Some people find that setting goals can be a daunting task. It can take hours, weeks, or for some--months to construct goals. For some people, setting goals is not usually the issue. Rather, it is putting their goals into action and not having the resources to start.
In this post, I will offer a couple strategies that I use to set and accomplish personal goals. If you feel that none of these ideas work for you, then maybe it will help inspire you to find your unique process. The ultimate goals is to take the necessary steps to proceed with your pursuit of happiness. Let's begin.
Write It Out
Have you ever felt as if you may not know what your goals or purpose in life is because you have too much going on in your life? Perhaps you have make promises to yourselves that you would lose the extra weight for a New Years resolution, you would quit your job, or quit smoking, etc. But how many times have you followed through with these goals? Often, it is not because you intentionally decided not to do them. Life tends to get in the way. Guess what? You’re not alone. There are millions of people who struggle with this one a daily basis.
So, what can you do to get ahead and start making progress? Write it out! Writing out your thoughts allows you to be able to focus on what you wish to accomplish and helps you to maintain focus on the task at hand. Simply sitting and thinking about ideas will not always work because your thoughts are ever-changing.
Here is an exercise I use when I feel overwhelmed with making decisions or when I am trying to gain clarity for a project:
Find a quiet place in the room where no one can bother you and where you will not become distracted.
Turn your cellphone on to airplane mode for 30 minutes.
Next, have a sheet of paper or a notebook with a pen nearby.
Draw a line down the middle of the page. On the left side, title it "Long Term Goals" on the right "Short Term Goals."
Close your eyes and meditate for 5 minutes. I love using the Calm unguided meditation for this exercise. Just sit quietly and focus on your thoughts as you think about your long term goals. Ask yourself: "what is it that I wish to accomplish?" "where do I want to be in five years?" "What is important to me?" "what are my greatest assets and skills?"
Once you have answered these questions, start taking notes.
When writing out your goals, be specific and practical. Write what you want your end goal to be and how you plan on getting there. Once you have a vision of your ultimate long term goal, begin working on the small actions or steps you will need to get there. Short term goals are far more practical and attainable. Be sure that whatever short terms goals your list does not turn into a lengthy irrelevant to-do list. You want it to be specific and intentionally moving you closer to your long-term goal. The key is to find a starting point. When you write out your goals, it will allow you to evaluate your level of commitment.
It's very difficult to remain committed to something when you don’t see immediate results. However, I remain committed and focused, my friend. If it is something that you are truly passionate about, and you are 100% certain of what you want to accomplish in the future, do NOT give up on yourself. You are the only person you can depend on to be happy and attain the level of success you desire.
There may be people along your journey that will try to bring you down by saying negative things about your aspirations and dreams, but as Abraham Lincoln said, "always bear in mind that your resolution to success is more important than any other thing." As selfish as it may sound, you will need to place yourself above the ideologies of others and focus on what is best for you. If you hear of negative rumors or remarks about certain jobs or relationships that coincide with your goals, ignore them. I find it best to keep my long term goals to myself so that it does not interfere with my process and decisions.
Procrastination is a form of not being committed to what you say you would do. In a sense, you are telling yourself that you are not worth the time or effort to take initiative. Overcome procrastination being taking the necessary action to move closer towards your long-term goal. You can do this easily by using apps on your phone or setting reminders to take 15 minutes out of your day to do something productive. If you have an Android phone, you may find Google Keep to be a fast and easy way to stay on top of things you wish to accomplish. In the iPhone store, there's an app called Errands To-Do List that is an equally great app to get you started, and it's FREE. I also utilize the Pomodoro technique where I set the time on my phone for 25 minutes and do focused work for that time without distractions. I’m sure there’s an app for that as well. However, I prefer to keep things simple to avoid distractions and have less bloatware on my phone. But certainly, take advantage of technology and regain control of your life by prioritizing and remain committed.
Lastly, I implore you to take action! Writing out your goals and figuring out what you want to do with your life is only the start of a successful future. Taking one small action from your list and completing it daily and you will get closer to your long-term goals. If you ever find yourself not doing anything that is getting you closer to where you want to be in the future, then revisit why you chose the path before you began the journey and get realigned by reevaluating your progress and keep moving forward.
If you have any other tips or methods you have used to help gain clarity and focus when creating long- and short-term goals, I would love to hear from you. Join the conversation by leaving a comment below or sending me a private message if you have specific questions about this post.