In January most of us take the time to write down our New Year Resolutions aka our New Year Goals. We feel charged up by the new year, and our lists are often ambitious and long. We’ve got goals like eat healthier, exercise regularly, lose weight, earn more money, and on the list goes.
And, while it’s fantastic to be ambitious, unfortunately, the reality is that often as the months go by, many of these goals fall by the wayside.
Deciding what your goals are is a great start. But, it’s actually achieving them that is the difficult part. Wouldn’t you agree?
I have noticed this from my own personal experience with setting goals in past years. And, as further proof, I recently stumbled upon a stat that said that almost 80% of New Year Resolutions fail by February. That’s a big percentage, but it’s not surprising.
And so, if you’re serious about making 2020 one of your best years yet, here are some tips that have helped me conquer my goals. I hope they help you achieve your goals of yours too!
Get clear on your vision first.
It’s easy to get lost in an endless list of goals. This can add too much pressure that can result in overwhelm and procrastination. So it’s important to be clear on where you want to go, and which goals actually feed into your vision for yourself.
And so, when you set your goals, ask yourself “What vision do I have for myself?” Visualise yourself at the end of 2020 – What have you achieved and how does it feel? Spend a little time visualising this and getting a picture of what success looks like to you. Because ‘success’ means something different to each of us.
Then, with this vision in mind, write down your goals. This is a great way to find focus and clarity. And, you start to focus on fewer goals that are more meaningful in terms of your longterm vision for yourself.
Having goals that feed into your vision for yourself is a lot more motivating. And this clarity will help drive you actually achieve your goals.
Exercise: Think about your vision for yourself one year from now. Then, write down your goals, making sure each one feeds into your vision for yourself.
Prioritize your bigger goals by looking at years.
Even when you know where you’re going and you’re clear on what you want to achieve by the end of the year, you can still end up with a big list of goals which can be overwhelming. That’s where prioritising comes in, because you can’t do it all.
I’ve found that a great way to prioritise is by looking at years. I think about my vision for myself, and then I go wild and write down all my goals – all the things I want to do. I get everything that comes up in my mind down on paper. Then, I categorize them loosely into years – 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 years from now. Of course, goals change over time, but this is a great exercise in prioritizing.
Regardless of whether I’ll do something in 5, 7 or 10 years, I still get a clear idea of what is more important now. You start creating a roadmap, realising that you can put a few of your goals in the parking lot for now, while you focus on what’s most important now. You also connect the dots and see how achieving one goal leads to another.
With fewer goals to focus on in the immediate future, you’re far more likely to actually achieve your goals. Wouldn’t you agree?
Exercise: Get all your goals out of your head and onto paper. Then, take the time to order and prioritise them – determining which are most important now and which can wait.
Choose fewer goals and make them manageable.
I used to have very long goals lists, and all it created was extra stress and overwhelm.
By learning to look at my goals over a longer time period, and prioritizing certain goals for the immediate future and keeping others for later, I’m far more successful in achieving them. Remember, less truly is more.
Instead of having 10 big goals for 2020, get that number down to 3 or 4. You can then put your focus into actually achieving these fewer goals and build on your momentum. You may be able to take on more later on, but by giving yourself a challenging but still manageable amount of goals to focus on, you can keep your focus a lot easier instead of spreading yourself too thin,
Exercise: Take a critical look at your list of goals for 2020. Is your list very long? Are all these goals important right now, or can you put a couple of them in the parking lot for now?
Focus on the purpose behind each goal.
Focusing on the WHY behind each of my big goals was a game-changer for me. Before my goals were simply a list of big things to do. But, when I focused in on WHY I wanted them, I felt a big shift.
The reasons WHY you want to achieve a goal is far more motivating than the goal itself. For example, one of my goals is to build my own successful online business. The goal in itself is flat and not particularly inspiring. But, when I focus on WHY I want this – To have complete freedom – I am motivated and compelled to take action to achieve it. I don’t just want to have a successful online business. I want total freedom – I want to be able to work whenever I want, live wherever I want, and be the master of my own earning potential. That WHY behind my goal drives me far more than the goal itself.
Constantly reminding yourself WHY you want what you want is going to motivate you to achieve your goals.
Exercise: For each of your big goals for the year, write down WHY you want it. Go deep and really think about why you want to achieve this, and how it will feel to have achieved it. Next to each of your goals, write down your WHY.
Review your goals and the why behind them regularly.
Keep your goals AND the why behind them written down and nearby. You could have them on the front page of your journal or diary, set as your computer desktop background, or even stuck up on your wall.
Seeing them regularly is a helpful reminder of what’s important to you and what you’re working towards.
I keep my goals in my journal and regularly review them, at least once a week, sometimes daily. This keeps them top of mind which helps me make better decisions – when I’m deciding what my priorities are for the day, week or month, I’ve always got my goals at hand so that I can keep focus and not get side-tracked by all the other things I feel I need to do.
And, as I take action towards them and gain insight along the way, I go back to my goals and adjust them if necessary. This means that, even though I get clear on my goals at the start of the year, they are a constant work in progress and move with me throughout the year.
Seeing your goals and the WHY behind them is going to help keep you on track. Eventually, they’ll become imprinted into your mind and you’ll be taking focused actions that feed into your goals without even thinking about it. This focus will help you achieve your goals.
Exercise: Write down your important goals and each of the WHYS behind them. Keep them somewhere you can refer back to easily, like in your diary or journal. Or, put them up somewhere where you can see every day.
Create positive affirmations to start making them a reality.
An important part of setting and achieving your goals, particularly big or challenging ones, is to take the time to work on believing they are actually possible.
You may have heard the common belief that what you believe is what becomes reality. There is a lot of truth to this. When you set a goal to lose 10kg, for example, you need to take the time to build the belief that this is actually possible, and that you can actually lose those extra kilos.
Many of us set goals on a surface level. But, without realising it, on a deeper level, we don’t actually believe we can do it. And, if you don’t believe you can actually do something, you’re not likely to actually do it.
A powerful way to work on your mindset and build the belief is through positive affirmations.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. … Self-affirmation may also help to mitigate the effects of stress.Harnessing Positive Thinking
For example, if regular exercise is one of your biggest goals, a positive affirmation could be I am committed to exercising regularly because my health important and being in shape feels so good.
Or, if you’re building a coaching business, a positive affirmation could be I have lots of value to share with the world and through my business, I inspire positive transformation in others.
Affirmations are personal, so there isn’t one specific way to write them. However, there are tips for writing great ones. Check out this post to get you started.
By taking the time every day to re-affirm your belief in yourself, you will be far more likely to actually achieve your goals.
Exercise: Look at your big goals and write down 1 positive affirmation that helps support on or more of them. Repeat this positive affirmation a few times daily, first in the morning before you start your day. Once you know it off by heart, practising saying it with conviction to yourself in the mirror daily.
Take an action, no matter how small, every day.
You’ve likely heard over and over again about the power of consistency.
Taking consistent action not only leads to results, it also builds momentum which is important.
For many, the idea of doing something consistently stresses them out. Every day!? Arg, what pressure!
But, it’s not about doing HUGE actions every day. You can take teeny tiny steps some days. Whatever is manageable.
Think about it… if your goal is to be more active so that you can get fit and lose weight. If you go to the gym for three days in one week, but then you don’t go back for the next few weeks… Then, next time you finally get yourself back to the gym, it feels like you’re starting all over again.
Instead of going to extremes – going all out and then doing nothing – spread out your journey with smaller actions consistently. If you want to exercise more, look at ways you can take action every day and build it into your way of being. Perhaps you start by committing to doing an intense exercise workout at the gym 1 day a week. And, on the other days, you could take smaller actions like taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, going for a short stroll around the block in between work sessions, or creating a workout playlist that you love.
Smaller actions done regularly will help you build a habit. And that’ll make your progress more sustainable in the long run.
Find a good balance of bigger and smaller actions to take daily, and you’ll set yourself up to actually achieve your goals!
Exercise: Pick one of your most important goals and think about ways you can take action, no matter how small, every single day. In the week to come, look for opportunities to take action and make your goal an active part of your lifestyle.
Keep getting up, no matter how many times you fall.
Taking on a big goal is a challenge, and it’s inevitable that you’re going to fall off the wagon one if not many times.
One of the best skills to build if you want to be successful at achieving your goals is Resilience.
Resiliance is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
It’s the ability to spring back into shape like nylon.
If there is one thing to take away from this post it is: To actually achieve your goals, you need to build resilience. When you fall off the wagon, get back up. Don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying. DONT. STOP. TRYING.
When I’m working on a goal, I often run astray. Life happens and we are only human after all. We aren’t robots. But, no matter how many times I go astray, I get back on track and try again. And, over time, I do succeed, and the success motivates me to keep moving forward.
Exercise: If you’re struggling with a goal, like maintaining a regular exercise routine or quitting sugar, don’t give up. Look at your goal and actions and see if you can make any adjustments – like taking smaller steps. Then, keep trying. Keep getting back up and build that resilience.
Focus on your health to keep you strong.
When you’re eating healthier, exercising, getting a good amount of sleep and drinking water, you are inevitably going to be more productive.
And so, no matter what your goals are, making holistic health a top priority is a sure way to support you and keep you strong on your quest in creating your wonderful life.
One way I prioritise my health is with a morning routine. This is a way for me to work on myself before the ‘real day’ starts. Sometimes I only have 15 or 30 minutes, but I’m sure to at least put in some time every day to work on myself and prepare for the day. Typically I include a detox drink (like warm lemon water), movement (like yoga), meditation and positive affirmations. This is a healthy habit that is instrumental in my success, and when I don’t do it, I feel the difference big time.
You don’t need to do a full morning routine or add a huge amount of pressure to your plate. This is just to remind you that your state of health impacts your productivity. I hope to inspire you to make small healthy lifestyle choices, one by one, to support your holistic health and wellbeing. You could simply choose to get a little extra sleep every night, or to drink a big glass of water every morning, or to go for short brisk morning walks. Keep your changes small, and aim for consistency.
Exercise: Think about small ways you can nourish your mind, body or spirit. Pick one small action that you can start taking daily to support your wellbeing and give you the strength to achieve your goals.
Step away every so often to gain perspective.
If you’re an ambitious person with big goals, it’s easy to get lost in the doing. You can find yourself glued to your chair, work-work-working. But, over time, you run the risk of burning out and losing sight of your bigger vision for yourself.
Taking the time to step away from the machine and doing something different or purely for joy can be hugely beneficial. By removing yourself from the typical routine, you open up new pathways. You’ll find yourself coming up with fresh ideas and gaining valuable perspective.
For me personally, I like to go on little day trips – like a visit to the centre of town to eat street food and explore by foot. Or I like to get close to nature and go for a walk by the seaside. Time away from my laptop and todo list is hugely inspiring, and when I return to the hum-drum, I feel energised.
To achieve your goals you need to feel inspired and energised. And, by finding more balance in your life and taking time out to enjoy life in other ways, you’ll fill yourself up with fresh energy to keep you going.
Exercise: Look at ways to find more balance and add more joy and play to your life. What is something you enjoy doing just for the pleasure of it? Make a plan to do it next week!
Find support to keep you motivated.
As you work towards your big goals, it’s normal to ebb and flow. As mentioned above, we’re only human, and there will be times where you feel down, deflated or uninspired.
When I go through these phases – often when it’s been really busy and I’m burning out – I turn to a handful of online resources to lift me up again. The digital age is amazing in that sense, as there are endless sources of inspiration to pick you up again. For me, people like Marie Forleo, Mel Robbins, Christine Hassler, Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins and many others can really lift me up. If I’m going through a low patch, where I start to question myself and lose faith, listening to one of Tony Robbin’s audio videos or visiting Mel Robbin’s Instagram page can really help change my mindset. It gives me an injection of energy and inspiration that inspires me to keep going.
Exercise: Do some research online and put together a list of mentors who inspire you. When you’re next having a challenging time, go and listen to one of their videos, podcasts or audiobooks and give yourself an inspiration boost,
Get an accountability buddy or a coach.
One sure way to get you taking action and actually achieving your goals is to get yourself someone who can hold you accountable.
If you can’t afford a coach, team up with a friend. You can share your goals with each other, and then meet up every 2 or so weeks and hold each other accountable for taking action. When you make a commitment to take an action, and you know your buddy is going to follow up on your progress, you’re far more likely going to be pushed to do it.
If you can afford a coach, go for it. Find a coach that resonates with you. Most coaches offer a free discovery session where you can get to know them better and see if you’re a fit. When you find your perfect fit, and you’re are ready and able, make the commitment and go for it. A good coach will help you clarify your goals and your intentions behind them, and they’ll hold you accountable for taking action consistently. Having this kind of focused accountability from a professional is invaluable, motivating you to push forward no matter what life throws at you. If you’re considering getting yourself a health coach, here is an article on how a health coach can help you.
Are you ready to achieve your goals this year?
I hope that this post has inspired you to refine your goals and commit to actually achieving them.
You have the power within you to make your important goals a reality and to create your most wonderful life.
You just need to get clear on what you want and set those goals smartly. Then, you need to take those small steps consistently. Over time, you will get there.
You’ve got this.
Which of the tips above are you going to try to help you achieve your goals? Let me know in the comments, via email or an Instagram message. I’d love to know!