We all have encountered this one time or another – that we set out to accomplish a goal with all the drive and best of intentions, but then lose our steam along the way. How can we keep ourselves on track? Here are 10 tips to do so.
- Set goals that are specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely. The best goals have these attributes. They’re trackable, easier to break down into smaller habits of action, and the timeliness creates the urgency we need to implement the actions to get us there today. Know where you are at today in relation to the goal in mind to assess accomplishment probability.
- Write them down. On paper. With a pen. The power of writing is not only meditative, causing our mind to focus on the object being written, visually, within our minds, but it is also a beginning act of bringing it to fruition – it is the first step of action towards its accomplishment.
- Dig deeper. Know precisely why this goal is important to you and why it needs to be accomplished. What is the greater impact upon your life and the lives of those around you? Write this out, as well, and keep it in a place that is easily accessible to you throughout the day for the times when your motivation or commitment may wane.
- Identify key habits to implement to take you to the goal. Preferably, identify daily habits to drop that do not aide you in the achievement of your goal, and daily habits to implement to help you get there. Limit each of these to 5 items each. Understand that goal achievement is a process, and there is much value to be gained within the process itself. You’ve heard the saying that “success is a journey, not a destination, the doing is often more important than the outcome.”
- Schedule your habits. If they are schedulable, block out times to take the actions you identified to take daily. Find a solution that works for you – whether electronic or pen and paper.
- Keep a habit log. Write down the habits that you identified above and keep a log daily of your completion or avoidance of the habits. Track your progress. This serves many purposes, including: the ability to see patterns over days and weeks, the accountability to hold you to the goal and habits you set forth for yourself, establishing daily wins along the way, giving you daily focus in on the goal you set, and keeping you motivated and further building your confidence.
- Rehash your wins. Many times, we may lose motivation towards our goals if we feel we cannot accomplish them, or if we recall times in the past where we have fallen short to do so, or failed in any other way. Spend some time reliving some of your past wins, when you achieved various goals and felt most confident in yourself and your abilities.
- Have accountability partners. Tell those whom are most supportive of the goal you have set about it, and why you want to do it. Communicate to them that you want them to help hold you accountable to achieve it. Those who have already achieved what you are working towards make great accountability partners.
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Missing a day or two with any one of your habits you’ve intended to do won’t entirely ruin your chances of meting your goal. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Simply breathe, be kind to yourself, remind yourself of why you’re doing this, and start again the next day. Heck, even if you completely blow a goal that you really wanted to hit, there’s nothing saying that you can’t simply start afresh and succeed this next time.
- Reward yourself along the way. Celebrate little wins. Celebrate appropriately. For example, don’t reward yourself with chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if your goal is weight loss. Find another way to reward yourself – go to the spa, buy yourself a new clothing item or accessory you’ve been wanting to get, etc. Set up these rewards in advance so you have something to look forward to.
And remember, “success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe