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Want some sure-fire ways to achieve your goals this year? Look no further!
Now, I would say I have a pretty good goal achievement track record on the whole.
In the last couple of years I’ve:
taken up an exercise regime that I’ve managed to maintain consistently and
It’s far better to set one goal rather than have multiple, broad ones. Also, try to focus on a goal that you really want to achieve. Don’t go along with what everyone else is doing or the current trend.
When you are thinking about your goal, be realistic about the time you have.
For example, ask yourself if your goal of spending an hour in the gym 6 days a week is realistic. Particularly if you have a full-time job and/or a young family.
That said, there may be some mileage in doing something intensively for a short period. The Washington Post mentioned a study which demonstrated this can bring about habit change.
So if you can manage the gym for 6 days a week for a month, it could lead to you going more often in the future.
A mistake a lot of people make when setting goals is to leave them vague. So for example, sticking with health and fitness aims – maybe you have a goal of losing 3 stone in 6 months.
This goal is too vague. It doesn’t have any information about how you are going to lose the weight and when. It’s OK to have this as an aspiration but you need to break it down into smaller steps.
For example, you could set a goal of sticking to a certain amount of calories each day for the next month. And you could plan to go to the gym for an hour on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. These are smaller, more achievable and measurable goals.
Add a few of these together one after the other and you will be well on your way to achieving your larger aim.
Didn’t like the feeling that wine was controlling me and wanted to reverse this
When the initial euphoria of signing up to the challenge had worn off (about a fortnight in) I referred back to my whys many times.
They reminded me of why I was doing the challenge. I would then go off and find something different to do instead of having a drink. (And yes, I had prepared a list of alternative things I could do in advance).
Making a public declaration can be a very helpful way of achieving your goal. You can do this with friends and family. You can even go one step further and join some Facebook groups and declare your intentions there.
I’ve done this a couple of times, both with the weight loss goal and the alcohol-free goal. Taking part in Facebook group discussions has led to me not wanting to ‘let the group down’ on both occasions!
I’ve also found paying money for something or getting sponsored to be motivating factors. I realise that the paying money thing doesn’t work for everyone though. (80% of people with gym memberships don’t actually go…)
Willpower alone doesn’t work. It’s like a muscle so it gets tired. It’s no coincidence that many people find it easier to exercise in the morning than in the evening. This is because willpower declines as the day goes on.
Think about it. You’ve used your willpower throughout the day to choose healthy food options and to not lose your cool with that irritating person at work. By the end of the working day, you are more likely to drive straight home and put your PJs on rather than hitting the gym!
Rather than relying on willpower, try to make allowances and plans for when you know it will be lower.
Plan alternative strategies.
So, for example, try to plan to work on your goal at times of the day when you know you are at your most committed and productive.
If you know that you are more likely to cave on the food front after a stressful day at work, don’t plan meals out in the evening. Make a lunch date for the weekend instead.
Don’t Give Up
The moment you’re about to quit is the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up. Anonymous
I love this quote and keep it in mind whenever I feeling like giving up. I’ll tell myself that success could be around the corner and if I give up then I’ll never know if I could have been successful!
Another great way to achieve your goals is to track your progress. I have another page in my planner where I track what I’ve achieved each week and month. I also like to draw a line through each item on my goals list as I achieve it.
If there are things that I haven’t achieved I take time to consider why this was. I then plan what I might do differently next month. (This doesn’t happen all that often as I tend to underestimate what I will be able to achieve, which is a whole other topic :-D)
It’s also important to take the time to reward yourself. Celebrate small wins by doing something you enjoy.
Find Out Your Tendencies
Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies Framework is a useful tool to discover the best ways to achieve your goals. You can find out which of the 4 tendencies (upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel) apply to you by taking this short quiz.
It turns out that I’m a questioner.
This means I can suffer from ‘analysis paralysis’. I’ve definitely noticed this with the goal of setting up and running my blog. Sometimes I need to tell myself to start instead of signing up for yet another course!
Allow For Slip-Ups
Realise that you will have ups and downs. Build some wriggle room into your goal setting to allow for this.
So for example, if you have a goal of exercising 4 times a week, if you miss the odd time then don’t beat yourself up.
Celebrate the fact that you did do some exercise this week. Then re-focus on getting the 4 sessions in during the next 7 days.
Treat failure as an opportunity to learn and to do better next time.
Another tactic is to see achieving your goal as skill development. Accept that there is a process for learning new skills.
Think back to a time when you learnt a new skill before, for example driving. You made mistakes didn’t you?
If the ‘primitive brain’ does take over, you may find the cake or the drink in your hand. Put it down. You don’t have to actually consume it! Then take a minute to assess why you have wavered, learn from it and keep moving forward.
I hope that you will find these 9 ways of achieving your goals helpful. If you would like a more in-depth guide to goal setting then don’t forget to grab the free e-book ‘Make It Happen’.
This book is awesome and could really help sky-rocket your goals this year.