It's easier than you think
Whether it’s a new year, or just a new day – we all set ourselves goals, and sometimes you can feel deflated if you fall at the first hurdle. But a goal needn’t be a chore – it should be something you want to achieve and feel really passionate about; after all, that’s what will help you to smash it! From losing weight, to learning how to swim – everyone has to start somewhere, and our handy 7 tips will help you on your way to mastering your goal, no matter how big or small.
The start of a new year is often seen as a time to make changes and do those things you may (or may not!) have been putting off, but that doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym, quit smoking, eat healthier and be more positive all by the 2 January. It’s hard to change things overnight – that’s why there’s 365 amazing days to try, fail, try again and keep on pushing forward with your goal. So, what’s the secret to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions and any goal? Find out below…
Set goals that motivate you
Do you ever find yourself putting things off and coming back to them when you feel a spark of motivation? This could be the report your boss has been asking for all week, dusting off your gym membership or even stopping smoking – whatever the task or goal, you need a boost of motivation to help you achieve it and cross it off that to-do list.
Ask yourself one important question – "why have I set myself this goal?". To achieve anything in life you need a strong reason why you want what you want, and more superficial goals may mean you end up adding them to your mounting list. Maybe you want to run a marathon for the very first time to raise money for a local charity, or perhaps you want a better start to the day by getting out of bed 30 minutes earlier to enjoy some me-time. Whatever you want to achieve, always ask yourself why, and don’t be afraid to adjust your goal if you can’t give yourself a strong enough reason why you want to achieve it.
Set a deadline
Whether you’re super organised, or enjoy a little organised chaos; setting a deadline for anything in life gives you something to work towards, and can help you break your goal down into more manageable chunks. The word ‘deadline’ may bring back memories of school projects and work reports, but by marking a date in the diary you’ll be able to schedule when and how you’ll work towards your goal.
So, you could set a deadline for being able to run 10k comfortably, and then break it down into smaller steps (or jogs) of how to achieve this, eg get a running buddy and plan your training sessions and rest days. Or talk through your work report with a colleague and break it down into more manageable chunks. The more you see your goal as something to chip away at and work towards, the less of a mountain it will seem to climb.
Change how you talk about yourself
When tackling any goal it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and feel like you want to give up, but adding positive affirmations to what you want to achieve can help you stay on track. Instead of saying "I need to lose weight" try saying "I want to/ I can lose weight, because it will be good for my health and I’ll have more energy." Look on the bright side and bring your thoughts back to why you set your goal in the first place, but don’t be too hard on yourself if those negative thoughts do creep in. But help keep them at bay with a few tips below:
• Write a list of everything you’ve achieved so far, and what you are most proud of, as this will give you a much needed boost of self-esteem when you need it most
• We all do it, but don’t compare yourself to others! Everyone is different and each person has different skills, goals and deadlines
• Spend 5 minutes before you get out of bed thinking about what you are grateful for – add in a cuppa and it’s your perfect morning!
• Look in the mirror and say what you love about yourself out loud – even if it’s the cute freckles on your nose, or how nice your make-up looks today
Shout about it!
Telling your friends, family and colleagues about your goal not only makes it seem more real, but will also give you the confidence to push forward – as once it’s out there they’re bound to ask how you’re getting on! It will also help you release any tension if you’re feeling stressed about your goal or simply need some advice along the way.
It also adds a little bit of pressure on you, as you become accountable and have your own cheerleaders to help spur you on. There will always be the naysayers, but don’t let their opinions put you off, and instead use it as added motivation to fuel your fire and prove them wrong!
Take your first step
Now you’ve committed to achieving your goal and made a plan, it’s time to put it in action and take that all important first step. The key here is to always start small and build up slowly, as going full pelt may mean you fall short and end up feeling like your goal cannot be achieved. For example, if your goal is to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink, then choose a few drink-free days or only have alcohol with meals out, rather than going cold turkey.
From driving, to that first day at work – starting something new is always scary, but little by little you can build your confidence, start to feel good and edge your way closer to achieving your goal. We all have to start somewhere!
Celebrate milestones & reward yourself
It’s important to celebrate when you reach your goal, but it’s even more important to treat yourself when you hit those mini milestones along the way. This could be presenting at work without feeling nervous, or driving on the motorway for the first time in preparation for a longer journey – if it means a lot to you and it’s helping towards your bigger goal, don’t sell yourself short and make sure to give yourself a big pat on the back.
Why not treat yourself to a new fragrance or our new-in-beauty bits to celebrate any milestones you achieve?
Albert Einstein once said "If you've never failed, you've never tried anything new”, so don’t let any setbacks de-rail you from achieving your goals. Think of all the times you may have stalled a car when learning to drive, or how many times you’ve spun the wrong way during a dance class! Try and use these little errors to boost your confidence, rather than letting that voice of self-doubt creep in and take over.
If you find yourself feeling negative when things go wrong (as they will do!) then simply take a little time out and do something completely non-related to your goal. This could be a walk in the fresh air, reading a book or listening to a new podcast. Always try and see the funny side to any minor fails, and think of them as funny anecdotes to tell for when you achieve your goal.
No matter how big or small your goal, try these top seven tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a goal getter.