Learn a new language, change jobs, save money, lose weight, buy a house—goals can be exciting but the path to get there is often laden with overwhelm and uncertainty. While the New Year is a perfect opportunity to create goals and set intentions, 365 days is a long time to stay on track! Here are our top tips on how to set your 2019 goals (minus the overwhelm) and stay motivated as the year progresses:
Gather ‘Round, Goals!
Allow yourself to go wild and jot down ALL the potential goals you might like to achieve this year. Don’t edit yourself in this process, just run free and throw them all into the pot no matter how small, how big, or how outlandish. Make it fun!
Start to Steady Your Aim
Now that you have everything in one spot (instead of floating around your head), divide your master list into three smaller lists:
List 1: Someday (“I’ll do this one day, maybe…”)
List 2: Opportunity (“This would be cool—it’s a definite possibility!”)
List 3: Critical (“This would change my life for the better & I need to do this ASAP!”)
Place each of your ideas into one of these three categories—the idea here is that you get to keep all your possible goals but sort them into more organized, more attainable “buckets”. Feel the overwhelm falling away? Great! Not only is this practical, but it frees up much-needed mental space.
Create Your “Critical Goals” List
Take a look at your “Critical” list and narrow it down further; ideally 1-3 goals. If you’re finding that tough, ask yourself: “Which goals will impact my life the most this year & why?” Make sure you choose “Critical” goals that you can realistically achieve in a year (otherwise break it down further into a sub-goal), and, finally, make a note (one sentence) next to each one as to why it matters to you. Go!
Find the Keys to Your Success
So, now you know what you want to achieve, but how do you get there? As the saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Start to break down the 1-3 items on your “Critical List” by answering the following question:
“What do I need to achieve each month to reach your yearly goal/s?”
Drill right down so that you have a tangible, achievable mini-goal to complete each month, that feeds into your wider yearly goal/s. Goodbye, overwhelm!
Life Happens, Keep Going
Finally, regardless of our goals and how excited we are about them initially, life happens along the way. Family, friends, career, responsibilities, illness, travel, unexpected circumstances, the list goes on. Achieving the items on your “Critical” list isn’t a matter of not falling off track, it’s a matter of getting back on track when you inevitably fall off. Expect life to get in the way and make a deal with yourself to keep on going anyway!
Achieving your goals this year (and any year!) takes time, persistence, consistency, and a whole lot of patience. Staying motivated is within your reach — it's just about keeping your end goal in mind and breaking down the bigger picture into manageable smaller chunks. So, be kind to yourself in 2019 and know that no matter what happens along the way to pursuing your goals you are showing up and doing your absolute best. Good luck!