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What does it really take to hit the goals you set? Why do we need to set goals, anyway?
Let’s dig into why it’s helpful to break down your goals into smaller pieces to achieve them.
Taking steps in the right direction is key
Taking a step in the right direction is the first thing you can do towards your goal. Start now – what are you trying to achieve? Even if the main goal seems steep, write it down. Writing it down helps make it more “real” to your brain, and it’ll help you stay motivated when you see it. Place it somewhere prominent like on the fridge and remind yourself of the end goal often. Keep in mind that goals are different than objectives. Goals are things like going back to school or starting a business – objectives are steps to that goal such as writing a business plan or applying for a student loan.
Once you’ve written your main goal, break it up into smaller goals. Then even smaller. Then EVEN smaller, until they’re so simple they’re almost impossible to not do. Want to start a business? Download a business plan guide. That’s your first step. You don’t need to write down every step right now, just write down a few, and when you accomplish them, continue writing down more. It’s a good idea to come up with a main plan then write some intermediate goals, and then flesh those out even more when the time comes. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Not sure what all of the steps you’ll need to do are? Work on the first one that you know of, and then go from there.
Many times people will get discouraged when they don’t complete a task or don’t know what to do next. Don’t take this as a failure. Take it as a stepping stone to grow and learn – how can you learn what the next step is? Research your goal or talk to someone you know who has achieved your goal in the past for advice.
Set SMART goals
Have you heard of the acronym for SMART goals before? This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Why is this important? Setting a goal with these measures in mind will keep you from setting an unobtainable goal and getting frustrated or giving up. There is no point in setting a goal that is completely unreasonable, but don’t let this be a reason to sell yourself short. Just follow those guides when setting your goal, and you’re already on the path to success.
Don’t get discouraged by one step back – it’s still one step forward
“Two steps forward, one step back”. This quote is often used by those who feel like they aren’t achieving their goals quickly enough – however, one step backwards after two steps forward is still one step in the right direction. Everyone will experience difficulties in their journey, and you are no exception. Part of being human is learning to accept the things we cannot change and how to work around these issues. Again, sit down and write out your obstacle. How can you bypass this? Take small steps again, and you may realize your mountain is actually a molehill in disguise.
Being held accountable is one of the best ways to ensure you hit your goals. Tell a friend about your plans, download an app to help you keep track, or write it down in a journal.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
At the end of the day, success isn’t linear. We have big peaks in success and devastating (at times) lows. This does not mean you’ve failed. As long as you continue growing and working on these goals, you will succeed. Remember that by working on these goals, you’re already doing more than most. Don’t get discouraged and worry that you’re not doing good enough. You are. Keep going.