Setting a goal in itself can be a challenge, but achieving our goals is the part that really takes courage and perseverance.
~Goals don’t just appear. They really are are dreams with a date on. Dare to dream big. What do you really, really want? Put it down on paper and put a date on it—a dealine. Deadlines turn wishes (dreams) into goals. Writing things down keep us committed and focused. You could even try to find a visual that represents your goal and how your life will be different and display it where you can see it daily; seeing it makes it more possible in your mind after a while.
~Make a plan for the goal to come about. It is not enough to have a dream with a date on; you need to know how you are going to get from where you are to where you want to be. What are you resources? What will you need to learn? Who do you know who can help? How will you go about it?
~Start small! Divide your plan in small, achievable sub-goals, and give each one of these a deadline as well. Each one of these sub-goals will alos need to be broken down in tasks; give each task a date to be finished by. Then go to it!
~Be specific! If you give yourself too much wiggle room, you probably won’t go very far. So for example, instead of “I will get some exercise this week,” decide how much and how often.
~Don’t try to do it all at once! If you focus on too much at the same time, you will waste energy and become frustrated. Try focusing on one goal at a time, and give yourself daily tasks toward it. By building healthy habits one at a time, your confidence will grow and the fulfillment of your goals will take on momentum.
~Don’t deal in absolutes… If you say “never,” or “always,” you might get frustrated and quit long before you reach your long-term goal. Deal in measurable things that you have control over. And be kind to yourself without giving yourself lame excuses…
~This leads to this important point: don’t expect perfection. Don’t beat yourself up over perceive failure—it is probably just a set-back. Persistence is the key. If you don’t quit, you can’t possibly lose.
~Continually track your progress. We are all prone to selective memory at times I think, and we can conveniently forget the extra potato chips while remembering the extra long walk…
~Reward yourself. Every where around you there is negative reinforcement, telling you all the time what you are doing wrong. Focus on what you are doing right and celebrate it. And when you are doing “wrong,” learn from it and take two steps forward!
~Have a plan B is life throws a monkey wrench into plan A. So you had to go out, or you couldn’t exercise—what will you do with your circumstance? How will you use it to your advantage?
~And remember that while attaining your goal is thrilling and surely exhilarating, the process involved in reaching the goal fuels you all the way through your journey, and you character is being built in you, as well as a growing sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The daily work and planning involved in pursuing your goal is actually rewarding in itself!
Go for it, and take on the world. What is there to stop you?