Remember that champagne-fueled night not long ago? You shouted something inaudible to your buddies, kissed a stranger, and danced all night. You promised yourself this would be the year you (insert goal) and committed to doing it. Exactly. Pulse check. How’s (goal) going? Are you done? Are you close? The year is 50% done (pretend I said that in my most optimistic voice).
Suppose you abandoned your goal. Or maybe you’ve set more objectives (less vetted versions are termed dreams) and are doing nothing about them. We set goals every day (this morning, I set a goal to remember to eat breakfast). We don’t make goals for our health (although some of you do); we create objectives to improve ourselves or our lives. These milestones are how we’ll do it.
Respect your desire and act on it. If you commit, you can reverse this train. Here are my tips.
My buddy distributes magazines all over her living room for a “vision board” party yearly. Vision boards contain magazine photos that inspire the designer. Diet? Cut out a bikini-clad model (be realistic). Earn more? Cut out a picture that reflects that. Get it? Vision boards are now available online. To become a better home cook, pin some appealing dishes on your Pinterest board to visualize and push yourself. Career aspirations? Find a quote-posting Instagrammer.
Share. I found my buddy Susan’s blog article on Facebook. She announced her plans to get in shape and become the healthy mum she’s always wanted to be. She was transparent and detailed about her ambitions. And… I think she’ll succeed. Having friends and family hold you accountable can help you achieve your goals. Sharing setbacks is uncomfortable. You’ll get emails from people who’ve been there, and they’ll set you straight. They’ll applaud when you tell them about your milestones, wishing they’d reached them too.
People will assist you in achieving your goals if you tell them. Your network will be supportive. People who know what you’re going through will accompany you on your trip or secretly cheer you on. This also works if you’re masochistic and narcissistic. You’ve told everyone you know about your ambition. You’ll be embarrassed if you don’t. Many people abandon big goals.
You’ve always wanted to visit Rome but never had the money. Okay.
Start saving tiny amounts of money in a hidden account. If you’ve calculated right (I can’t help, I write for a living), you’ll have no issue paying for the vacation when summer plans are set. Some call this “making a plan,” but I believe if you set a deadline, you’re more likely to meet it.
Before buying pink sneakers, joining a running team, or simply getting off the sofa, sign up for the race. First marathon? Awesome, but worthless if you don’t know which, when, or where. Set a date to work towards (not to mention paying for something throws some skin in the game).
Yes, I’ve debated for two years whether to pursue my dream sea-kayaking, whale-watching trip. Goal? Whale-petting. I just need to book the trip to cross this off my list. Some goals are far-fetched (although Elon Musk might reach his goal in this category). Realistic goals are easier to achieve. You won’t become a bodybuilder or rail-thin model, but you can lose weight and feel confident in your favorite dress with a little effort. Don’t let your dreams exceed your talents. Set challenging goals, but make sure they’re reachable.
Self-commit. In goal-setting, only one person matters. You. You have to work out. You must remain late to fulfill your boss’s assignment to get promoted. Your wages will pay off your credit card debt, not someone else. You’re responsible, buddy. Recommit to yourself when you fall (because that definitely happens along the way). It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back, everything does. In a year, you’ll always be older. What can you do today with your ambitions to make looking back satisfying?
1. Make a list of one goal that you want to achieve. Let’s not make this your life’s grand goal, something you can achieve in six months.
2. Describe how you will feel when you achieve your goal (alive, energetic, sexy, accomplished, powerful).
3. Determine when you will achieve your goal. What is your goal, I ask? Did you say everything you wrote in #1? That’s great, but that’s not your goal. #1 is never your goal; it is merely a strategy to achieve #2. YOUR GOAL IS TO FEEL A CERTAIN WAY.
We really want the feeling #2 we get when we complete that strategy (#1). You can have that feeling anytime! I don’t want to know what you put for #3 because it implies that you will put feeling: alive, energetic, sexy, or whatever you said for #2 in the future. You are denying yourself the opportunity to have it now. It’s funny because when I explain this to my coaching clients, their way of thinking completely changes.