If you want to be successful, one of the most important steps is setting goals. If you just work to get things done, you end up going through the motions with no real purpose or drive. This is especially important as we move into the last part of the year. Now is the time to review the goals you set earlier and see if they are still relevant and important. There is still plenty of time to achieve your goals so here are a few tips to stay on track.
When it comes to keeping appointments and meeting deadlines, most people have to write them down —or else they somehow disappear until after they’ve passed. The same is true with goals. There is something magical that happens between the brain and the pen. By writing your goals down - and seeing your goals written, it reinforces that goal and makes it more attainable.
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”
Mark Victor Hansen
If your goal doesn’t have a due date, then you can always keep putting it off if things get in the way, or even if you just feel lazy. Put the goal on your calendar. If it has been hanging around for a while and you still haven't achieved it yet, this step is even more important. If your goal is particularly large, don’t try to cram too many other things into the days before your deadline.
Your goal will be easier to accomplish if you break it down into digestible steps. When architects plan a building, they don’t just put it up in one day: it’s built in parts, from the foundation up. The same is true with your goal. Break it down into monthly, weekly, or even daily chunks, depending on how far out the deadline is. Make these smaller chunks into mini-goals and put them into your calendar also. Check in with yourself each week to review each goal and modify if necessary.
Studies have shown that when you have to report to someone else, you’re more likely to stay on track. If you don’t already have a coach, pick an accountability buddy—it could be someone working towards the same goal, or perhaps just a friend or family member. Set up times when you’ll check in and notify them of your progress.
"Accountability breeds response-ability." Stephen R. Covey
Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could—he was able to climb the hill because he kept on saying “I think I can, I think I can.” You should have the same reaction towards your goals: verbal and mental positivity. Use affirmations, positive thinking, and support from those around you to keep you motivated to attain your goals.
When you hit a milestone, do something nice for yourself, whether it’s going out to lunch or buying a new item of clothing. Plan a special event or simply track your success in a journal as you reach your goal. When you acknowledge achieving your goals you become more confident about yourself and your success can motivate you to keep pushing forward.