This has been the year of ultimate goal setting for me. It’s refreshing… and overwhelming. If you have a bunch of little goals, or even one big goal, I hope this post helps you achieve those dreams of yours, even if they seem insurmountable.
So, you’ve got a goal in mind. Where do you start? Well first…
1. Get fed up with your current situation
If you’re totally comfortable sleeping in until noon and staying up until three in the morning, your goal of being a morning person is going to sit on the back burner for quite some time. You’ve got to remove yourself from your comfort zone. Get annoyed with the situation you want to change.
Let’s continue with the “early riser” example. How does one get fed up with sleeping in? Think about all the daytime you miss by snoozing through the alarm. How many more things could you get done in those morning hours? How much anxiety would be taken off your plate if you weren’t racing against the clock to get all your errands done before everything closes? How many new, friendly people would you meet at your usual coffee shop? What kind of new experiences could you have if you didn’t just wake up, get ready for your evening shift, go to work, come home, sleep, and do it all over again?
Get fed up with what your current situation is stealing from you and make a list of all the doors this new goal would. Which leads me to my next point…
2. Figure out the “WHY” behind your goals
Let’s say your goal is saving up to build an emergency fund. Why do you want to achieve this goal? Because you want the comfort of knowing it’s there? Because you want financial security? Because you don’t want one of life’s unexpected situations to catch you off guard and wipe out your bank account?
You need to know exactly why you want to accomplish this goal because a goal without a purpose is easily set aside. When you have a reason to achieve something, it makes it easier to stay focused and stay the course until you succeed.
3. Make an action plan based on baby steps
How will you achieve this goal? If your action plan just says,
“Step 1: Write down goal
Step 2: Put money in the bank
Step 3: Save $1000 for emergency fund”
… you’re setting yourself up for failure. An action plan needs to be broken down into baby steps. How will you save that money? Maybe you need to start making your morning coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbucks everyday until the money is saved? Maybe you stop getting your nails done until then? Do you need to pick up extra shifts at work to save up faster?
It’s important to keep in mind that you may not have to overhaul your entire life all at once. Maybe you start with the coffee this week and if you feel more confident in your ability to say no to excess spending, you can cut out fast food next week. It’s all about having patience with yourself. Baby steps allow you to live a balanced life while still focusing on the goal.
4. Keep in my that if you fail, you can always start again
Failure is a BIG part of success. It’s not a pleasant part, but it is necessary. Failure keeps us humble. It teaches us valuable lessons we carry with us for the rest of our lives. It builds incredible character. Failure is a treasured part of each person’s journey because it makes success that much sweeter.
If you sleep through the alarm, spend too much on those shoes you didn’t need, or totally bomb your dream internship interview, don’t beat yourself up. Get up, take a deep breath, and start over.
There is beauty in the journey. Without it we would not value the victories in life nearly as much as we should. We would miss out on the blessing of relating to others that have walked the same path.
So if you fail, know that I am rooting for you to get back up. Know that you have the power within you to soldier on. One day you’ll look back at the person you used to be, right here at this moment, and smile with pride because you made it.
Give it your best and never back down from the life you strive to live.