7 Goal-Setting Tips That Are Stronger Than Your Excuses
I stopped dead in my tracks when I got an email from the gym I enthusiastically joined on January 1st.
“Haven’t seen you in a while,” it read. “Get back on track with your fitness goals today!”
“My fitness goals are perfectly fine, thank you very much,” I said as I licked the Cheetos dust off my fingers and readjusted myself on the couch.
Whether or not I wanted to admit it, I had definitely lost my beginning-of-the-year-motivation to hit the gym. Not even two months into 2018 and my “new year, new me” mentality had gone by the wayside. No matter how much I tried to convince myself that this was the year I would actually commit to living a healthier lifestyle, I let the excuses and the buy-one-get-one-free Ben & Jerry’s coupons deter me from my goals.
While setting a goal is a very easy thing to do, the difficulty comes in the follow-through. As my Inspirational Quote-of-the-Day calendar once told me, “A goal without action is just a wish.”
If you’ve lost sight of your New Year’s resolution, or if you just need a little help getting your plans back on track, we’re here to help. Here are seven simple tips for setting goals, and actually accomplishing them.
WRITE THEM DOWN
Mentally setting your mind to something and telling yourself you’re going to achieve it isn’t enough. Writing your goals down not only turns them tangible, but it reinforces the idea in your brain. Whether you jot them into a journal, set them as daily notifications on your phone, or display them proudly on your bedroom wall, visual reminders of your hopes and dreams keep you motivated to achieve them.
Sometimes we need a little help to stick with our plans. The more people that know about your goals, the more motivation you have to stick with them. Besides, who says you have to do it all alone? Want to shed some pounds? Start a weight loss challenge at work. Want to take up a new hobby? Join a club.
SET DEADLINES (AND STICK TO THEM!)
Open-ended goals work well for some people, but not so much for others. If you keep telling yourself that eventually, you’ll learn to cook, chances are, you never will. Setting realistic deadlines for your goals gives you a timeline and creates a sense of urgency in achieving them.
TURN ONE BIG GOAL INTO SEVERAL SMALLER ONES
I daresay one of the biggest reasons people give up on their goals is because they seem too daunting to be achieved. If that's the case, take your big goals and break them up into smaller, more manageable goals. Which sounds easier: Losing 100 pounds? Or losing two pounds per week?
GET BACK ON THE HORSE
Look, no one’s perfect. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. If you stray from your goals, don’t be too discouraged to pick them back up and keep going. Breaking your diet or skipping a few yoga classes means that you’re only human, not that you’ve hit the point of no return.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
Putting the money towards a goal makes you much more likely to stick with it. If you pay for memberships, classes, or lessons, you’ll definitely have a lot more motivation to stick with it. Double points if it involves a contract with early termination fees.
DON’T BE TOO AFRAID OF FAILURE TO TRY
Look, failure is inevitable. Sometimes we set goals we realize we can’t reach. The thing is, that is okay! Don’t ever let the fear of failure keep you from trying something new. You may succeed, or you may just suck, but you’ll never know unless you give it a try.
Do you have any tip that help you stick to your goals? Share them in the comments below!
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