Are you really good at making a long list of goals, but struggle with successfully achieving and actually keeping them?
Setting goals is a great way to turn your dreams into a reality. The key thing to remember is that anyone can make a list of things they want to accomplish, but many stop thinking about them the moment after they’re created. Keep reading to learn ten actionable ways to set goals that you can successfully achieve and how to keep them.
1. Write Things Down
Writing things down on paper helps us focus our attention on a specific idea, thus making it easier to commit to memory. Daily journaling helps to express feelings and emotions and puts your life into perspective. Writing also helps with creativity, especially if you’re a blogger or work in a creative profession.
TRY: Try writing things down for a week. Buy a planner/notebook that you really love so you get excited to use it. Write a to-do list of what you have planned for the week and individual days.
Even if it’s as simple as “go to the gym” or “catch up on emails,” writing it down will help turn on a switch in your brain to set it as a priority. Also write down your thoughts, ideas, and emotions throughout the day, even if it feels really weird at first.
2. Create Short-Term Goals, Not Resolutions
Resolutions are usually huge lifestyle changes that end up overwhelming us, which only leads to failure and disappointment. Goals, however, are small and attainable.
We aren’t 100% positive where we will be in 12 months, 6 months or even 3 months from now. Focus on short-term weekly or monthly goals and keep them simple and reasonable. If you want to save money for a trip make a plan to save a certain amount of money each paycheck or month.
TRY: Write your weekly goals down in a planner or notebook. At the end of each week spend a few minutes reviewing your list to see what you’ve accomplished and what you still need to work on.
3. Develop a Morning and Night Routine
Getting into your own groove in the morning and before bed is an extremely beneficial habit that will get you waking up each day feeling inspired and motivated. You’ll feel more relaxed at night, get more and better sleep, and eliminate the morning stress of rushing around trying to get everything ready for work.
- Related: How to Become a Morning Person
TRY: Going to bed 15 minutes earlier each day for a week. If you can stick to this for 2-3 weeks, your body will recognize it has a habit and it won’t be so rough waking up earlier each morning. You’ll have more time to get ready, make breakfast, read a book, or just breathe.
4. Let Go of Grudges
Goal setting provides us with a fresh mental slate to let the past be the past and move on. If you’ve been having drama with someone, now is the time to let it go. Not for the other person’s sake, but for your mental health. Forgiveness is one of the best things we can give ourselves and it’ll send a message to whoever you’re in conflict with that you’re over it and want to move forward. Once that weight is off your shoulders you will have more time and energy to focus on yourself (and your goals!)
5. Practice Daily Gratitude
Taking a couple of minutes out of your day to write down what you’re grateful for is a great way to enhance your perspective on life, which will make you a happier person. Why should we complain about things when there is so much to be thankful for?
TRY: Write five things you are grateful for every morning after you wake up or at night before you go to sleep for a week.
The power of tidying up is underrated, and a clean space will leave you feeling motivated and inspired. Getting rid of the things we don’t use/need anymore is a great way to embrace a “start fresh” and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
If you’re really serious about decluttering your life (physically AND mentally), I suggest checking out minimalism, a lifestyle that embraces finding meaning in your life by getting rid of excess. There are many podcasts, articles, and blogs on minimalism, so it’s something definitely worth checking out.
TRY: On a day you have some time to spare, set your timer on your phone for twenty minutes. Dedicate your attention to a specific area in your home to get rid of things in your that you haven’t worn, touched, used, etc. in the past 6 months.
Target your closet, desk, kitchen, bathroom, etc. Thinking about spending hours to declutter and clean will only make the task seem daunting, so start small.
7. Drink More Water
Okay, you’re probably sick of hearing this, but I had to include another friendly reminder about how important it is to drink lots of water. It’s great for your skin, prevents headaches, energizes you, and suppresses appetite which = weight loss! It’s also super easy to do and will give your body what it needs to feel motivated to conquer your goals.
TRY: If drinking water is really hard for you, try infusing it with fruit like lemon, strawberries, blueberries, or oranges. So yummy and healthy!
8. Put Your Goals into Action
Another problem we have when it comes to achieving our goals is that we simply think about it too much. “I’m going to go to the gym in the new year.” “I’m going to try and lose weight this year.” Instead of thinking about it, just do it! I can’t stress enough the power of action in the moment.
TRY: Doing something as little as taking a walk around the block or doing some squats for five minutes in your room can make all the difference and doesn’t take much time. Start NOW!
9. Surround Yourself With Positivity
If you find yourself unhappy and unmotivated among your group of friends, sticking around them isn’t going to help you achieve your goals. The same goes for social media–if you follow Instagram accounts that just make you feel like sh*t, it’s time to do some unfollowing. Surrounding yourself with positive people and images will instantly boost your mood and motivation.
TRY: Listening to inspiring podcasts. I share six of my favorites with suggested episodes to get you started in this post.
10. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time to achieve something worthwhile. Many people have an “instant gratification” mentality and give up when they don’t see immediate results. We have to train our minds to let this go and focus on the long-term effects.
“The obsession with instant gratification blinds us from our potential.”
Implementing small habits like these will keep you feeling inspired and motivated throughout the year. Achieving your goals doesn’t have to be complicated–it all depends on YOU and how much you really want something. I hope this post provided some inspiration and if you try any of these tips, please let me know!
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