As the year nears its end, look back and congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished. Be proud of your endeavors and focus on what you have succeeded at this year. After some reflection, it is time to look forward and reevaluate short and long term goals. Taking time to focus on the future will help you create a road map on how to get there.
In order to achieve a goal, it is important to do more than to announce a broad statement on facebook or jot it down on a scrap of paper. The key piece to making goals attainable starts with how you approach and create an action plan.
Having broad ideas is important, however, you want to ensure that your goals complement each other. For example, wanting to earn a good living will align with your goal to do well in school and your externship in order to secure a good job upon graduation. On the other hand, having contradictory goals of wanting to buy a computer and a car simultaneously is not going to be as successful.
Take the time to decide on your long term goals and make short term goals to succeed. When you break your goals into smaller pieces, it is more manageable and easier to carry out. The key is to set clear and achievable goals. For example, “I want to save money” is not a clear goal. “I will save $75 every month so I can buy a computer this May” is a clear goal because there is a specific measure and timeline to accomplish this goal.
Ensure your goal is something that you have the power to achieve. “I want to be an NBA star” is not a likely goal, as only a few people have the skills to become a professional athlete. Focus on behavior that is within your control, such as “I will go to the gym twice this week.” This can be supportive of your goal to stay active and have a healthier lifestyle.
After you have zeroed in on what short term goals to tackle, make sure you write them down and use a positive approach. Use language such as “I can do ____” or “I will do ____.” This allows you to stress the opportunities available. You are reiterating subconsciously your attitude to complete the goal. Try to stay away from phrases that include words like “can’t, won’t,” or “if only…” Thinking positively everyday will help you in all areas of your life. Don’t limit it to goal setting.
Reward yourself for the small milestones you have met along the way. Each time you are able to add another achievement to your list, you are building positive momentum. Continuing to think positive and focusing on your accomplishments will help you maintain the energy you need to continue towards your larger goal.
And finally, keep your goals in a visible place. This will help you to continue on your path to accomplishing your goals. Look at your goals regularly and prioritize them, so you will not get distracted along the way.
Don’t let a small set back stand in the way of your ability to succeed overall. Sometimes, it is important to revise a goal as circumstances change, which can include setting a new time frame for completion. If you missed the gym this week because you needed to spend extra time studying, don’t give up on having a healthier lifestyle. Focus on getting to the gym twice this week instead. Don’t look at changing your goal as a failure. It is an opportunity to reevaluate and refocus your energy towards success. You can do it!