Today is… Feel Good Friday!
Goals are one of those things that almost everybody has, but few people truly achieve the satisfaction of attaining theirs. For me, New Year’s Resolutions always start off well, and then all progress is lost before February even rolls around. If you’re like me, and you never feel like you’re reaching your objectives, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
All of us are familiar with the clichéd laments of teachers and family members about “setting proper goals” and having discipline, but very few of us heed their advice. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I’ve compiled a few tips that have helped me out when it comes to goal setting and goal achieving (most of them will sound familiar and seem “common sense”, but try them out! They work!):
1. Set a goal, then break it down.
When someone asks you what your goal is, what do you normally say? Mine tend to be something along the lines of “do well in school”, “get in shape”, or “eat more healthily”. These are obviously some pretty good goals, but they’re so vague that there’s no way that I can possibly feel the accomplishment of really reaching them. How do you measure “getting in shape”, for example? So, in order to feel like you’re really making a change and progressing towards your goal, break your objective into smaller steps. As a hypothetical, some smaller goals towards becoming more fit could be losing __ pounds, or lifting __ pounds or running __ km, etc [note: if you know that you struggle with/have struggled with body image issues/disordered eating, I would suggest to avoid weight loss goals]. That way, you can feel little bursts of success while feeling as though you’re working towards your overall goal!
I know, planning is annoying and totally not necessary for a simple goal like eating more healthily–right? Wrong again. Having some sort of idea as to how you will go about achieving your smaller goals is so crucial to the overall process. Questions you should be asking yourself are: “what steps can I take to achieve my goal?”, “how will I make sure I keep working towards my goal?”, and “what do I do once I reach my goal?”. Make sure your steps are logical/possible, and they will help you out. Some things that have worked for me to answer the “how” question is setting a time frame, which brings me to…
3. Hold yourself accountable.
When you set your goal, include a timeline, then work hard and reach it. Be disciplined. Be strong. You’re allowed to mess up, and it’s really unhelpful to beat yourself up over it, but hold yourself accountable. If you make a mistake, or don’t reach your goal when you want to, make sure you acknowledge the setback, but readjust the time frame/make a more realistic goal for the time being, and work towards that.
4. Get someone else to hold you accountable, too!
This is a big one for me, and I think everyone with a goal should do this: tell someone else about your goal. Tell them what you want to do, and that you want them to make sure that you stick to it. I understand that a lot of people like to be independent and find the strength within themselves to reach their goals, but everyone has moments of weakness, or gets too busy and forgets, or makes excuses every now and then. Having someone else to remind you of what you really want helps to keep on truckin‘ (I just had to throw in a little Tim McGraw reference there.) I’d recommend this person to be someone that you admire/respect, because then it has the added effect of making you want to impress them and have them respect your hard work as well.
If it helps, write your goals out, along with their time lines and smaller goals that you want to achieve. Cross out the goals that you’ve reached, and then you’ll visually see what you’re accomplishing and feel proud and successful–it’ll definitely help you build confidence and feel good.
Have a great weekend, everyone!