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At some point in their lives, most people set goals. The goal can be anything- losing weight, advancing in a career, learning something new, or even something as simple as spending less time on social media. How then, do we ensure these goals are met? What can we do to reach those goals with more success?
It seems simple- keep motivated and reach the goal. However, people will often approach their goals incorrectly and as a result, are not successful in achieving them. This can lead to negative mental states... Feelings of sadness, failure, and depression. These goals may have been much more easily met if they had been approached in a reasonable and organized manner.
Below, you will find some quick tips to help you achieve your goals and board the success train!
1. Set Reasonable Goals
Too often, people get overly excited and come up with some very ambitious goals. "I started my new job today- Next step: CEO!". While that's certainly a fair long-term goal, it's not something that happens overnight. People spend decades working towards such a position, and it's very easy to lose sight of your goal over such a long time frame. Additionally, it's easy to get discouraged if you have no "checkpoints" along the way. You're certainly not going to be promoted directly from Sales Associate to CEO; there are many rungs on the ladder. Set your goals accordingly... Aim for Senior Sales Associate and set a goal date. Then the next position, and so on. You'll still have your long term goal on the table, but have several reasonable steps along the way that will keep you motivated and driven.
2. Keep Track of Your Progress
You've set yourself a reasonable goal with some good checkpoints along the way. Now what? Get yourself on track! After sorting through over 130 different studies, researchers at the University of Scheffield found that goal-achievers had one thing in common- They regularly tracked their progress. The more tracking that the goal-setter did, the more likely they were to meet their goal. Decide on a strategy to keep track of where you are along your goal-achieving journey. There are tons of awesome options available to accomplish this task- Apps, graphs, journals, heck, even a simple pen and paper! Have you decided to run a marathon? Keep a chart of your mileage and pace. Each time you run, write down how far you ran, and how fast you did it. You'll start noticing improvements in your numbers, and that is very likely to make the daunting task of 26.2 miles seem much less intimidating. Being able to see your progress also brings with it the benefit of putting you into a positive mental state- "I'm doing it! I'm succeeding!". This will further encourage you to believe in yourself and work towards that goal. With the 101 options available to keep track of your goals, this one is a no-brainer.
3. Make it Public
What better way to hold yourself accountable than to share your goal and progress with the rest of the world!? There are millions of groups on social media sites dedicated to every topic from indoor tomato growing to mountain climbing. There's almost certainly a group you can find that is full of like-minded goal-achievers who will support you along your journey. They can share tips, answer questions, get you out of ruts, and push you to believe that anything is possible. If social media groups are not your thing, start a blog! This will act as a public log (plog?) of your progress (prog?), and eventually you will start seeing that people are interested in your ProgPlog and how things are going for you. The comments, support, and followers will not only boost your motivation, but may also inspire others to set their own goals and in turn, make the world a better place. What a happy story :).
4. Bring a Friend
If you're not ready to share your efforts with the interweb, there are still other options. Honestly, who likes doing things alone? Even if they're not shared with a big group, our goals become much more meaningful when we can share our progress and successes with someone close to us who has the same goal in mind. It can even encourage a little bit of friendly competition and get you both to your goal sooner! Who can complain about that? If you start in the same place, you'll likely hit the rough spots along the way at similar times. There's not many better ways to get through hard times than when we can relate to someone going through the same thing. Give it a shot- you have nothing to lose!
5. Reward your Success!
Sometimes, the simple fact that you've reached a milestone may not be all that exciting after a while. How can we make it more interesting? REWARDS! Lost 2 pounds this week? Surprise yourself with an extra large 3 topping pizza and a quart of Snickers ice cream! (just kidding... maybe pick something other than food to reward weight loss). There are tons of things you can do to perk up each step of your journey using rewards. Did you successfully cut an hour off of your Facebook browsing time? Reward yourself with a weekend movie or a new pair of shoes. This one can go a million different ways.. It all depends on what you like and what will motivate you to keep going. They key is that you remain interested and motivated, and the rewards are going to be as varied as the goals people set for themselves.
Follow these tips to help reach your goals faster, more easily, and more successfully.
Have some tips or stories of your own? Share them below!