2020 sucked, we all know that. Let’s put that behind us and make the best of 2021. You can start by using the 4 tips below to achieve our goals and set yourself up for success early on.
The new year always brings about the thought of new year’s resolutions and making it “our year”. But often we start out motivated, marching towards achieving our goals in January only to lose that motivation or get burnt out quickly. Maybe you are going to do dry January and avoid alcohol. Maybe you are trying to lose weight or get in better shape. Whatever your goals are the 4 tips below will make it far more likely you will achieve them.
1. Make a plan you can actually stick to
You should never create a plan to achieve your goals that isn’t something you can stick to for the long haul. This sounds obvious, but truth be told when we are extra motivated we tend to set a plan in place that is destined to fail us. A great example is someone who wants to lose weight so they decide to not drink any alcohol for a month. Sure, this is a great idea and removing alcohol from your diet is obviously healthy. But are you going to not drink alcohol ever again? (note: if you have a serious drinking problem this example does not apply to you, but maybe it’s not eating carbs or sugar, etc.) . When you cut something out of your diet that you enjoy, it may work for a few weeks but eventually your body will crave it and you will end up over indulging in the end. This is a big reason a lot of fad diets eventually fail us. Instead, think of how you can limit whatever it is so that you can still enjoy it just not as frequently. This ensures you are creating a habit that is built for long term success and not just something that will benefit you for a month or two.
2. Start with small changes and build on them
Don’t try and do everything all at once. Whatever your goal may be, start small and build over time. Let’s say for instance you want to start doing yoga. Maybe you say you’re going to wake up every day and do 30 minutes of yoga each morning. You likely will succeed at this for a few days or a week and then one morning something will come up for work and you’ll miss a day. Then you will tell yourself one day when you are tired that you’ll do it in the afternoon. Before you know it, you’re no longer doing 30 minutes of yoga every morning. The best way to succeed at creating a new habit and sticking to it is to start very small instead of trying to go all in from the get go. In the yoga example, try doing 5 minutes every day. Sounds a lot more manageable right? If you do that, you’re much more likely to stick to it and eventually will begin to want to do more yoga.You can check out this book about tiny habits and how small changes can truly change your life. You can also check out our other post on creating new habits.
3. Track your progress and reward yourself
How will you ever know if you are on track to achieve your goals if you never track your progress? To put it simply, you won’t. No matter what your goal is it is vital that you are tracking it to ensure you are heading down the right path. Tracking our progress is also a great way to keep us individually accountable for our goals. Don’t make the mistake of not tracking your goals and then in 3 months wondering where things went wrong.
4. Always look out the front window not the rear-view mirror
Stop dwelling on setbacks and failures. Because guess what? They will ALWAYS happen in every plan you put in place. We all tend to be so hard on ourselves when we encounter a setback. But you need to understand that setbacks are part of the process and how you handle them will determine whether or not you will be successful. Setbacks are inevitable, so why do we treat them like this major disaster we never saw coming? Treat them as part of the process and use them to learn and adapt your plan along the way. We discuss this in phase 3 of how to create a habit and it’s worth a quick read.
Use these 4 tips when creating a plan for achieving your goals and you will drastically improve your chances for success.
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This GrowthHack was contributed by Keegan
Keegan is a Senior AI Project Manager and a personal growth and development advocate. Give him a follow!