Top Tips for Sticking to Goals
We all know how daunting it can be to set yourself goals. Whether you’re dreaming big and looking long-term, or simply -have a short-term plan to better yourself, sticking to the goals you set yourself is easier said than done. There’s no denying that life has its ways of preventing your achievements, but there are a number of methods you can use to help you battle through and see them out to their conclusion.
Setting realistic goals
Setting goals that are unrealistic is many people’s downfall. Although you should absolutely challenge yourself, making your goals attainable is crucial for a number of reasons. If your targets are too big, it’s easy to get knocked back by small failures, and subsequently your goals back be left incomplete. It’s important to remember that the beauty of many goals is the journey to achieving them – stay focused on the smaller wins and the bigger ones will come. If you do have your heart set on a huge goal, try to knock it back a little, manage expectations, and then go for the big one further down the line. This is covered in more detail later in the guide (see ‘Breaking up into mini-goals’).
Writing goals down
Keeping your goals cooped up in your head isn’t the best strategy if you’re looking to keep focused. By writing your goals down and seeing them in black and white, you’ve got a constant reminder of what you’re working towards. You can carry them around with you, or leave them somewhere you’ll see them often. Psychologically, it’s much easier to stay focused on long-term plans if you’ve
written your goals down. Big goals can be written large for you to see every day, and your short-term targets fit nicely in your phone. Writing goals down engages the left hemisphere of your brain (which is largely logic-based and known for taking action), whereas just thinking about them only uses your right hemisphere. When you write goals down, you engage both of them, and your reaction is one of determination! There’s a plethora of studies about the effectiveness of writing down your goals, not least this one from Harvard University.
Creating goals that are specific
If you’re determined to complete your goals, it’s important to make them as specific as possible. This gives you clear direction and ensures you’re completely focused on what you need to achieve. Take for example, if you’re looking to save money. It would be easy to simply write down ‘save £1,200’, but you can add more focus onto why you’re saving as added motivation. Change this to ‘save £1,200 for home renovations’, and you’ve already got a more detailed approach to achieving your goals. You can even go a step further that this, and break it down into the exact details – ‘save £700 for new wood flooring, £50 for paint, £100 for a new rug and £350 for new furniture’. The more detailed, the better.
Breaking up into mini-goals
This relates to the above tips for saving for a home renovation. Each of the smaller amounts could be seen as goals in their own right, which once all achieved mean Direct Wood Flooring you’ve completed your main objective. This works for any goal you’re setting, and makes it much easier to get started, track progress and – most important of all – stay motivated. One large goals can seem too far out of reach, but a smaller goal seems much more achievable and gives you stages to work towards. When people are looking to lost weight, they should aim to shed fractions of their total weight loss goal. If you’re faced with the task of losing 2st, it can seem impossible. Losing 5lbs, and then another 5lbs, and so forth, makes it much more achievable. Your mini-goal wins can soon add up to create one huge achievement!
Setting a time limit
By setting a deadline for a particular goal to be completed (which can always be one of your mini-goals), you prevent it falling by the wayside and remaining incomplete. Time limits trigger psychological reactions to encourage action – hence the popularity of Black Friday sales. If you know you’re working on a tight time limit to achieve, you’re more likely to push yourself and make sure you get things done. Make sure it’s achievable, and set a realistic timeframe for you to complete your goal. It can make all the difference! Setting goals is much easier than completing them, but there’s no reason to avoid them. They’re meant to be challenging, and half of the reason you set them is to grow as a person whilst you’re completing them. See which of these methods works for you, and share any other tips you’ve picked up with us.
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** Note: This is a collaborative post