It’s a new year, time to plan for the year and make resolutions. But I’ve got to tell you I don’t do well with resolutions. I always thought it was because I wasn’t disciplined enough to stick to them but over the years, I discovered that anytime I resolve to do something it almost always going to backfire on me.
Why does it backfire? Well because we I feel I forcing myself to do something it never goes well. I’m trying to make myself fit into something that just doesn’t feel or seem right to me. I think it’s also because I use the approach of it’s all or nothing and as soon as I have one setback it’s just easier to say I gave it a good shot and let it go.
But I noticed something different when I set goals for myself. I don’t see it as trying to force myself into doing something I don’t really want to do but more of a challenge. I think it’s just the difference in mindset that helps me to succeed with goals over resolutions.
Goals are only Dreams without a Plan
Now you might think I just set my goals and work on them and achieve them. But I’ve found to be truly successful with my goals I need to have a plan. Yes, I know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while I’m big on plans.
There are a few steps or tips that I’ve found that helps me to be successful with my goals. I want your goals to turn into realities for you. If you follow these tips I know you will have a much better shot of achieving them this year.
Steps to Take to Achieve Your Goals
Write Them Down
I know it seems like such a simple task but so many people leave off this step. There is just something about writing down the goals on paper that helps to tell yourself you are really serious about getting these things done. Just think about how many times you’ve made a mental note of things you need to do in a day and then went about accomplishing them only to discover a day or two later you forgot a few. Also by writing them down you can let you brain relax and concentrate on the task at hand, some people call it a brain dump, and it helps to let you focus better. Get those goals written down.
If you would like a printable sheet to record your goals on I have a weekly goal sheet with an area for a task each day, a monthly goal planner sheet, and a long-term goal sheet too in my 2016 Homemaking Planner. Click here to read more about it.
Look at Your Goals Every day
Another reason to write your goals down is so you can look at them every day. Yes, take a few minutes each day to read through your goals. It will help you to focus on them and keep them in your mind. This way you can evaluate each task every day to decide if what you are doing is getting you closer to your goal or not.
Pick a time that you can do this task each day and make an appointment with yourself so you can get it done. Goals are not meant to be made and never looked at again. I know I’ve tried it in the past and it never works. Take the time to read them every day.
Make a Plan to Reach Your Goal
For each goal I want you to make a plan of the steps it will take to get you there. For smaller goals there might only be one or two steps to complete, it doesn’t matter write those steps down for each goal. You don’t have to know all the steps to reach your goal right now you just need to start with a plan for the first two or three and figure out the rest as you go.
Now you might think this is a weird step for achieving your goals. You would think, well, of course, I’m going to start, but some people, myself included, get stuck in the planning stages of goals. It’s called planning procrastination. I think I’m might be the queen of it and I don’t want you to get stuck.
Planning procrastination is when we get stuck in the planning stages. When you or I can’t see the full road to reach our goals. We put off even beginning, we stay in the planning stage and we never get started. I have done this so many times and I don’t want you to get stuck. Make your plan for the first step or two and have faith you can figure out the rest as you go.
Know Your Why
I was listening to a webinar given by Michael Hyatt and he talked about getting through the messy middle by knowing your why. As I listened to him I realized that is where I have gone wrong many times in the past with my goals. I will be plugging along making good progress and then I hit the middle, the part I just have to push through to get to the end. It just seems so difficult and I feel I can’t make it. I get discouraged and then just stop trying.
The messy middle is the part where your “why” comes in. You need to know the reason why you are working towards this goal. You’ll want to write down the reason why you want to achieve this goal, what will happen when you do and what will happen if you don’t achieve it. You want the pros and cons written down so they can help propel you through that rough middle of reaching your goal.
State Your Goals in a Positive, Detailed Manner
The more positive you are when you are writing your goals the more likely you will be to achieve them. There is something about telling yourself positive messages that can help to really motivate you to get things done. You also want lots of details in your goals. You want to make them as detailed as possible to have the best shot at achieving them.
Set a Deadline
If you make your goal but don’t have a set time to get it done, you’re more likely to let the tasks you need to do to slide off to someday instead of today. By setting a deadline, you give yourself notice that you need to work on it today. On larger goals I like to set a deadline not only for the full goal but for each step along the way. I love to be able to check off tasks as I complete them and see the progress on my goal sheet.
There you have it those are my best tips for how to achieve your goals this year. If you have a tip to add to the list I would love to have you share it with me and others in the comments below. You never know who you can touch with your knowledge and help someone achieve their goal.