Adulting, Career, Wellness

How to Set a Goal and Stick to It

How to set a goal and stick to it
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Once you’ve set your New Year’s Resolutions and defined and made time for your priorities, it’s time to start setting goals. This blog post is about how to set a goal and make it stick.

How to set a goal

1. Set your end-goal

Before you get going, you need to know where you need to go. The best way to do that is by thinking about who and where you want to be a year from now. Here are a few self-reflection questions you can ask:

  • A year from now, I’d like to _______________
    • A few examples: get a raise, get a promotion, go to Japan, be debt free
  • I’d like to be the kind of person who _______________
    • A few examples: donates, exercises, can afford weekly meal subscription boxes.
  • When people describe me, I’d like for them to think of these three words.
    • A few examples: a good communicator, my go-to employee, well-dressed.

2. Decide on the New Years Resolutions that will get you there

To get you started, I wrote this blog post on 20 New Years Resolutions for a happier 2020. Don’t get overwhelmed. The idea isn’t to set all 20 resolutions. It’s just to get your ideas flowing.

3. Make time for these priorities

The second half of this blog post has more detailed information on how to make time for your priorities. But here’s the gist:

  1. Record how you spend your time
  2. Compare how you spend your time with your priorities
    • Did you spend any time working on your goals?
    • Is there anything you wish you spend more or less time on?
  3. Create an ideal schedule that prioritizes your goals
  4. Create a realistic schedule that prioritizes your goals

4. Set mini-goals for each priority

When you look at an overall goal (like the one you wrote down from step #1), it can seem intimidating and impossible. But when you dissect the big goal into small goals, it becomes doable.

Once you achieve a small goal, you’ll feel a small win and will be more likely to keep working toward the overall goal.

5. Reflect and adjust often

This is discussed in more detail in the following sections. But the idea is to keep your end goal top of mind so that when you make decisions and take action, you are still working toward your goal.

How to stick to your goals

Setting goals is the fun part because there is so much passion and potential. It’s the doing and tracking toward goals that isn’t fun because it doesn’t always turn out exactly as planned. Here are some tips and methods to stick to your goals.

  • Revisit all of your goals often
    • Revisiting your goals is a great way to keep them top of mind. This is important because it gives you the opportunity to reassess how relevant your actions and tasks are to your goal.
    • I revisit my goals 2x a month. Once at the beginning to remind myself of my goals. And once at the end to reflect.
  • Reflect often
    • At the end of each month, reflect on your wins and what you can do better. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
      • What were this month’s highlights?
      • How did I do with my goals?
      • What did I learn? What can I do better next month?
      • Are my goals/tasks still relevant to the person I’d like to be?
    • When I do this, I’m always surprised to find that I got a lot closer to my goal that it felt like it did. This gives me the momentum I need to push forward.
  • Track your progress
    • This is easy to do with habit calendars.

  • Keep a journal
    • A journal is a great way to release negative emotions that come with setting and progressing towards goals. Once the emotion is released, it’s easier to get back up.
    • It’s also a great way to record wins.
  • Celebrate your wins and learnings
    • Keep a running list of accomplishments so you can look back on it when you feel like you aren’t getting any closer to your goal.
  • Share your goals with other people
    • This can be scary, but it will keep you accountable.
  • Visualize your goals being achieved
    • When you truly believe you can reach a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it because you’ll keep working toward achieving it.
    • For more information on the power of visualizing success, check out this blog post.

[BONUS] Things to remember:

  • Hold yourself accountable
    • I wanted to include this reminder because it’s something I thought I always was good at…Turns out I’m really good at holding myself responsible. But not always great at keeping myself accountable.
    • For more information on the difference between accountability and responsibility, check out this blog post.
  • Your goals can change
    • Remember how I mentioned earlier that one of the disappointments of working toward a goal is that things don’t always turn out as planned? Well, sometimes, this is because the end goal has slightly changed.
    • Know that it’s perfectly okay if your goals change!

Comment below with your goals and New Years Resolutions for the coming year

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