I think it’s safe to say that we all have goals, aspirations and dreams. My bucket list is chock full of short term and long term goals, both personal and professional. Realistically, I know that not all of my goals will be crossed off by the end of my (hopefully long) life. And, to be honest, some goals that I’ve set for myself have changed over time. I know I’m not alone on this one. For example, I’m pretty sure my sister’s dream job is no longer to drive an ice cream truck, as it was when she was little (though, I’m sure she still has days where that might be the case). My point is that as we grow, our goals might just grow with us, or perhaps drop by the wayside. Both paths are ok.
With that said, there are methods you can utilize to help keep you on track toward achieving your goals.
Write it down
Goals become more tangible when you write them down. Plain and simple.
Make a plan
I think we’re all familiar with the saying, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” And, while that is true in many instances, research shows that people who plan out the steps to achieving their goals are more successful. This is partly because planning gives you realistic expectations of timelines, as well as an understanding of the steps required to meet your goals. Planning can also help you figure out any costs associated with obtaining your goals, and allow you to start budgeting and saving, if that’s what it takes.
Talk about it
Find a friend, colleague, or family member who will be supportive, and encourage you. (I should note that “talking about it” doesn’t only mean with a specific person. You can also chronicle your journey through blogging, Instagram, Twitter, whatever… ) The benefits of including someone on your journey are many. It gives you someone to bounce ideas off of, give you a different perspective, encourage you, and follow through with you. Essentially, they hold you accountable. It keeps you as excited about obtaining your goal as you were when you first decided to jump in, or gives you that supportive push to keep going when you feel like giving up. That’s why you see so many successful programs and apps that give you a community for support, whether it be for running, eating healthy, or work-related projects. There is a reason why communities are such an integral part of both society, and biology. There is no species that can survive on its own. You are not an exception to this rule. No matter how awesome you are. No, really.
Grrrr. There’s that word again. ‘Consistent’. Consistency can be hard. Especially when we’re not seeing the progress that we’d like to see. It’s difficult when there are set-backs or bad days. Hard when we feel like we’ve tried tackling something from every angle, and still not seeing results. We are an immediate gratification society. We want, and we want now. Reality check: That’s not life. And I’ve got a little secret for ya. Reaching a goal is so much sweeter when you’ve had to work really hard achieve it.
Do your research
Being prepared for any endeavor will increase your odds of success.
Don’t give up
And I don’t mean, turn into some crazy-obsessed person. But it’s important to understand that some things may be a struggle, or that you might lose some of your drive, especially on longer-term projects. When things aren’t going the way you planned, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your goal. There is a natural ebb and flow to life, and you need to understand and be okay with that. (I’m going to stop right now before I start sounding too ‘Kumbaya’ on you.)
I guess the important thing to remember is that with the right planning and support system, any goals you set are achievable.