The New Year puts us all back onto the goal-setting treadmill. Everyone is writing their lists of aspirations, hitting the gym, eating healthily, and staying resolute in their desire to crack the dreams wide open this year! It’s quite beautiful, actually. To see the world get so motivated for change. But why doesn’t it last? Because goals require action… a small detail that most forget to factor in. So, here are my tips on how you can smash your goals, no matter how big or small they might be.
Journal Your Goals
Write it down. All of it. What you want to achieve, what you think you might achieve, what the end goal is. Purge each idea from the depths of your soul and commit it all to paper. You will be surprised how easily you forget – yes, you can forget your own hopes and dreams – when you don’t make a record of everything that’s on your mind.
I have multiple journals that I keep close at hand for this very thing. Every time a new idea comes to me, I start a new page, write the date, give it a heading and write down whatever the idea is. I then detail the steps I think I’ll need to take to get there, but more on that later. The trick is to write it down as it comes to you, while it’s still fresh and full of possibility. The longer you wait, the more unrealistic your ideas become thanks to self-doubt telling you you’re full of crap. Mmm hmmm… we are all human and we are all quite similar in our methods of self-defeat.
Having all my ideas in one place is a great way to refer back to where I was a few months or a year ago. Sometimes I look back and realise that I’ve achieved so much of what I set out to do, but I simply forgot about it. Again, you will surprised at how much you forget when you don’t make a note of it.
Set Start And End Dates
The start date is usually fairly simple, ie: right now. But if you don’t give yourself an end date, you might never find yourself arriving at the finish line. Having a deadline gives you something to work towards. It also forces you to level-up your productivity in order to make progress.
Too often, people set goals, write them down, and then let them flurry around in the ether, never to be thought of again. No one is going to achieve your goals for you… you have to put in the time and effort. That begins with setting a deadline to work towards.
Write Down The Milestones In Between
Another reason why people give up on their goals is because they seem unattainable; they probably are at first glance. This is where the actual work comes into helping you smash your goals. You have to visualise how you are going to get there. What is each milestone on the road to success? What micro-goals do you need to tackle before you can get to enjoy the bigger picture? It’s possible that there are 100 steps along the way to realising your dream, and each one is an important milestone.
Write them all down. Give each step a purpose as an entry point to the step that follows on from there.
Make It Visible
You know those little post-it notes with motivational messages that people stick on their mirrors? That’s what I’m talking about. Whatever you do, don’t hide your goals away to be forgotten in the dark recesses of your desk drawer. Make them visible so that they are constantly in your face, reminding you that you are on a mission.
Sometimes life can get a bit overwhelming. It can feel like we’re running on a treadmill and never getting anywhere. A little reminder that you have a goal and that you’re on a path to an outcome is the best way to remind yourself that you’ve got this! You are doing okay. You don’t need to be arriving at your end goal yet, but you are on your way. That little reminder in the mirror every morning will keep you on track.
Tick Them Off As You Go
There is something so incredibly satisfying about crossing items off a list. When your to-do list is creeping over multiple pages, you feel a sense of accomplishment when you get to slash some of those items down post-completion. The same applies to your goals. When you reach them, cross them off the list. You’ve achieved that milestone, now it’s time to move onto the next. Progress is a very rewarding feeling. This is simply a physical action that represents how you are moving forward.
Check Back In Each Month
As I mentioned earlier, it’s so easy to forget that you’ve actually started something. When you don’t write it down, you don’t commit it to memory as forcefully as ink on paper. Having your list of milestones available brings you back to your path when you get distracted. Check back on them every month to make sure you are still on track. You’d be surprised how easily you veer off.
Believe In Yourself And Take Action
The most important part of smashing your goals is to actually believe that you can do it. If it seems completely unattainable and you are just trying it out for size, then you will fail. You need to set goals that you believe you can achieve and then you need to be your biggest fan cheering yourself on from the sidelines. Without trust and belief that you are able to get to the end result, your actions will be futile.
That brings me to the last point. You need to take action. You cannot wait for your goals to miraculously come to life, you have to make them happen. Too often people think that intention is enough to set wheels in motion. While it is the best basis for great things to formulate, there needs to be action driving the intention home. You should have already mapped out your milestones and points of action… now go and get it done!