Most people set some kind of goals at the beginning of the year. They may be to lose weight, to publish a book, or to grow their business. They may set goals to spend more time with family or to stop smoking. Regardless of what goals you set for yourself, you must have a way to reach your goals too.
You may have good intentions at the beginning of the year, after all, you have all year, right? Think about it. You want to lose 25 pounds. You have 12 months which seems like plenty of time right? The problem with one goal spread over 12 months is that it is actually is to much time. Let’s look at how you can achieve that goal and others a little more realistically shall we?
How To Reach Your Goals Realistically
Reach Your Goals By Taking It One Week At A Time
We tend to make big goals at the beginning of the year. You can see the goals I set for my homestead here. And why not, we have an entire year to achieve them. That may sound like a good thing at first, but a few days in you realize that that’s a pretty big goal. And a year is a long time.
It’s no wonder New Year’s resolutions are broken before the end of January. Instead of taking it one year at a time, try making the time for the goal shorter. Instead of concentrating on losing the whole 25 pounds, try setting a meal plan for the week that helps you towards that weight loss.
Once you make it through the first week, challenge yourself to stick to your plan for another week. It won’t take long before you start to see some progress. That in itself will be very motivating. But the positive side effects of taking it one week at a time don’t end there.
Your Actions Become Habits
As you stick to your new actions and plans week after week, they will become habits. Choosing a salad over a burger and fries will become second nature. Healthy food will start to taste better and you’ll love to feeling of energy and wellbeing. You’ll keep going for your daily walk and saying no when someone offers you a smoke. And heading to the mall to try on (and buy) new outfits no longer sounds like your idea of a fun afternoon out. You get the idea right?
As your habits start to change for the better it will become easier and easier to stick to these changes. Before you know it, the end of the year is upon you and you realize that this is the year when your goal was achieved one week at a time.
It’s OK To Bribe Yourself With Rewards Along The Way
When you set a big goal it’s hard to stay excited and motivated about it. Especially as the weeks and months continue. Something you might not be that excited about in the first place. We all know we should get more active and exercise at least a few times a week. But that doesn’t mean we look forward to it. So what can you do to keep going and stay motivated each and every day?
You can bribe yourself with a reward along the way. Think about what reward would motivate you. Maybe it’s a night out at the movies, maybe it is buying yourself that new planner you want. Be careful about food rewards if losing weight or eating healthier is your goal. Pick a reward that relates to your goal and you will see as a true reward for completing your goal that week.
Choose Your Bribe
Start figuring out what your bribe will be. Remember that the goal is to keep yourself motivated. Start figuring out what you need to do to “deserve” your special reward. Make it a challenge, but keep it attainable and realistic. Check here for a list of possible rewards.
Pick your bribes and put them to work. See if having that little reward dangling in front of you doesn’t help you to stick to your plan a little more. If one particular bribe just doesn’t seem to keep you motivated, feel free to switch it up and try something else.
Be careful you don’t sabotage your progress with your bribe. Using food as a reward when you’re trying to lose weight might not be a good idea, or getting a bottle of wine as a reward for not smoking all week may not be the best choice if you’re more likely to light up after you’ve had a drink. Use common sense and just try it. See what ends up motivating you the most and keep using those bribes.
Enjoy Your Bribe
Work hard to reach your smaller goal and then celebrate the win. Finally, enjoy your reward. Rinse and repeat each time you meet that small goal until you reach your end goal.
Keep a visual reminder of your reward nearby as a motivation. Cut out a picture of that planner you really want. Write out the movie name you want to see. Or order those movie tickets and keep them stuck to your bathroom mirror as a reminder each morning of what you’re working for. Sometimes seeing the reward you are working towards can be an excellent motivation! This is a lot like how making a vision board works for reaching your long term goals.
Motivational Hack – Set Mini-Goals You Can Reach Quickly
Big goals are good things to have. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. Sometimes we make a goal so big that we have a hard time getting started or staying motivated to continue. Sometimes everything goes well for a few weeks, but then your motivation starts to subside. When that happens bad habits can start resurfacing. Bad habits don’t help you reach your goals for sure. That’s when you need is a fresh boost of motivation.
I have just the solution for you. Think of it as a motivational hack. It’s all about setting mini goals that you can reach quickly. Here’s what will happen when you reach each mini-goal along the way.
You’ll Feel More Successful
It feels good when you reach a goal, doesn’t it? It’s internal positive reinforcement. You cheer yourself on and get all pumped up. Why not take advantage of that great feeling of success throughout your journey to reach your goals. Set those mini goals and celebrate reaching each milestone.
If you’re working on losing quite a bit of weight, you may want to set mini goals of losing 5 pounds. Celebrate each time you reach that next mini goal and bask in your success. Use the motivation to tackle those next few pounds.
It’ll Show You That You’re Making Progress
When you achieve that mini-goal, it also means you’re a step closer to your end goal. You’ll easily see that you are making actual, measurable progress. It’s easy to lose sight of that of how far you have come when you’re dealing with a bigger task or a large number. Those mini goals are visual proof that you’re moving in the right direction.
It’ll Give You A Boost of Confidence
Seeing that success and progress gives you a big boost of confidence. And rightfully so. You’re putting in the work and you are seeing the results. You should be proud. Put that confidence to good use. You’ve got this. That confidence will really help you reach your goals.
Don’t be afraid to share your success with loved ones. Getting praise for reaching each mini goal can boost your confidence even further. And don’t forget to give yourself a big pat on the back as well. All three factors combine to give you enough of a motivational boost to keep going. Give it a try and see if setting mini goals work for you.
So write those big goals, break them down into smaller mini-goals, then figure your reward for meeting those milestones that you set for yourself. In doing these things you will learn how to reach your goals realistically and successfully.