Client: Plum Paper
Setting Goals That’ll Stick
Have you ever set a big goal—like losing 40 pounds or cutting out all processed foods, or saving money for a vacation—and started off on the right foot, only to see it fizzle out a few months (or weeks) later? You’re not alone! It can be really tough to make goals stick into lifestyles, but good news: it can be done! All it takes is a little bit of organization & some effective strategy and you’ll be ready to change your life and meet your goals:
- Imagine Your Future Self
If we think of our future self as a separate person than from the person we are now, it can be easier to see the long-term goals play out. What sort of habits or changes are in their life? Does the future version of you exercise three times a week? Maybe they read more or are more confident at work? Write down in a journal or planner how you visualize your future self and then backtrack to figure out how to get there. For example, if the ideal version of your future self exercises more, choose an exercise class you would like to try and set an alarm on your phone a few hours before the class to remind you to go! Find a friend to tag along to the class with you to keep yourself having fun rather than dreading the workout. In no time, you’ll be coming closer to that ideal version of you!
2. Are Your Goals Realistic?
It’s easy to set overly ambitious goals. Instead, we need to remember that for many personal goals, it’s a marathon rather than a sprint. Long lasting change is made through tiny, daily steps. Instead of vowing to cut out all sugar forever, maybe start by reducing sweet treats to just on the weekends. Instead of making your goals rigid and austere, you are helping build a new lifestyle.
You can also try having monthly goals rather than yearly. This can help you set more attainable expectations and also try new things each month. It’s easier to finish a series of smaller goals than one looming deadline! Personal planners are a great companion for monthly goal setting; it helps to visualize your goal, create the steps necessary to meet it, and show your progress along the way.
3. Let yourself change and grow.
You may find that a goal you wrote a few months ago no longer fits your current mindset or plan. Life happens and people change as time goes on. If a goal falls through, it’s important to understand why it didn’t work out so that you can move forward or try again. Give yourself grace if you fall short of an expectation; you may not have been able to control what happened, but you can always control how you respond in life. For example, if you have a specific financial goal, but your progress was hindered by an unexpected bill or car troubles, know that sometimes, circumstances don’t always work in your favor. Keep going towards your goal, even if you have to make ongoing adjustments to the scope.
4. Reward progress
You’re doing it! You’re making your dream happen! It’s especially important to celebrate progress, in whatever way you find most rewarding. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can save $1 for every pound you lose and treat yourself to a new outfit! If you’re trying to be more confident at work, you can decorate your workspace with motivational quotes or photos that make you feel ready for the day. Think of your best friend: what would you do to make them feel encouraged or motivated if this was their goal? Celebrate yourself and the good work that you’re doing. You deserve it!
5. Keep going!
It’s tempting sometimes when we meet a mini goal to celebrate a little too much and get totally off track. Keep your eyes on the prize of your main goal! Make yourself accountable by sharing your goal and progress with family or friends or through documenting your achievements in your journal. Find someone with the same goal and partner together! It just takes a nudge from someone else to keep us going when we get in a slump. Plan a big celebration for yourself when you meet your goal to give yourself something else to be working towards.
And there you have it! Five potential strategies to stay organized and ready to conquer those dreams. By creating goals with your future self in mind, making monthly short term and realistic long-term goals, giving yourself grace, rewarding progress, and keeping your eye on the prize, you’ll be better equipped to make those dreams a reality. Meeting a goal is a big deal; you never know who is watching your progress and will be inspired to start their own journey.
Are you ready to take the plunge and see your life change with goals that will actually stick? Grab a pen, a planner, and a friend and you’ll be ready to see your goals blossom into a new lifestyle in no time at all.