Reach your goals
I enjoy setting myself goals, it’s how I get stuff done and make progress in my life and work. After all, without a destination in mind, how will I know when I’ve arrived? Usually, I set myself a goal and then I break it down into smaller action steps, often forming habits to support me on my journey.
The difficulty, however, that many of us face is that no matter how much planning we do our daily tasks often take priority, meaning our goals get put to one side. In addition to this, we may find that as time passes our initial excitement and motivation can begin to fade.
If you find it difficult to stay on track, here are a few things you could try to help you reach your goals. Some may resonate and others may not, so it’s valuable to experiment to see what works best for you.
1. Maintain your focus and intention
Regularly think about your goals to remind yourself of why you want to reach them. This can be done in whatever way you prefer, from focusing on them each morning to including them in your daily journaling. You may even wish to watch or listen to goal-focused YouTube channels, guided meditations or podcasts. Whatever you decide, find what works for you and stick to it.
2. Create a vision board
Collect some images that sum up your goals and create a vision board to help you stay on track. It could include images, inspirational quotes, mantras or anything else that will support you with some creative visualisation. Having a visual reference point is a great way to stay focused and it can bring your goals to life.
3. Simplify your commitments
Look closely at your commitments and how you spend your time to see if anything can be tweaked, combined or removed. To do this you could list your weekly and monthly tasks under two headings: passions and obligations. That way if something isn’t joyful or essential you could consider letting it go.
4. Set some boundaries
Once you’ve simplified your schedule it’s good to protect your time. Without doing so you may find it gets taken up with something deemed more important. Never feel you must say yes to every invitation, offer or request – make bold choices about how you spend your time and set some boundaries to protect it. That way you’ll have more hours in the day to focus on your goals.
5. Be mindful of distractions
We all have things we can’t resist checking: news updates, email, social media etc. It’s prudent to establish your weaknesses so you can be mindful of when you’re being distracted. If you find it difficult to avoid procrastinating, there are many things you can try. These range from putting your phone on silent to turning off the wi-fi in your home (seriously, I’ve done this!). Your time is precious so don’t let the distractions win.
6. Celebrate the small wins
As you work towards your goals it’s important to celebrate the journey, pausing to enjoy how far you’ve come. Whether you’ve completed a task or reached an objective, stopping to reflect is a positive thing to do. Celebrating the wins creates a healthy cycle, helping us to recharge and motivating us to push forward.
7. Find some cheerleaders
Involve family, friends, colleagues or even a coach or mentor because being accountable to others is motivating. Saying what you’d like to achieve can bring it to life and if your goals are met with a little enthusiasm it will motivate you further. If you’re feeling brave you could share your goals on social media, that way you’ll have a whole host of cheerleaders on your side!
8. Create some white space
White space is a time when nothing is planned and it can be used to do whatever takes your fancy. It’s great to have this buffer because it gives you the space to think, reflect and recharge. It can also be used to review where you are with your goals and to make any tweaks and changes if required. When you rest your body and mind it will prepare you for the next stage in your journey.
9. Practice self-compassion
Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism, it will change your experience and better support you. Learn from your mistakes – it might simply mean you need to make a few changes. It’s good to acknowledge how far you’ve come and tweak your steps when required along the way.
10. Enjoy the journey
Although I think goals are valuable, it’s far more important to enjoy the journey, otherwise, we’ll effectively be wishing away our lives! Goals shouldn’t be set to prove ourselves, they should simply act as signposts to gently guide us in the right direction.
In this month’s letter, I’ve shared a small exercise on goal setting and how to reach your goals. Join my mailing list to receive uplifting and inspiring content from letters and blog posts to updates about my coaching.
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