We can all have lofty ideas of what we want our lives to look like, where we want to be someday and things we want to accomplish. The world we live in evolves at such a fast pace that it is only natural to want to adapt with it. But why is it sometimes so difficult to make these goals so sticky that we have no choice but to stick to them? Our hopes and dreams don’t have to be lofty, we don’t have to look back a year ago and say ‘if only I had done that, I would be where I wanted to be today’. Sometimes we get so caught up in the present or the past, that we cannot commit to improving ourselves for the future. However, if we have a vision, an organized approach and discipline, achieving our goals doesn’t have to be that hard.
It is perfect timing to have this conversation as we are soon approaching a New Year and as an almost tradition, that means time for our 2019 New Year's Resolutions.
So how does one exactly go about making goals, and goals sticky enough that they will be obtained? Today, I’ve outlined some basics that I believe are necessary to plan out goals and stick to them. I would like to warn you in advance that the below information is super inspiring with a hint of corniness because who doesn’t love some inspirational quotes am I right?!
Just Do It (Sorry, had to)
This right here. This is one of the most solid pieces of advice that I have come across in any aspect of my life but is specifically important in this context. Yes, I am writing this article just before the New Year, but it doesn’t mean you need to wait until January 1st to act on the goals. It also doesn’t mean that if you’re delayed in getting around to this that you need to wait until 2020 to make ‘New Year’ resolutions. You can start whenever you want, but just make sure you do it. Let’s move on to how we can do it now.
Mark Victor Hansen stated: “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands - your own”. So put the pencil to the pad and let's get moving shall we?
There are many different ways you can write down your goals and organize them, but I have outlined below my two simple ways to goal set. Try them out and see if they work for you:
Short-term goals to get to your long-term goal
Write down where you want to be in ‘X’ years and then set mini goals to achieve those monster ones within ‘X’ months or weeks
Organize these in an excel document and then record and upkeep them in your daily or weekly journal
Categorize your goals
Get overwhelmed by all of your BIG goals? They should scare you, but not cause you anxiety. This is where organization comes in handy. Start placing them into tiny buckets such as the following but do what works for you: career, health, fitness, social, travel, finance, other.
You can then attach small and large goals per category
Set dates, deadlines and KPIs
What plan is ever complete without some timing and key performance indicators to keep you on track. If you write down goals but don’t actually put together a clear and concise action plan, you are basically setting yourself up for failure. Don’t forget that when you are laying out your short and long-term goals, that you have clear and concise timing associated with it. If there is a specific goal you want to achieve within 14 months, there are going to be boxes that need to be ticked along the way. Throw together an excel document that you can reference when you do check-ins. You need to think of this as your personal growth which should be treated just the same as your career growth with your manager, but this time you’re your manager!
Let’s not forget about those KPIs - Key Performance Indicators. Be as specific as possible with your goals. Don’t just say you want a new job, list out what title you want, salary and work culture. That way, it will be super simple to know exactly once that goal is achieved.
It is easy to let life get in the way of our goals, especially if they’re ambitious and we are overworked. Be kind to yourself and let yourself take a break when your mind and body need it, but don’t sabotage yourself. Let’s look at an example of a healthy break: You had a networking event but have been feeling sick and tired so you go home to have a bath and sleep. Now here is an example of an unhealthy break: You are trying to stay healthy and eat properly for your body but you are craving sugar and go and eat pizza, ice cream and unhealthy food all weekend where you feel tired and sick after. Staying committed doesn't mean that you never take a break, it just means that you listen to your mind and body and do what's right for yourself. But just remember, you are the master of your own destiny, your biggest fan and ultimately the only one who has the power to control your future. Stay committed for YOU, reach your goals for YOU and don’t give up for YOU. You’re worth the investment.
This is key. We as humans have to constantly evolve to our changing environments, which means that our goals will have to as well. This is where doing check-ins and recording our progress is very important. So go with the flow and adjust where needed, just make sure you are being honest and not making excuses. I find that by constantly checking in with my goals and writing my progress that I am still very dedicated to the end results but that sometimes the way I achieve them just need to change and that is a-okay!
Enjoy the ride
“The reason you want every single thing that you want is because you think you will feel really good when you get there. But, if you don’t feel really good on your way there, you can’t get there. You have to be satisfied with what-is while you're reaching for more” - Abraham-Hicks. This quote hit home with me. We are all a masterpiece in the making and need to appreciate the beauty that progress is. Don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t where you want to be right now if you were already where you wanted to be then there would be no need for goals right? Be kind to yourself, be proud of yourself and constantly reassure yourself that you are doing the best you can.
Besides tracking goals, it is great to write down intentions and gratitudes either daily or weekly. By reflecting on the energy we want to project and the things that we are thankful for only furthers the positive energy we are dispensing. It also allows us to focus on the journey and present moment opposed to being upset we are not at our end destination just yet. The journey is beautiful so sit back and enjoy the ride, my friends. See ya’ll in 2019 and I can’t wait to see the beauty it will hold.