Today we’re ending our first month of 2017. I can’t believe it either! You’ve probably told yourself this year you’re going to make some changes. By now, you have a long list of resolutions for the year, but, in the back of your mind, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to check off everything on that list. After years of failed methods, I’ve finally figured out five steps to achieve my own goals, which I’ve shared below. Hopefully, these steps will help and encourage you to achieve your own goals.
1. Sit and write down a few goals that are important to you. Keep the list short and general. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. Do not reach for the moon. Realistic goals are key. Otherwise, you will set yourself up for disappointment.
Example: One important goal of mine is to live a healthy, active lifestyle. In the past, I never had a consistent physically active routine. However, I’m determined to change that; and make exercising and participating in physical activities a part of my lifestyle.
2. Once you have your short list of goals, you want to find a way to make these goals visible in your everyday life. You can choose to write down your goals or create a vision board showing your goals. Then, post the written goals or hang the vision board somewhere you will see it on a daily basis, such as a wall, door, mirror, or desk. Alternatively, you can create a wallpaper on your tech devices, like your smartphone, computer, or tablet.
3. Set milestone goals to meet each of your important goals. Make sure these milestone goals are realistic and attainable as well. When you’ve completed each milestone, reward yourself with something that is related to your important goal. Positive reinforcement will help motivate you to meet each goal. For instance, I have quarterly milestone goals for each of my important goals. Also, at the end of each month, I schedule a milestone check-in as a way to evaluate my progress. To take it a step further, you can write in a journal to document your progress.
Example: To get started on my healthy, active lifestyle goal, my January milestone was to create and stick to a workout schedule that works for me. I accomplished this milestone goal by creating a weekly workout checklist. Now, I routinely workout 4-5 times a week. To reward and motivate myself, I will be purchasing a new workout outfit.
4. Most importantly, mentally commit to achieving your goals. You are the only person who can achieve your goals. You need to believe in yourself and your capability to make achieving your goals a reality.
5. Lastly, create accountability for achieving your goals by telling your loved ones. Those who care about us will often check-in and encourage us. They’re our ultimate cheerleaders.