For a lot of people including myself, every new year brings new promises. A new blue print. Plans that could include how to make more money, get that promotion and move up in your career. You might want to go on that long desired trip to New Zealand or to an African country.
2017 isn’t really different I imagine. We all started with goals and a promise that this year, we will do all that we've set out to do. Some research says that only 8% of people are actually able to meet and achieve the goals they set out at the beginning of a new year.
Sometimes, it’s the everyday activities that make it difficult for large ticket dreams to materialize, managing schedules and keeping things in perspective. Two reasons why it’s rather difficult for you to meet your goals are; you bite off more than what you can chew. This mean that you take up more than you can actually do.
For instance, if you decide that adding a new skill or the other would be important, now the mind might not be ready to execute such. And once you try to do so, other things will compete with your mind leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
The second reason are your emotions and habits. Our emotions and habits tend to ensure that we stick to the ways that we do things. Without any form of change, you lose the ability to make any difference.
Both of these problems can be addressed and the changes that you desire can be made. Here are some ways to crush your goals.
• Set realistic goals
Trying to run a marathon for an autism awareness campaign in two weeks is a great cause. But it's not entirely realistic especially if you haven’t run in any capacity in over two years.
So while it is ideal to have big dreams, setting realistic goals is essential to ensuring that they can be achieved. Your goals could actually overwhelm and discourage you especially if they are quite lofty.
Instead of trying to lose all the weight that you slowly accumulated over a period of time in a few weeks -- like you see online everywhere--, you could start slowly. Give yourself enough time to realistically incorporate a healthy diet, exercise regime and a general lifestyle change.
This same principle applies to other goals that you hope to crush. This you can do by breaking them into smaller actionable steps.
• Set mini goals, smaller actionable goals
Unpacking your larger than life goals into smaller easily executable goals could just be a means of crushing it. These steps may help you figure out what to do with the large ones.
So let's say for instance that you want to get a PHD, so that you can start lecturing and impacting students with knowledge and you want to apply to an Ivy League college. Getting a PHD is definitely not a walk in the park and can be pretty overwhelming. All if not most Ivy Leagues require you to take the GRE (tough exams) and go through the application process.
Examples of actionable steps for this kind of goal would include
1. Start studying well ahead of time to ace your GRE
2. Spend time researching the schools with programs that align with your interests.
3. Spend time writing the best personal statement
4. Then apply.
While all these are examples of how you can segment your big goal of getting accepted to a university, they literally prepare you and better your chances to get accepted to the kinds of schools you eventually choose to apply to. This way you can focus on each mini step involved in getting your doctorate
• Let your goals be in plain sight
I like to write my goals down on sticky notes and past them everywhere around my home and office. This helps immensely because it keep me centered and I don’t forget what I need to achieve.
For others it could be displaying a goal planning worksheet in their direct line of sight so that they are forced to look at it every time. If you own a planner, that can track daily and weekly task, it would be good to place those goals in them.
• Time management
Creating a schedule is a rational thing especially in a bid to crush your goals, however sticking to that schedule is quite emotional. You probably start the day with the intentions to make the most out of the day by managing your time, but once you get distracted, most of your plans for the day go up in smoke. You need to stick to schedules that requires self and time management.
• You need accountability
One way to find motivation in achieving your goals is to tell someone about your goals. Mind that not everyone will support whatever decisions you have made so you need to be careful with whom you assign this mini task to.
Having a support system where friends, family, a mentor that checks in with you on a regular basis to see how far you have gone with your goal is important. My suggestion would be to find a person who has similar goals like yourself and then you can hold each other responsible and accountable for those goals. Set up regular check-ins with each other to review each other’s progress.
• Be flexible and acknowledge that failure is a possibility
Again, while it is essential to follow through with all your goals, realizing that sometimes life happens; and you may be physically unable to complete your goals. In that case don’t cry over not being able to accomplish your goals. Instead be flexible and know that goals -- like life-- can be dynamic and change.
Don’t let the stops on the way discourage you from your dreams and goals altogether. Sometimes, it might take a little longer than planned but it will still happen. As an entrepreneur there are things that daily scare you from growing your business but will certainly not stop you from trying.
Being flexible gives a bigger picture and allows you not to give up on your goals entirely.
• Reward yourself
For every milestone that you get to, it is essential to reward yourself. This could serve as major motivation. Even if it’s a simple purchase of your favorite meal or an expensive handbag, make sure to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in.
Although a lot of folk fail to reach the goals they set ahead of them, that doesn’t mean you cannot be exceptional, sticking to a plan that replaces bad behaviors with realistic goals will help you crush your goals without crushing yourself.
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