We set goals for everything in our life – whether it is a new exercise routine, or our carefully mapped out career path, or Baby’s growth. But undeniably, we sometimes find that we’re in the middle of that ugly slump where we can’t find the energy or the motivation to finish what we started (or what we promised to start). It doesn’t have to be this year’s Resolution or a major career move; there are those days where we really just would rather watch Netflix and crash on the couch instead of cleaning the house that’s been begging to be swept clean for weeks, even when the dust is so visible. It’s one thing to list down goals and major milestones – but it’s a different matter entirely to stick to them.
Achieving your goals do not have to overwhelm you! Whatever are the goals we set for ourselves, here are a few tips to help us to get our body moving and achieve what we want – sooner than what sitting tightly will do for us:
1. Get a vision of your goal.
This is the most exciting part – but we even sometimes skip it! It’s one thing to wish to achieve something; it’s different to play out all the parts. Think big, but don’t think vague. When you set up a goal, get in depth with it; know what it takes to get you to the end of it. If it’s a healthier lifestyle, then know what changes you may need to make to achieve that end goal of a healthier body. If it’s a business, then know how much you will need to prepare and how long in order for you to see yourself at the end of that process. Don’t leave things be in merely imagining your goal – you have to get a thorough vision of what you want to find at the end of it.
2. Write it down, or make a creative imagery of it.
Writing down your goal makes it specific and concrete – it will make you mentally stick to it like you stick to a grocery list. It helps, if you can’t imagine your goal too well, or if you can get easily distracted. Right now you can get all the creative inspiration for anything just via the Internet, so why not make an image board of your goals? Want to own a car and a house in a year’s time? Get a photo of the said car and pegs of the home you’d want to have by the end of the year and stick it somewhere you can easily see it; on your fridge, on your desk at the office, or on your dorm room wall. In that way, you will have a visual reminder of what you are working hard for – and not just a bunch of ideas that took up residence in your head!
3. Tell somebody about your goals.
Tell your mom, your best friend, your pet – go around telling people you trust (and hopefully, people who you know will support you enough) of your goals, so that there will be those around you who can congratulate you on your little victories or tell you to buck up when you need to. Accountability helps, because you will need people to push you and encourage you as you work towards the goal. Along the way, they might be someone who’d even join you towards the same goal – then they will be a welcome company at the end of your season!
4. Break your goals into smaller, achievable, chunks.
There’s nothing wrong with setting huge goals, just as long as you don’t choke along the way. When goals are too big, we can’t help but feel overwhelmed at times; and that will lead to frustration on your part. Goals should be there to motivate you to work hard, not to push you to an insane amount of pressure. Break your big goal into smaller goals, separate them and set different priority levels and time lines for them, so that you won’t find yourself working towards the huge goal aimlessly.
5. Commit to a date, and set up little milestones.
Coupled with your smaller goals, set some milestones – for the major goal and for your smaller goals. This way, you can check your progress in a less pressured but more efficient way. You can easily assess whether you’re on track or off track by the milestones you’ve set up, and adjust priorities or delete smaller, unimportant goals and reprogram your steps accordingly. Do set achievable goals in long term and short term periods – that way, you’re likely to be less overwhelmed.
6. Be realistic.
Let’s face it, there will be times where there are other things to attend to that might make you pause in working towards your goal, or drop it for that period. There are also times where in other priorities would come up, and the whole landscape of your goal might change entirely. Or perhaps, there are days where you were just too tired about everything else – and you couldn’t give a second to care if you’re off track! Don’t stress about it. Don’t tire yourself out working, because your goal should be a motivation, not a source of stress. Perhaps the goal was too big, and breaking them up in chunks was still too overwhelming to take care of individually. Keep on working on the vision so that you can make it into a more achievable goal, and set realistic time frames that you can carry out.
Your goal is your own, so it should not matter if you’re progressing at a slower rate than what is considered normal, as long as you work on it continuously. It’s not a race, and it’s definitely not a measure to compete with others, so don’t mind if you may feel like it’s tedious slow work. All great work are achieved by small progress steps, and as long as you get to the finish with what you set for yourself, then it’s a victory.