At the beginning of the year, the majority of us set out goals that we wanted to achieve in 2022. However, January has already passed and some of our goals have slipped through the cracks. Though, you can still pick up these goals and reach them by the end of the year.
Here is how:
Being able to attain your goals does not necessarily mean having to make goals that are beyond reach. They do not have to be achievements that are displayed for the world to see. They can be simple and realistic, they can be ways that help us grow and improve.
That being said, staying motivated throughout the year to achieve these goals can be a challenge that arises after a few weeks.
The question is, how can you ensure that you achieve your goals?
- Be realistic (SMART goals)
When going through your goals for the New Year there needs to be some clarity and direction for how you achieve them. This process gives us a sense of motivation to reach our goals as quickly as possible.
For this reason, goals need to be:
- Time bound
They need to be SMART.
Understanding the practicality and importance of a goal offers motivation and a clear reason for wanting to achieve the goal.
Goals that use the five Ws to recognise whether it is practical and important is what makes a goal SMART. The five Ws are:
Find out who is involved, what you want to achieve, when this goal needs to be achieved, where the goal is supposed to be achieved, and why you want to achieve this goal.
By writing down the reasons for wanting to achieve your goals you can use it as a way to remember why your goals are important, when you are feeling demotivated and as though you have not made any progress.
Having set criteria in place allows you to keep track of your progress, this helps you remain focused and motivated. Losing track of your progress is usually what creates demotivation.
How would you keep track of your progress?
Create objectives for the end of the month to achieve to show your progress.
Keeping track of your progress gives a direct comparison for how much you have grown. The first week of working towards your goals will be different when compared to a few months down the line.
Achievability and attainability are key aspects that define a SMART goal. The goal needs to be challenging enough to stretch your abilities but still remain achievable.
Ask yourself if you have the capabilities and resources to achieve your goal. If you do not have the resources, what can you do to change it and make it achievable?
- Take a look at your available resources and base your goal on that
- Ask for advice when you feel overwhelmed
- Set up group goals and work towards it together
- Do research on the internet on how other achieved a similar goal, like YouTube and Google
Being able to understand that your goals are achievable will motivate you to continue when it seems difficult and when you believe you are not making progress.
Goals that are considered realistic are relevant and can be accomplished with the resources and time you have available to you.
Ask yourself whether you can reach your goals in the time you are given with the resources you have and if you have the time to commit to this goal. If you are able to do so, you know that your goal is realistic.
In order to create a sense of urgency to achieve your goals, have a timeline in place. Being able to decide the beginning and end of your goals will help you decide what should be accomplished in a day and in a few months. In addition, a timeline can also help you track your progress.
- Don’t talk about it
Okay, let’s admit it: when you create goals the first thing you want to do is talk about them. There is a common belief that when you discuss your goals you will be held accountable because of an added layer of pressure.
In reality, talking about your goals makes us less likely to achieve them. When discussing goals there is a sense of accomplishment that you feel, but it usually wears off and does not lead to accomplishing the goal.
This premature feeling of pride does not motivate you to complete your goals, rather in a way it hinders you from achieving them.
Instead of speaking about your goals to friends and family, try writing down what the goals are and refrain from talking about them until they are accomplished.
- Treat yourself as you would treat a friend
When trying to achieve New Year’s goals you should not fall into the trap of being hard on yourself. There are times when you might become discouraged when you try to accomplish new things and they just don’t seem to work.
This feeling of discouragement can make you feel despondent. There are times when you will feel more stressed and more dissatisfied when trying to achieve your goals.
If you were to hear your friend talk badly about themselves during this state you, most probably, would try to be a source of encouragement for them.
Take some time in your day to not reflect on what was incorrect or could have been done better, but rather what was completed in a way you are proud of.
- What to do if you lose motivation?
Motivation is not something that lasts forever, it has a limit, but that does not mean it is the end for achieving your goals. Something that is lost can often be regained in something new.
Often in times like this, it is best to reflect on why you want to achieve this, what it will look like when you have it, and most importantly whether this goal is your own. On occasion, our goals are not our own as someone wants us to achieve their goals for them.
Take a step back and review what you have done, does this make you happy? If it does know that you are a step closer to achieving your goals. If not, reflect on what you truly want to achieve and how you can achieve it.
For a goal to be achieved it does not have to start in the new year, it can start when you know you are ready for it and it is okay to start again.
Plato once said, “Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.”
Goals do not have to be something unachievable or a daunting task that is immeasurable. They can be simple ways to improve, yet be difficult enough to challenge your abilities, and still be within your reach.
Stumbling along the way is a part of the process, it shows you are growing and adapting to the challenges you have set for yourself. However, it is important that you always get up and try again!