In the past, we may have been like most people who make new goals especially around the time of New Years. We are excited and it feels like the beginning of a new adventure! But couple weeks in or even a couple days, we start to lose that motivation. Months start to pass by and things seem to return back to before the new year. What happened to all that fire and passion that we had in the beginning of the year?
We may also be those who use social media. We see news of our friends losing so much weight, getting into a prestigious program, making bank, and traveling the world. At times, when we look at ourselves, we start to think how come I don’t get to experience this? As a result we might start to spiral downhill and feel extremely defeated.
Does all this feel familiar? Do you want things to be different? Well, here are 12 ways to help you achieve ANY personal goal that you set.
12 Practical Ways to Achieve Your Goals
Be Honest with Yourself, What Do YOU Really Want and Why
This is probably one of the hardest parts when partaking on the journey of accomplishing goals. Look deep within and ask yourself, what do you really want in your life? Do not even worry about what others want for you. Consider what will make you happy or feel more accomplished.
Perhaps, it is to lose 30 pounds in 3 months? Now, consider why you want that. Is it because you want to feel more energetic and healthier? Or perhaps it is to partake in some sports competition? Maybe when you were younger, you were bullied for how you look? You want to ask every possible question, consider all the things of the past that led you to want this change, and let every emotion out of yourself whether it is sadness, anger, etc.
Now that this is established, never lose sight of it.
What is My Plan of Action
Now that you have a goal established, you have be sure it is detailed. Many times, people just want something and if they achieve it, then awesome, if not, then whatever, perhaps another time. Chances are, this type of person will not achieve his goal. There is no direction or plan.
To be successful, goals must be SMART which is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. For example with the weight loss goal. Just losing weight is not enough. A SMART goal would be something like:
- S = I want to lose weight so that I can fit in my suit for an upcoming interview for a graduate school program.
- M = I want to lose 30 pounds and lose 2 inches off my waist.
- A = I will be utilizing intermittent fasting strategy with 10,000 steps a day to lose weight. (Click here to read about intermittent fasting).
- R = By losing weight, I will be able to fit in my suit so that my confidence can shine during the interview.
- T = I will aim for 2 pounds per week, which equates to about 8-10 pounds per month, and 30 pounds by 3 months.
Smaller, Easy Goals First
Perhaps in the weight loss goal, you made it a goal to lose 30 pounds in 3 months. That is somewhat specific but 30 pounds can be quite daunting. Maybe you thought ahead and made it a goal to lose 10 pounds in a month. That’s a little better, but what if you only lost 5 pounds that month? This is where individuals may start to have thoughts of it is too hard and then give up.
Therefore, instead of striving for something that is too difficult in the beginning, it would be better to try a smaller, easier goal. Perhaps try 1 pound in 2 to 3 days first. You can potentially try eating 25% less than you usually do and even walk 1,000 steps the first day. Considering where you were at before, that may be more than what you usually do and that is something you should be proud of. When that becomes easy, you can then increase the level of difficulty.
Be Open to Failure
When striving for something that you are not accustomed to, be prepared to encounter A LOT of unsuccessful attempts. Never take these moments as a loss. In fact, they are all VALUABLE experiences. If you try something and it does not work, reflect. Consider what went wrong or how can I approach this differently. This is how you learn what to do and what not to do.
Perhaps during your weight loss journey, you were still drink a lot of sweet beverages like juice thinking it is “healthy”. Maybe you exercised too much and you ended up increasing your metabolism which caused you to be more hungry as a result. Pay attention to these details and reflect.
Find Accountability Partners
What better way than to have a partner in crime when embarking on this journey of achieving goals. With an accountability partner, you will always have someone who is right beside you going through the same experiences.
Whether it is the frustrations of un-successes, the sadness, the hard times, the joyful times, the milestones reached, etc., you have someone who knew and experienced EXACTLY what you went through.
Find a Mentor or Coach
You might be someone who has been very independent all throughout your life and do all the research in things you seek to know more about. You might even be someone who is highly knowledgeable in your area of interest. This approach has been working for you and has gotten you quite far in life.
Still, it might be worthwhile to put down some of that pride and seek advice from others who also have experience. They might be able to share their wisdom with you that you might not have even considered. They might just give you a certain piece of knowledge that you had been trying so hard to discover.
Time is one of the things we have the least of and yet, use the most poorly. But if we plan accordingly, then we can be productive with our time. But how can one do that though? It would be good to list out all tasks that needs to be done to achieve your goal. There may even be responsibilities that are unrelated to your goal. This is where you need to categorize each task by prioritization and urgency. Do some tasks have a deadline to meet? How urgent are some tasks?
When you are able to categorize your responsibilities in that manner, you can get more done with your time. If you can do things now rather than later, it would be good to do it now. Avoid the habit of putting things off until later. Save the non-urgent, low priority things last.
Give Yourself A Break When Needed
Although fun, past time activities might not be the most priority or urgent, sometimes it is necessary to help de-stress and recharge yourself. You can go for a walk, watch a movie, play a round of games or two, or any other activity that you feel would take your mind off things.
With the dieting example, maybe you need a cheat day, but remember to not binge! This will help you feel more refreshed to complete any other tasks as needed.
Do Not Compare Yourself With Others
We see many people on social media who are able to accomplish what we wanted to achieve. This can often put ourselves in a self defeating mode and negative thoughts. Why is that? This is because we may have the habit of comparing ourselves with others. This can really put you on a setback and bring you further from achieving your goals. This will demotivate you even more.
If you find yourself doing this often, it may be good to stay away from social media for a little while. This will help you be more focused on your goal at your pace. If you do have the habit of comparing, the only person you should compare with is yourself from the day before. If you are able to do something beneficial today, the you of the NOW is already better than the you of the YESTERDAY. Sometimes we might fall short, perhaps compare your NOW self versus the self BEFORE you even attempted striving for these goals.
Find Ways to Inspire Yourself
Since you are pursuing something that you might not have achieved before, know that it can be a difficult road ahead. You might not always have someone cheering you on but you should still find a couple of them. But something just as important is knowing how to inspire even yourself especially during difficult times.
One great way to go about this is to leave positive quotes on post it notes everywhere in your home. This can be quotes from famous people or even yourself. You can leave notes on your refrigerators, restroom, mirrors, rooms, car dashboard, etc., wherever places you visit most. Post it notes are adhesive enough to stick to most surfaces without damaging it. You can purchase some here. Colorful notes are also quite appealing to the eye.
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Write Down ALL Good Ideas
How many times have you come up with a really good idea and told yourself that you will remember it later but end up not? Probably more often than not. Most of the time, good ideas may come while we are laying in bed or showering. We are comfortable and relaxed so ideas just keep being pumped out.
As soon as you have a new, innovative idea for something, it would be good to make the effort to write it down no matter how lazy you feel at the moment. Whether it is on paper, post it note, white board, you name it, do whatever it takes to write it down. If you end up writing on your white board, it may be difficult to erase if the marks are left there for too long but here is a trick to remove it.
If you are showering and have a good idea? That is no excuse to not write it down. There are tools like the waterproof notepad where you can place in your shower area. You can write things down even during wet conditions.
Lastly, Persistency is Key
Although you may feel like you are doing the same things over and over with no progress, continue to keep working at it. If you are doing what you need to do and see no immediate results, perhaps there is a plateau period that you just have to overcome.
Once you keep it up, you might eventually hit that break through point! Once that happens, you can say that effort that you kept up was worth it. This is something you will most likely encounter when trying to lose weight.
Summary of 12 Ways to Achieve Goals
- Be Honest with Yourself, What Do YOU Really Want and Why
- What is My Plan of Action
- Smaller, Easy Goals First
- Be Open to Failure
- Find Accountability Partners
- Find a Mentor or Coach
- Time Management
- Give Yourself A Break When Needed
- Do Not Compare Yourself With Others
- Find Ways to Inspire Yourself
- Write Down ALL Good Ideas Down
- Persistency is Key
We all make goals to hopefully change ourselves for the better. But all too often, things become hard and we start to give up not long after initiating. Fortunately, there are many methods and even tools like post it notes that you can utilize to your advantage. Furthermore, you also have tools like the waterproof notepad that can assist you in achieving your goals.
I really love that quote by Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda. “If you only do what you can do…you will never be more than you are now.” To change one’s life, one must be willing to do something different and be ready for a painful process. Know that pain is ONLY temporary, it is nothing compared to the reward in the end. If everything came easy, nothing would ever be worth seeking. Hope you are more motivated to achieve your goals and that they are more possible for you now!
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