Achieving goals any time of year can be hard. The start of a New Year only exacerbates the desire to achieve. Do more of something, do less of something. Whatever it may be, the new year is the most popular time to start a new habit. Right now, we’re only a few days in and there’s a good chance that you may have already fallen off your New Year’s resolution horse. Perhaps you’ve fallen out with another goal or achievement you’ve had your eye on. It’s never too late to get back on the ride.
Backing up your plans with methods of action is a sure-fire way to reach whatever goals you set for yourself in 2017. Today we’re going to walk through tried-and-tested ways of making sure you reach whatever goals you set at whatever point in time.
Richard Branson knows a thing or two about a thing or two. The boss man at Virgin is constantly achieving. How will he keep doing this in 2017?
In this article, he explains that he owes a lot of his entrepreneurial success to the fact that he consistently writes things down. Ideas, dreams, goals, any thought that is worth remembering goes onto a piece of paper. Personally, I love making to-do lists. Nothing feels as sweet as putting a line through something that had to be done today.
To expand on this idea, even more, mindful journaling is a great way to clear your head. Simply writing about a problem or a thought may help you look at it in a different light.
Writing is an artform that we are slowly losing. When was the last time you wrote more than a shopping list or a note? Spend some time filling a page with goals, stories, new words you want to learn.
Tell others about your goals.
Not in a bragging or boastful manner, but to an extent that they will keep you accountable. For the last few years, I have been in the process of learning a foreign language. I have weekly one on one lessons with a teacher and I use her to keep me accountable. The end of every lesson, I tell her what I will know for the next lesson. The next week rolls around and I have to tell her what I know or why I didn’t learn it. This isn’t to shame me into doing my homework, but it’s so that I stay true to myself and to my teacher who is helping me learn.
An accountability buddy may be a good idea for you. Find a friend who also has common goals to you and commit to it together. Help each other through the times when staying focused on the goal is difficult. Your accountability buddy should be there to make sure you’ve got your eyes on the prize, not the TV.
N.A.S.A didn’t get to the moon with one rocket. The Saturn V rocket was several rockets in one.
Want to turn your side job into your main job? Break up the goals into smaller steps. How to best part ways with your current job, how to scale up your new job to make it sustainable.
By writing out all the steps and marking them off as you go, you get a sense of achievement and see how you’re progressing toward your goal. This is crucial if your goal is overly-ambitious or long-term.
Like eating a steak, little bites makes it much more manageable.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a tacky acronym, but it works.
Spend some time to clearly define your objectives and goals.
S – Be specific in the definition of your goals. Vague or general goals aren’t helpful as they lack definition. Your goals should show you the way.
M – Rather than aiming to ‘save up for a house’, a much clearer, definitive and attainable goal is to ‘save up $15,000 for a house’. Being able to put a numerical value (financial or not) helps outline a goal even more.
A – Make sure that what you want to do is actually attainable. Shooting for the stars is great, but if you’re biting off more than you can chew, be prepared for your aspirations and goals to become an all-consuming conviction, or they will take a back seat by February. By setting attainable goals, over time you prove to yourself that your goals are achievable and thus are inspired to continue to raise the bar.
R – A widely thrown net may catch more fish, but not necessarily the best fish for you. If your goals include buying a new car, repainting your bedroom, spending more time with grandma and reading more, you won’t be making the most of your time. Focus on what is most important or else you’ll burn out at a quicker rate.
T – When will you celebrate, or reassess your goals? By setting a deadline, you’ve well and truly outlined your goals. You can have a sense of accomplishment (or, failure) come a certain date.
Noticed any things that make achieving your goals easier? Turn them into habits. If you do something every day, it soon becomes a habit.
My language learning improves when I spend 10 minutes 3 times a day on it rather than 2 hours a week. Positive habit forming can be like a river, slowly wearing down your goal.
A great tool to encourage habit forming is Habitica. An online game that progresses as you mark off daily habits.
Plans for everything come in all shapes and sizes
Regardless of what your goals for the coming year and beyond are, clever and practical planning can make them much more achievable. Even though planning is no replacement for hard work, those that fail to plan, plan to fail.