6 Ways to Stay on Track with Your Goals
I’m sure you frequently hear that you need to have goals or you won’t get ahead in your career, business, or life. Setting goals is not as hard, if you are clear on your vision, but reaching goals is not as easy as it sounds. What prevents people – you – from reaching goals that you say you desire, sometimes desperately, to achieve?
Is it you’re not clear enough, or that you have some kind of fear around it (i.e. failure, not good enough, others may reject, etc.? One way to reach goals is to keep track of them, and daily.
Lately, it seems this is a common problem among workers today, especially in working from home where they have to develop their own system and own accountability. While this has been working for some, there are many who are struggling.
Here are a few tips for staying on track so you can achieve any goal you set:.
1: Write it down. When it comes to keeping appointments and meeting deadlines, most people have to write them down—or else they somehow disappear until after they’ve passed. The same is true with goals. Without visually concretizing your aim in writing, your goal is likely to dissipate into thin air. Also, it makes the goal real so your brain will work to go make them happen.
2. Set a schedule. If your goal doesn’t have a due date, then you can always keep putting it off if things get in the way, or even if you just feel lazy. Put the goal on your calendar. If it’s something big, don’t try to cram too many other things into the days before your deadline. A quick tip is to work backwards from that date; it’s easier to plan out tasks when you know the due-date.
3. Break it down. Your goal will be easier to accomplish if you break it down into digestible steps. When architects plan a building, they don’t just put it up in one day: it’s built in parts, from the foundation up. The same is true with your goal. Break it down into weekly, monthly, or even yearly chunks, depending on how far out the deadline is. Writing these down will provide clarity and motivation so you know exactly what to do.
4. Get Accountable. Studies have shown that when you have to report to someone else, you’re more likely to stay on track. Pick an accountability buddy—it could be someone working towards the same goal, like a work partner, or perhaps just a friend or family member (or a coach). Set up times when you’ll check in and notify them of your progress, and what you may be stuck on, so they can help you redirect and ‘hold you feet to the fire.’
5. Be Positive. Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could—he was able to climb the hill because he kept on saying “I think I can, I think I can.” You should have the same reaction towards your goals: verbal and mental positivity. Use affirmations, positive thinking, and support from those around you. Keeping the vision in front of you is a great practice, such as creating a vision board or having a picture of the desired goal of of you winning at the end. This creates the feeling to inspire you on.
6. Treat Yourself. When you hit a milestone, do something nice for yourself, whether it’s going out to lunch or buying a new article of clothing. Plan a special event or treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting, such as a new pair of shoes. This is a basic step in behavior modification – working towards something drives desire. Why not use this same strategy and celebrate with a nice treat when you reach the end of the road? (The reward should be something highly desirable).
Following these steps will give you clarity, structure, and motivation until you reach your goal, while helping you develop life-long habits that are life-changing.