Little disclaimer, I was never a goal setting person or the kind of person who would set goals for the year ahead. I used to think that if you wanted to make a change then you should do it right at that time, rather than waiting for the end of one year and the start of a new one.
I realised that actually, using the beginning of a new year to reassess your life and where you are vs where you want to be can be incredibly therapeutic. It can also be overwhelming though, especially if you have a lot of goals.
This one time, I set goals for the entire year ahead and seriously, I achieved like 4 out of 20 of those goals by the end of that year. Bloody awful effort on my part.
So now, I’m armed and ready with a new game plan. Here’s what I’m doing to actually hit my goals this year:
Break things down into monthly goals.
Setting goals for the year was too much for me, but this route feels way more manageable and motivating.
Before the start of a new month, sit down and write out a list of everything that you want to get done by the end of that month. I like to add goals that I think I can reasonably achieve, and then also a few goals that will push me a little to keep all cylinders firing.
Where trying to achieve your yearly goals can feel like an overload, I’ve been so surprised at how much just having smaller, monthly goals (made up of my yearly goals) has pushed me to get moving and how much it’s killing my usual procrastination habits. Don’t get me wrong I still procrastinate I’m not Mother Teresa, but having these monthly goals feels like a huge game changer.
Set reminders to check back in on your progress.
For someone who has a generally good memory, when it comes to things that scare me, it’s funny how my memory all of a sudden becomes like a sieve. Sometimes even when I want to achieve something, fear can stop me and I need to have something in place to make sure I, well, get shit done.
Using my phone, I set reminders for myself in iCalendar to periodically re-check my progress on my goals list for the month. I take some time out, look at what I want to get done and then I’ll plan what I could do in that coming week, for example, to work toward hitting the goals I have.
Having this kind of a system in place makes me feel like I’m being held accountable. It keeps me on track and it consistently means I’m actively working toward what I want, rather than just having another month pass by and being like “oh damn didn’t reach those goals again” (<lol been there too many times to count).
Take care of your physical and mental health.
This might seem a little left of centre, but in 2018 (specifically toward the end of it) I started prioritising my health a lot more, but not in the way you might imagine. I eat healthily anyway and get regular exercise and all that jazz yada yada yada, but my motivations for doing those things changed. Rather than aesthetics, I’m focusing on strength and endurance, both physically and mentally. I mean how the hell can I achieve any goals if I’m not in a good space, all I’ll want to do is crawl in a hole
with Netflix and copious snacks.
I say the more we look out for ourselves, the more likely it is that we’ll hit our goals faster. You’ll have the energy and the power to get things done without burning out. Throughout the year it’s tempting to fall back into problematic habits or patterns. I mean hell, life sometimes feels like one giant game of snakes and ladders, am I right? Prioritise you, take care of yourself, stop being hard on yourself, be kinder to yourself and realise that you’re already everything you need and more. Okay, that concludes my Oprah moment for the day.