How to Stay on Track with Achieving Your Goals
Here are key steps to keep in mind to set better goals and achieve better results
If you’ve ever set a long-term goal, you know how hard it can be to stay on track. All too often, people set goals only to fail on following through. When you learn to create better goals, you can give yourself a better chance to reach them.
Your goal should challenge you while still being attainable. Take time to research how long it typically takes for people to achieve similar goals. Use that timeline to set expectations and to help create a timeline for achieving your goal.
If your goal is to write a book, find out how long it takes to write one of a similar length. While some authors may finish a book within a few months, others may take over a year to complete a manuscript. From that information, determine what timeframe is reasonable for your goal.
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Break Down Goals into Actionable Steps
Smaller tasks are less overwhelming, so it’s important to break down your big goals into smaller, actionable steps. These smaller steps are easier to achieve and work well to mark the progress you’ve made toward your overall goal.
For example, if your goal is to lose fifty pounds in one year, you might break down this goal by aiming to lose five pounds every month. Smaller goals related to losing weight may include things like signing up for a gym membership or learning how to cook healthy food at home.
The more you can break down your goal, the easier it will be to move towards achieving it.
Create a Timeline
After you break down your bigger goal into smaller steps, create a timeline for completing these smaller tasks. Write down each of the smaller steps and how long it should take you to complete each step.
After you’ve determined the timeline for reaching your goal, add the smaller deadlines to your calendar or planner. These checkpoints can help you determine whether or not you’re on target to meet your goal.
Set Aside Time Blocks to Work on Your Goals
Make sure to designate time in your weekly schedule to work toward your goal. As you schedule times to work on your goal, make sure to prioritize that time.
Some goals, like losing weight or kicking a bad habit, may not take up time. After all, a goal like that is usually about subtracting something from your life. It may benefit you to set aside time to learn new things that will contribute indirectly to help you reach your goal.
Whether you’re setting aside time to learn or to work, it’s important that your calendar has space for you to reach your goals. By keeping the appointments you’ve made, you set yourself up to succeed.
Make Achieving Goals a Habit
Even if you set small, daily goals, make achieving your goals a habit. When achieving your goals becomes a habit, your subconscious mind will work with you to continue achieving your goals.
You shouldn’t only set aside larger blocks of time to work on your goals. Set aside time daily to work toward your goal, even if you can only set aside ten or fifteen minutes. Consistency is key. When you get in the habit of working toward your goals, making progress will become like second nature.
Learn & Grow
It’s important to keep learning and growing so that you can achieve your goals. For example, you might read a book about productivity or look into productivity resources so that you can make the most of your time. When you take time to learn a skill today, you can use that skill to reach your goals tomorrow.
The time you take to learn and grow is an investment in your future. Even if you feel like you’re pretty productive, it may pay to learn more about productivity. Similarly, you can benefit from learning a new skill related to your goals.
6 Tips for Staying Motivated
1. Write down why you want to achieve each goal
Writing down your goals is a great first step. However, when things get hard you’ll want to remind yourself why you’ve set your goals. Take some time to write down the why behind your goals.
2. Keep your goal in front of you
Don’t go a day without thinking about your goals. Write down your goals in a journal, in your planner, or on a vision board. When you see your goals everyday, you’ll be more motivated to work toward them.
3. Use the Pomodoro method
Sometimes it’s difficult to get started, especially if you’ve set a big goal for yourself. The Pomodoro method calls for you to work for 25 minutes, followed by a five minute break. When you’re having a hard time motivating yourself, taking things 25 minutes at a time can help you move forward.
4. Join an accountability and productivity-oriented group
It’s easier to make progress toward your goals when you have other people to hold you accountable. Join a group of people who are working toward similar goals. Being around like-minded people can help keep you on track.
Some online groups focus specifically on productivity and goal fulfillment. These groups can be helpful, especially as you’re learning how to work effectively toward your goals.
5. Set up reminders to work on your goal
Remind yourself to work toward your goal. Whether you set a reminder on your phone or put a sticky note on your laptop, reminders can help motivate you to keep working toward your goals.
If you don’t remind yourself about your goals, it’s pretty easy to let daily stressors crowd out your growth. Make sure that your goal is always in front of you so that no matter what comes up, you’ll continue to work toward that goal.
6. Celebrate your progress
Celebrate your progress, no matter how little you’ve done. If you’ve broken your goal into smaller steps, take time to celebrate each time you reach a smaller goal. When you take time to celebrate your progress, you’ll find the energy and enthusiasm needed to keep working toward your goal.
Achieving your goals doesn’t have to be an impossible dream. When you break down your bigger goals into actionable steps, you set yourself up to succeed. By remembering what goals you’ve set and why, you’ll find motivation to keep moving toward your goals.
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