Have big goals but not making any progress on reaching them? Follow these six steps to set yourself up for success and learn why you’re getting stuck.
WHY YOU’RE NOT REACHING YOUR GOALS
So you’ve set a goal. You want to get up early, you want to eat healthier, you want to be more present with your family, but…it’s not happening. Why?
You did all this work setting these big goals and dreams, but life is too busy, fast food is too convenient, plus there’s your job, and the house and all the other stuff you can’t think of right now because you’re too tired to remember.
Well friend, it’s not hopeless for you. I promise! You just need a few things in place to help set yourself up for success. For example, you wouldn’t expect your kids to learn to read without giving them a few tools and practices to start, right? You can’t just throw a few books at a kid and say READ! You use strategies:
GOAL: Get MY child to read
- Enroll in school
- Buy easy reader books to have at home
- Read to my child daily
- Teach her the ABCs
- Practice letter sounds
So why do we set ourselves up for failure when it comes to reaching our own goals? I’m speaking to the choir here. Why do I tell myself to eat healthier and then add chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches to the grocery list?
The problem isn’t with our goals, the problem is the strategies we use to achieve them.
6 STEPS TO REACHING YOUR GOALS
First, if you haven’t set goals for yourself, go back and read this post.
Then choose ONE goal you want to work on. I know you’re going to want to tackle them all, but too much at once is setting yourself up for failure. Focus on ONE goal at a time.
The impatient part of me is struggling with this too. I want to go faster, I want to do more! But seriously, go slow. Get good at ONE goal, and then build on it. Don’t go halfway on a goal and then pick up another one along the way. Chances are, you’ll reach neither. Get good at one thing before you move to the next.
1. NARROW IT DOWN
Want to exercise more? Great! But if you expect to be motivated every day for the next 30 days, you’re kidding yourself. Try to pinpoint specifics you want to accomplish, rather than general ideas.
- “Exercise more” vs “I want to exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week.”
- “Sell my crafts online” vs “I want to open an Etsy shop, create 5 new products and buy business cards by the end of the year.”
- “Be more present with my kids” vs “I want to set a bedtime for my kids where I’ll read a story to them each night and play a board game after school.”
2. GET MOTIVATED
Why is it that you are even working toward this goal? Write down all the reasons you want to achieve it and refer to it when you feel like making excuses or giving up.
GOAL: EAT HEALTHIER
- Increase my energy
- Lower my cholesterol levels
- Reduce the amount of medications I take
- Improve my moods
- Model healthy eating habits for my children
3. MAKE IT REALISTIC
You may be super excited about reaching big goals, but you have to be realistic in what you’re asking of yourself. If you’re wanting your child to potty train, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. Any area where you want to grow will take time and patience.
GOAL: LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO
- Buy a beginner’s book. (1 week)
- Learn how to read music. (1 month)
- Memorize scales. (1 month)
- Play a song using two hands. (1 week)
- Learn Moonlit Sonata. (2 weeks)
4. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Find a way to track your progress that you enjoy. Is it checking off a list? Marking off dates on the calendar? Tally marks on the bathroom mirror? Make it fun! Get creative! Buy a cute notebook and write down what you did each day to get yourself closer to the end goal.
5. REWARD YOURSELF
There will be bumps along the way. There will be days where you want to skip, cheat or quit. Give yourself tangible checkpoints to set up little rewards along the way.
GOAL: WRITE A BOOK
- Read 3 books by authors I admire in that genre (get to shop for a writer’s notebook)
- Brainstorm ideas and set up an outline (can watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see)
- Write chapter 1 (buy favorite candy bar)
Need more ideas? Here’s a big list of creative ways to reward yourself for reaching your milestones.
6. REASSESS IF NEEDED
Have a goal of reading 52 books in a year? Well it’s June and you’re at 12, so maybe you need to change up your goal instead of neglecting everything else to try and keep up! Remember, these goals are to help you become a better version of yourself, not to turn yourself into a stressed out, to-do-list-making monster.
If you feel like maybe you need to break your goal down further, or set the deadline to a later date, that’s your call! You are the one in charge, set yourself up for success, not failure!
PRINT YOUR GOAL WORKSHEET
I’ve created a fun and simple worksheet that you can print to help you break down your BIG GOAL into SMALL STEPS. Print yours here. Refer to this example on how to fill it out:
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Want a little more guidance on where to start? Then check out this NEW Goal Setting Workbook I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:
For more posts on goal setting, read:
- Setting Goals and Habits to Break Free From Survival Mode
- How to Create a Daily Routine That Helps You Reach Your Goals
- Creating Family Goals
- Motivational Quotes to Encourage You to Reach Your Goals
- My Favorite Tools for Goal Setting
You’ve got this!
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