Setting goals is such an important part of our lives. It provides us with a clear vision of the future and encourages us to get better every single day. This guide will explore some simple tips on how to get started with setting goals and make sure you follow through and achieve them.
Find out what drives you every day
It is crucial that you set goals that motivate you. If you choose to focus on something which does not give you joy or excitement, you are more likely to give up on the process. Take some time to think about your values and dreams for the future and ensure that the goals you set for yourself align with those.
Don’t be afraid of failure
Remember that making mistakes is completely normal. In fact, the more mistakes you make, the faster you will learn and grow. So, do not be afraid to set goals which challenge you. The journey will not always be smooth and you will most likely run into some obstacles. However, you should not let that stop you from setting goals for yourself. You should simply view these situations as learning experiences.
Follow the SMART framework
When formulating goals, it is best to ensure that they are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound. Firstly, you can start by transforming your general goals to specific statements. For example, instead of saying ‘I will be healthy’, try replacing this with ‘I will have three healthy meals and complete 20 minutes of exercise every day’. This method will also help you measure your goals in the long term. Also, make sure they are attainable and realistic to you. If you are not used to exercising every day, it will not make sense to begin a workout routine with the aim of 1 hour or more of exercising. You will have to decide what will work for you in the beginning and then gradually build your habits from there. Lastly, do not forget to choose a time frame for your goals. Initially, this can be one month, three or six months and eventually you can plan out a full year.
Achieving your goals
Now that you have set your goals using the SMART technique, you may wonder how you are supposed to stick with them and make sure they actually happen. Follow these tips to help you along the way:
Write them down
Be as clear and detailed as possible. You can use a journal or planner to do this. There are many options which you can choose from. One example is Ponderlily which offers eco-friendly journals and planners designed to help you plan out your time effectively. When writing down your goals, a good idea could be to include your reasons for wanting them to happen. By referring back to them, you will be able to stay focused and motivated.
Schedule them in
Be strategic with your time and create a realistic schedule around your goals. Break the big goals down in to smaller actions and habits. For instance, if your goal is to finish a course in German by the end of the month, ensure you schedule the classes and independent study into your diary. An easy and convenient tool you can also use is Google Calendar. Sometimes you may have to move around your plans and adjust as needed. At the end of the day, unexpected changes may happen and this will be outside of your control. Remember to be kind to yourself and continue to do your best when possible.
Review your progress regularly
Lastly, it is important to check in with yourself to make sure you are on track. You may choose to do this weekly or monthly. Do not be afraid to reject old goals which no longer serve you and consider new opportunities. This will allow you to grow and gain new knowledge and skills.
It may take time to build these new habits. However, these tips are here to guide you during this process. You will find that with more trials and experiments, you will see massive improvements in your life.
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