With the New Year just starting up everyone is starting to create their new resolutions, but many people tend to drop them when the going gets tough. This happens because many of the goals that are being set are pretty unreasonable or people get frustrated quickly when their “long-term” goals aren’t providing them with immediate results.
The best way to create goals is to make them realistic. What does this mean? It means doing things that are manageable and feasible. Think about it like this: if you have never gone for a run, you cannot expect to run 10km within a week of starting to run. It takes practice and gradually working your way up to your goal. A more realistic goal in this situation would be to say “once a week I will go for a run. My first run will be 10 minutes and I’ll add 2 minutes to my run each time that I go out”. Slowly but surely, you will achieve your goal of 10k. The key is to make short term goals that will eventually lead to a long-term goal that you want to achieve. This helps break the cycle of not seeing results or feeling unaccomplished when your long-term goal takes a long time to accomplish. Having smaller short-term goals to keep you on track to the long-term goal is the key to seeing success. You’ll notice the progress quicker as these short-term goals are much more attainable and you will be more inclined to keep on keeping on.
It’s also super important to not beat yourself up if you fall off track from your goals. You just have to acknowledge that you’ve had an off day and pick yourself back up. It’s better to have a minor setback than a defeat. People can always have off days and things can always come up and impede your progress. There’s no reason to dwell on it, but rather, you should shift this energy towards getting back on track and doing what you can to achieve your goals once again.
I find writing down your goals is a great way to visualize them and hold yourself accountable. I also suggest tracking your progress or writing the steps you are taking to achieve your goal. For me, one of my goals this year is to do an active activity every day, so every day I write in my agenda what activity I am planning to do and check it off by the end of the day. Accountability is the biggest factor in goals. You have full control over your goals and you can do everything in your power to achieve them (that’s what makes them YOUR goals).
Another thing I’d like to point out is your goals need to be for you. They need to benefit you and be about wanting to do them for yourself. You are doing them to better yourself and make yourself happier. No one else’s opinions matter. If you’re trying to please somebody else with your goals, you will find no joy in achieving them and will feel more inclined to give up. One of my favourite motto’s is “at the end of the day, it’s you and yourself”. I find this helps me remember that I have to do things for myself and make sure I am happy in the things I do and the decisions I make because I’m the only one who will be guaranteed to be there for me 24/7 for the rest of my life. My goals reflect me, what I want to achieve, and what I know I am capable of achieving.
Your goals don’t always have to have an “end-date”. For example, a goal of mine is to respect my boundaries. This means whenever I am uncomfortable or something does not serve me in the way I need, I choose to say no, be up front about what I want out of relationships and friendships, tell people how I feel if I do not like it, and make sure I go into situations knowing other people have the right to do the same so I am not upset if someone says no to me.
The point is, goals are meant to be crushed but it boils down to how you approach them. Ask yourself “are they doable in this time frame”, “will they better me or am I doing this for someone else”, and “what am I willing to do to achieve these goals”. These questions will help you design realistic goals that you are more than capable of achieving. It is important to remember that everyone has different goals and there is no correct formula to achieve them. You have to do what suits you best, but remember every goal is mental even when you don’t think so. It’s all about having a mentality that won’t give up on them when the times get tough. Take goals day by day and take time to notice the small progress you are making that leads to the big end goal. As they say “it’s not about the destination, but rather the journey”, so enjoy the ride.