It’s common knowledge that people who set goals are generally more successful in life. Problems arise when we’ve set goals, but keep putting off action until it’s easier, quieter, sunnier - or any number of superficial excuses. Investing time in proven methods to achieve goals, means taking your mind firmly out of ‘cop-out’ land. Here’s how to do it.
1. Set Specific Milestones
Let’s say you’ve set a goal to enhance your physical fitness. While it’s a wonderful idea, getting physically fit is a process that requires focus on specifics. The more you can narrow down any goal, the easier it’ll be to stay on track to accomplishment, by setting realistic milestones.
For example, if you want to be physically fit in 12 months, you could start by jogging each day for the first month. In the second, swap unhealthy eating habits for better ones, and so on. When goals are manageable, with small triumphs along the way, you’re much more likely to stick with them.
A vision board helps keep you inspired and motivated.
2. Visualise Outcomes
Research suggests our brains don’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s imaginary. This is why positive thinking and visualisation play such a huge role in achieving goals. The aim is to feel like you’ve already fulfilled your dreams, to heighten motivation and actually create changes in your brain, to help you get there. Make a vision board and put it in the kitchen or bathroom, daydream about that island holiday or picture how life will be when you’ve built your ideal home.
3. Create an Action Plan
Writing down goals and action steps is a proven method to help you stay motivated. Doing so cements goals in your mind and offers proof of your ideas, plus inspiration when you need it. If you’re creative, draw a mind map in bright colours, to flesh out your concepts, steps and solutions. Or, write a chronological list to prioritise steps, set dates for milestones and tick them off as you go.
Some days we get out of bed the wrong way and our performance isn’t what it should be. Still, that’s no reason to stop working towards your goal. Always remember that even the smallest steps take you closer to completion. Hold yourself accountable by showing up, especially when you’re not feeling your best. Focusing on the simple process, rather than the performance on rough days, keeps you on track, so you don’t fall too far behind.
Celebrate small triumphs along the way.
5. Celebrate Successes
Achieving goals isn’t the be all and end all of life, so don’t fall into the trap of taking life too seriously. After all, as soon one dream is accomplished, another already looms in the future. Therefore, don’t forget to make the most of the journey and celebrate along the way. Each small success, inroad or challenge conquered is reason enough to crack open the bubbly and ‘cheers’ to your inspiring progress.
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