We all set goals and resolutions for the new year, but many of us jump off track within the first month. Goals are important, as they give us something to work towards. But goals without plans are just thoughts. In order to achieve your goals or to continue working towards them, it is important to have a plan and adopt habits that help.
Staying on track with goals can be a struggle. We’re here to inspire you and provide you with a few tips that can help you stay on track.
1. Write down your goals
The first step towards achieving your goals is to write them down. Whether you use a planner, journal, vision board, or whiteboard – start by clearly writing down your goals. It’s also a good idea to have your goals written down in multiple places and have them in a place you can see all the time.
2. Be realistic
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. Achieving goals can be the same. It can take a while to achieve goals and a proper timeline should be set for each goal. When determining your goals for the year, ask yourself, can this be accomplished within a year? Sometimes your goals could take years to accomplish, such as launching a successful business – so it may help by setting milestones you want to accomplish that year. Maybe it’s just finishing the market research and creating a business plan, if your goal is to start a business.
3. Create a plan
It’s not enough to just determine and write down goals; you need to have an actionable plan to reach those goals. Some ways to do this are by creating a step-by-step guide on how to work towards your goals or dates and deadlines for a task list. You may even have a flow chart of how to get back to your goals if you fall off track. A plan isn’t always a straight line to the goals but also includes contingencies should you fall off track.
4. Goal tracker
There are many unique ways to track goals. There are some great apps available if you use your phone to track goals. If you like using a journal, you can create some fun pages to track goals. Whatever your preference, it is important to set certain milestone and deadlines in your plan. You may even choose to create rewards for yourself when creating the plan. Just add to your tracker which milestone earns you which reward!
5. Check In
Goals and plans aren’t something you make at the beginning of the year and that’s it. It is important to have daily, weekly, and monthly check ins. Choose a day of the day that you sit down and just plan out the week ahead. This will help you stay on track and have a productive week. Once a month, check in how far you’ve come and where you still need to go. Check in again after 3-6 months to see if you need to make any changes. Goals are not set-in stone and can change as circumstances change – it's good to be flexible.
6. Accountability Partner
If goal trackers and plans don’t work for you, you may want to pair up with an accountability partner. This could be a friend, colleague, or someone you met in an online group. Accountability partners not only help ensure you stay on top of your goals but can sometimes also help guide you in right direction.
7. Focus on the good
It’s easy to get in lost in the negativity of falling off track, which is why it is important to set a positive mindset. Instead of focusing on how you fell off track, focus on what you’ve already accomplished. It’s important to have a good attitude about your plan, but also in life in general. Negativity comes quite easily, but positivity can take work. Rather than focusing on why your manager is annoying you, focus on something good your manager did for you. Shifting your mindset to focus on the good, helps you achieve more good.
It’s important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Something that works for someone may not necessarily work for you. Take a look at how you achieved goals in the past, what habits helped you stay on track? Which habits didn’t? It’s also okay to try something new to see if it works for you. If doesn't help within the first few days or weeks, it’s time to switch strategies.