Do you always achieve your goals? How do you do it?!??
asked a few of my friends.
When I first got down and dirty with my goal-getting lifestyle – you know, realizing I wanted to do waaay more with my life and suddenly realizing that…I could – it may have scared a few friends into thinking I was suddenly a crazy lady. (LOL.)
Through the years, I’ve studied the patterns, the habits, the routines of people who just can’t seem to stop slaying their goals. And do you know what I’ve found out? They actually have a handful of things that they do in common.
And because I know you’re itching to get those big goals crossed off your bucket list, here are five tried-and-tested hacks to make your goal-getter life effortless.
1. Have a milestone tracker
You know how you can set a really big goal, and then be really super excited about it, and then…
– get so afraid by the sheer size of those goals that you end up not doing anything?
Sometimes it’s because you don’t know where to start. Other times you don’t even know what to start.
But one easy hack I find it essential to achieve your goals is to have a milestone tracker.
Milestones can be baby steps or bigger steps – anything you want to mark as really good progress. Say you were running a marathon of 10 kilometers. Milestones for the race might be in 1 kilometer, 2 kilometers, or 5 kilometers.
Your milestones will basically tell you that, yes, you’re on the right track and – even more exciting – you’ve almost made it!
Try this at home
If you really want to achieve your goals and skip all the overwhelm that comes along with your dreams, then you’ll want to set relevant, achievable milestones for your goals.
So if your goal was to lose 10 pounds in 3 months, then you might set “lost 3 pounds” as your milestone for the first month. Maybe your goal is to save $1,000 in a year. You’ll want to set “saved $500” as a milestone by the 6th month, for example.
You can even set smaller milestones, say, in a month or even a week.
Why do milestones help you achieve your goals?
One reason I absolutely love setting milestones is this: they make my goals look more attainable, less scary, and really easy.
Of course, this isn’t to say that all your goals will suddenly seem like a piece of cheesecake. There’s still a lot of work to be done if you want to achieve your goals, ya hear?! 🙂
Milestones make goals look more attainable, less scary, and really easy.
But hey, I believe that if you really want to achieve your goals, then you’ll want to make it so, so, so easy for to do it. And what better way than setting mini goals and milestones to inspire you and build the momentum you need?
2. Set specific deadlines
Have you ever heard the saying, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
That’s actually Parkinson’s Law. It basically explains this: if you give yourself a month to complete a task, then – psychologically – it will take you a month to complete it.
But if you give yourself 2 days to complete the same task, you will take 2 days to complete it.
Pretty crazy, huh?
Before you knock this law out of the park, this is something I know to be true. The reason I’m able to get so much done in so little time is because I actually give myself less time to do things.
Of course, this means being very realistic about your deadlines. Know yourself, how quickly you can get things done, and commit.
Someone might be a faster writer than you are, and that’s okay. You might be faster at designing or researching.
I always say you need a lot of self-knowledge if you want to achieve your goals. So it’s always great to start getting to know your tendencies as early as now.
Try this at home
Ask yourself these questions to get to know yourself better:
- What tasks can I accomplish faster than others?
- What tasks take me longer to do? Why is that so?
- When am I most productive or creative?
- When am I least productive or creative?
- How many days or hours do I want to spend doing certain tasks?
Why do deadlines help you achieve your goals?
Deadlines are fantastic to keep you accountable. And accountability is one of the biggest, most important ways you can be sure you’ll achieve your goals.
It’s one thing to set a goal and even the tasks you need to do to reach those goals – but it’s another thing to set doable, quick deadlines for those tasks.
If you really want to stay on top of your extremely long to-do list, you’re going to want to set real, achievable deadlines. Then you’ll be well on your way to achieve your goals, you dream-chaser!
3. Have a vision board
This isn’t just a hack for visual or artistic people either.
I believe in the power of keeping our goals and plans and dreams visual. I personally have both a corkboard and a whiteboard that’s just got my plans, to-dos, and goals.
You can even keep a vision board of all the things you want to do or create. So whether it’s that cute townhouse of your dreams or that company you’re dying to build, put up visual reminders of these things everywhere you go.
Try this at home
Start a vision board!
If you’re feeling crafty, go make some creative collage. Or if you’re tight on the time budget, there’s always cool stuff like Pinterest or Padlet to help you sort out a bunch of photos.
Find pictures, quotes, anecdotes you want to keep by you every day. Or flesh out your ideal life in little notes for yourself. Do whatever it takes to achieve your goals by imagining what your success story actually looks like.
Why do vision boards help you achieve your goals?
One secret to achieve your goals has always been to be able to clearly see what “mission accomplished” looks like.
And here’s the important thing: mission accomplished is something personal, and no one other than you can tell you what that is.
So go create a vision board that feels right to you. Not your mom. Not your best friend. Not your dog. You.
Plus, a vision board is great to help you really sit down and evaluate what exactly your goals are. After all, if you really want to achieve your goals, then you’re going to have to clearly see – and get constantly reminded – about what it is you’re working for.
4. Set one big intention every week
One secret to adulthood? Stuff happen.
I know what it’s like to set a schedule, plot out deadlines, work towards a routine, and think, “Yep, all this is happening.”
And then all this…doesn’t.
You know, stuff happens. Emergencies, spontaneous changes in schedule, laziness. There’s no end to all the internal and external blocks that stop us from even the most perfectly planned month, week, or day. (Heck, even my mornings don’t always go as planned.)
But one thing I’ve found that really works was setting one big intention for the week. Basically it meant asking yourself this question:
If all hell breaks loose this week, what is one thing – ONE thing – I need finished this week?
And even if all hell does break loose…hey, at least you know what you’ve gotta get done.
Try this at home
Before the start of every week, review your to-do list. Sift through the most important things you need to finish or accomplish. Keep narrowing down to the top 5 things.
Now, ask yourself: among all these 5 things, which one is my non-negotiable, must-do, can’t-not-finish thing to do this week?
Do this before your week begins. Keep that non-negotiable intention for the week visual so that you’re always reminded to get things done.
Why do weekly intentions help you achieve your goals?
Here’s the honest truth: we can’t always stick the big plans and schedules we set for ourselves. Whether it’s because of things we can or can’t control, stuff happens.
So instead of fretting over the 500 things you suddenly can’t get done because your car broke down or your cat got sick or you had a horrible week at work, remind yourself to accomplish that one thing.
Just one thing – no matter what.
It makes the big, scary unknown less scary. It makes the paralyzing chase for perfection less paralyzing. Remind yourself – and motivative yourself – to just accomplish one big intention. And even if all hell breaks loose, you’re still one step closer to achieve your goals.
5. Regularly look back
Ever since I started consciously looking back about where I am with my goals and dreams, I’ve found that I’m more motivated, productive, and inspired.
I keep a Done list (and a gratitude list at times) to remind me of the things I showed up to do for the week or the month. Momentum, after all, is key here.
But that doesn’t mean I only focus on the things that went great. I also make it a point to focus on the things that didn’t go as smoothly.
Because, honestly, I’ve found that a lot of the times we don’t achieve the goals we set for ourselves is because of the bad habits and vicious cycles we find ourselves in. The same old excuses, the same old narrative for why I can’t do something or move forward.
Try this at home
At the end of each month, ask yourself what you accomplished, and celebrate! Use that as your fuel for next month to keep slaying, and you’ll be on the road to achieve your goals in no time.
Also ask yourself where you fell short and why. What excuses are you using over and over? What things can you change?
Keep this in a journal or notebook – just somewhere you can easily keep and refer to each month. Observe your patterns and keep working towards having more goals accomplished than stumbling blocks recorded.
Why do retrospective reviews help you achieve your goals?
Looking back has helped me in two major ways:
The first: building momentum.
When I started looking back to review how my month or year went, I realized that – even though it wasn’t obvious to me at the time – I actually had some really impressive milestones to be proud of.
Sometimes these milestones were the tiniest of baby steps. But, hey, I’d come way farther than I would have if I never begun.
You can keep this whole list of milestones that you’ve accomplished to motivate yourself. While you might think your progress is tiny, laughable, and unimpressive, just imagine how far 365 baby steps can take you. 😉
And finally, one of the other ways reflecting and reviewing helps me is in identifying my weak points and self-destructive behavior.
These are the excuses I tell myself month after month. You know, that tiny voice saying, “No one wants to read a blog post on that anyway. Why should you even write it?”
These are the habits that pull me back to Square One. “I’ll just eat one cookie. It won’t break my diet!” (Oh how wrong I was.)
Just imagine how far 365 baby steps can take you.
When I started zooming in on these not-so proud moments of my life, that’s when it hit me to make the necessary changes I needed. I called out my BS for what it was: BS.
And I’d honestly never have found out how often I’d use these same narratives and excuses until I started writing them down.
So it’s pretty cool how doing regular reviews and reflections can really help you out in the long-run.
Achieve your goals with ease with The Goal-Getter Playbook
Even though we just talk about 5 hacks for making the goal-slayer process more bearable, this post was pretty loaded. And if you’re not sure where to start in implementing these handy hacks, I’ve got just the solution.
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I look forward to seeing you slay, dream-chaser.