8 TIPS TO SETTING GOALS & KEEPING THEM
Week 2 into the New Year! If you could give yourself a letter grade (A-F) on how well you’ve been managing your goals and New Year’s resolutions what would you give yourself-honestly? I know, I know, we all say we WANT to do something and we all intend on doing it … but, we don’t always stick to our word. So, how do we fix this? How can we ensure we meet some of our goals and resolutions before another ball drops? (Literally and figuratively- 😉 see what I did there?) I would like to share some of my personal tips for goal maintenance before you realize you’re adding the same resolutions and goals from this year into next year. Trust me, I have been known to procrastinate things myself, sadly. My simple steps and tips have helped to kick the bad “putting it off” habit. As a great entrepreneur once said, “I only put off things and procrastinate things I don’t want to do.” –Gary Vaynerchuck (I highly suggest following him on social media especially Snapchat: @garyvee). So in essence, if you’re putting it off, then it must not be that important to you.
Tip #1 Make goals attainable and measurable:
First and foremost you have to believe that you have the capability to complete your goal and literally, envision attaining and maintaining said goal. If you begin to SEE it, you will believe it. Sometimes our dreams seem unreachable and doubt, fear, and ego play a huge factor into what we tell ourselves we can and can’t do. Make your goals are attainable within the given timeframe. Which brings me to my next tip…
Tip #2 Make & meet deadlines!
We get deadlines for school work and within our workforce that we so anxiously attempt to meet. How often do you give YOURSELF a deadline? Is your deadline reasonable? Do yourself a favor and SHOW UP for yourself –for once. Clock yourself into life and make whatever goals/resolutions happen.
Tip #3 Write it down!
As a mental health professional with a Master’s in Social work, I thoroughly live by the saying; “If you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen.” Documentation is key! (DJ Khaled voice lol he also has a great account to follow on Snapchat-another one). Write your goals down. Write down daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. I began this over three years ago (Thanks to one of my fraternity brothers) and I must admit it has changed my life. The feeling I get from crossing a goal off a list is unexplainable. Write down your goals so they are tangible and if you want to be creative, try making yearly vision boards from your yearly goals. If you’re old school like me, grab yourself a notebook and make that your goal writing notebook.
Tip #4 Celebrate the (seemingly) small victories.
Let’s face it, life happens. Sometimes we set a goal, we start taking the necessary steps to accomplish them, and then we fall off. It’s ok, as long as you get back on the bike when you fall off. Celebrate your small accomplishments. If you swapped out a healthy snack over hitting the vending machine for some Cheetos-congrats boo. If you cursed only 5 times today over your usual 10-pat ya back boo. If you smoked only 7 cigarettes today over your usual pack a day-standing O for you. Don’t beat yourself up! As long as you continue to keep your eyes on the prize and move forward toward full management and maintenance of your goals, you’re doing fine. Studies show it takes over 22 days to a month to make and break habits, so keep striving. You’re almost there.
Tip #5 Speak it into existence!
Goals in your mind fall upon NO ears but your own. What better way to be held accountable for your wants, dreams, desires, and aspirations than to share them with the world. Ok, maybe not the world, but at least tell supportive people you love. Make it your Facebook status so a year from now Facebook can annoyingly remind you of your goal you set. Look in the mirror and speak your goals to yourself daily. Whatever you do, just speak it!
Tip #6 Find an accountability buddy
Link up with a friend who will either join you on your goals or hold you accountable for them. Network with individuals who are doing what you want to do and who are where you want to be. There is nothing more intimidating yet immensely encouraging than to share your goals with someone who has already completed a similar goal and is now where YOU want to be. It’s the ultimate motivation- to know that someone you look up to is now looking at you to make sure you follow through on everything you said you would.
Tip #7 Document progress
Again, if you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen. Document your progress. If your goal is to write a book, and you’ve written 2 new chapters within a certain small time frame, document the progress. Post it on Instagram or make a timeline of completed tasks for yourself. Everyone always wants to take before and after pictures when they make a change but hardly anyone documents the progress. Document and embrace the journey.
Tip #8 Understand the stages of change model
Stages?…Yes, there’s levels to this ish. There are levels to changing a habit. I’ve studied mind and behavior for the past 10 years (wow, I just realized it’s been that long). It’s important to know what stage of change you’re in. So what are the stages? The first stage is pre-contemplation where you begin to think about what changes you want to make. In the next stage, contemplation, you begin to question yourself, doubt yourself, and then fear kicks in. This is the stage where we often weigh out our options and determine if and why we should or shouldn’t make the change. The next stage is preparation. It is during this stage that we often choose to make a plan of action and begin to take the necessary steps to hopefully achieve said goal. Want to eat healthier? Then if you have started to make a grocery list and go grocery shopping for your healthy meal preps than THIS is the stage you’re in, keep it up. The next stage is action. During the action stage, we begin to implement little changes in our lives in hopes to attain our goals. If your goal is to be more organized, something as simple as making your bed every morning can count as an action measure to accomplish your ultimate goal. Lastly, the maintenance stage. In the maintenance stage, our goals are somewhat met. In this stage, it is crucial that you continuously implement various action measures to ensure you maintain your goal on a long term basis.
What are some of your goal attaining tips? Comment below!
Happy New Year, find your will, and happy resolution conquering.
Be mindful and stay well,
ILM, MSW-Wellness Coach
Email me today for a free wellness consultation!
“Change begins in your mind.”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Please consult with a medical physician and/or mental health provider before beginning any fitness, nutrition, or mindfulness regimen or program.