these steps have been pillars to various recent achievements.
Here we go…
Step 1: The brain dump. Reduce your risk of becoming overwhelmed by talking them out with a loved one, jotting down a list, keeping a journal; whatever helps you visualize your goals. Hint: the most important ones tend to surface first.
Step 2: Choose a goal to focus on. Now that you’ve visualized your goals, which one stands out to you the most? Have you been trying to pursue something for a while but it just keeps getting pushed back? It’s time to finally give it some love and attention.
Step 3: Think about what you really want to achieve. Let’s jump ahead for a second – picture yourself achieving this goal, has this achievement fulfilled a void? Or, do you feel stressed and unfulfilled? It’s good to push yourself and go outside your comfort zone but you want to ensure that the end result is in pursuit of your happiness, your goal, your life.
Step 4: Think and plan for the short & long term. You’ve visualized your goals, you’ve made one or two a priority, you’ve got good vibes, now it’s time to think short and long term milestones. For example, if the goal is in 6 months (or less) to gain better eating habits to decrease a health risk (i.e. high cholesterol) and you’ve had poor eating habits for years, a short term milestone could be to reduce consumption of high cholesterol food items in the first 2 months, where the long-term milestone would be to eliminate all high cholesterol food items within 4 months.
Step 5: Use these milestones to develop a commitment strategy. Planning where you want to be short and long term helps provide a sense of structure. Good ol’ structure, that thing that requires hard work but helps keep us in line… yea that ol’ thing. With structure comes a willingness to commit and with this you can develop a strategy (a.k.a plan of attack). Are you an avid calendar user, planner, long-term forecaster? Whatever the case, use your skills, or be open to gaining new skills to develop and outline a commitment strategy. Tip: There are a number of free online goal setting templates, calendars, and resources that can help outline your strategy.
Step 6: Make your move. It’s time! By this step you’ve talked it out, thought it out, planned it out, and now it’s time to make your move. Don’t be afraid to fail the first few times, it’s a work in progress. Stay optimistic and utilize that well thought out commitment strategy.
Step 7: Reflect on your progress and plan. Remember those short and long term milestones you sought out in Step 4? Regularly reflect on your original time frames. Where are you now? How far have you come? Jot down steps you’ve taken that have helped and steps you still want to achieve. Don’t let a few delays or mishaps sway your motivation – it happens; reflect and adapt to suit your pursuit (rhyme not intentional!).
Step 8: Tailor. Like a crisp Armani suit, tailor your approach and steps to fit the needs of your goal. You may find a few months down the road that something is not working as well as you had hoped or planned. Reach out to your network, do research, chat with a friend, find ways to adjust and learn in the process to A – keep you on your toes and B – keep your goal in check.
Step 9: Ignore any negativity. This step is a big one. Sadly, negativity is everywhere and can hinder your progress. When it comes to criticism, stay clear of pessimist individuals who don’t know where to draw the line. Constructive feedback is helpful but your heart can tell when particular feedback doesn’t feel right. Be strong and stay true to yourself.
I’d love to hear about goals you’ve been trying to achieve and steps you’ve found helpful. Also, what helps you keep motivated? Share in the comment section or with me on social media.
Helping you put Wellness 1st,