As we begin this first full week of the new year, I’m happy to report that so far I’ve met my weekly goals! Okay, so we’re only one week in, but I’m still calling it a win! Let me explain why that matters . . .
We all know that many times people make resolutions that don’t stick, in part because they’re unrealistic to start with. But what about those goals we make that really should be attainable, and we really want to meet them, but somehow we get a month or two into the year and find that we’ve lost motivation or we feel we’re too far off the mark already to be successful?
Here’s why I’m excited to have met my weekly goals; they are designed to move me toward successfully meeting my goals for the year! If I break down my yearly goals into smaller parts, I can be consistently moving in the right direction, staying on target and seeing that target get closer and closer – which is inspiring and motivating!
Visualize your goal. Really set it in your mind. Then work backward. In order to meet your goal, where will you need to be in September? June? March? Then break those quarters down into months. What action can you be taking by the end of each month to move you closer to your goal? Then break the months into weekly, consistent habits that help you stay motivated. These weekly goals should set me up for success, so that I feel motivated and excited, because I’m seeing progress.
An example: If I want to read 12 books by the end of the year, I will plan to read a book every month. Since I don’t want to get to the end of the month and be only 10 pages into my 200-page book, I’ll set a weekly goal of reading one fourth of the book, and then a daily goal of a certain number of pages. I may find it helpful to spend 30 minutes or less per day on social media (which happens to check off another goal on my list for 2019) so I have more time available for reading. Important note: I am actually doing this, and while it may sound rigid, it’s the only realistic way for me to meet this particular goal (especially as a grad student who already reads volumes!). That said, I give myself Saturdays as a “catch up day” because, you know, life sometimes gets in the way. Remember, the goal is to set ourselves up for success!
Evaluate the goal. Check in at the end of each week to see how you did that week. The same with each month, and then the quarters. Pay attention to those weekly goals, though! They set the direction and enable you to make minor tweaks before you’re too far off course. What’s working? What isn’t? What do you need to do more of/less of to get those weekly goals back in focus?
Have some accountability. This is a good idea, even if you don’t need prodding. Accountability partners are those folks we have to confess to when we’re not doing what we want to be doing to reach our goals. But guess what? They’re also those people who we get to celebrate with when we do well! Okay, we’re not supposed to be boastful, but hey – we all like to tell someone about our victories, and that’s the happier side of having an accountability partner!
Be kind to yourself. So, you slipped. It happens! Recognize it, then remind yourself why the goal was important enough to make in the first place. Refocus, dust yourself off, square your shoulders, and . . . begin again! Don’t waste precious time beating yourself up. It just gets you further behind, and puts you in a negative mindset to begin again or, worse, give up on something that matters to you. We all have days and weeks that are less than what we’d hoped they’d be. Accept it and move on! (As you’ll see below, I actually budget my time to allow for those “off” days.)
Reward yourself for meeting your goals. Use a gold star, smiley face or checklist – something you can see, something you can look back at and note your success when things get a little tricky along the way. This helps thwart discouragement before it really takes hold.
Your turn! Have you set a goal/goals for 2019? What are you planning to do through the year to move yourself toward the goal(s) you’ve set? I’d love to hear about it!
Help is available. If you find goal-setting (or, more specifically, goal-achieving) to be daunting and want a little coaching to get you on the right track, contact me at AngelaGlickLifeCoach@gmail.com and let me help you set yourself up for success!