The new year is approaching fairly fast. As the year comes to a wrap, the very fortunate among us look back at the past year with a smile in the corner of the mouth, reminiscing on the successes they acquired. There are also some among us who are hoping for a few more months to properly wave goodbye to the passing year. No matter where you stand though, a new year brings with it new hopes; hope for do-overs, hope for a fresh start and hope for more time to reach our destination. Inevitably the new year new me mentality sneaks in. We find ourselves pulling out a paper and pencil to custom this new blank canvas of a new year to fit our desired life goals. A couple months ago I shared my five steps to achieving my life goals and I got a lot of feedback and learned a lot from my readers. In the spirit of the new year and as we embark on this journey, I am sharing few steps that have worked for me in the past to help you make sure that the same time next year, your life will be as close to your dream as possible. If you have other steps you take to reach your goals please don’t hesitate to share in the comments below.
1. Revisit the previous goals.
At the beginning of the year I always find myself very enthusiastic about making goals. The possibilities are endless and the energy is through the roof. Looking back to the old list though takes a little bit of courage especially when some of them look like they only crossed my mind at the time I wrote them down. Revisiting my goals and finding out what I did right to accomplish them encourages me on my new journey. Pinpointing where I went wrong on the ones I missed also help me work on a new strategy to right them this time around. Nothing is lost, my successes become my drive and my failures become learning experiences.
2. Categorize your goals.
For years I have found myself all over the place when I make my goals. I will start with I want to loose weight, get good grades, travel more… but I really missed the most important part of it all which was making sure that every area of my life is progressing in the same direction. Having categories help me ensure that I am evolving as a whole. For example if I look at my health then I say I want to include regular physical activities, I may say professionally I want to take a new training class or start working on a promotion, for family life I may want to devote a little bit more time to family activities… This helps me make sure that while I advance in one area of my life, I don’t miss out on another part of my life that is crucial to my overall happiness. For me, true and complete happiness comes from a good balance of successes in every area of my life.
3. Keep them realistic and attainable.
Okay lets be honest, everyone would love to wake up one day and find a million dollars sitting in their bank account, No? Okay it is probably just me then! The wildest goals and dreams are fun and easy to slip off the tongue. But the reality of life is many of my goals require hard work and sweat and tears and sleepless nights… and few glasses of wine to recollect myself. Making sure that I set attainable goals and making sure that these goals are realistic in my current situation help me progress in the right direction. Now, one thing that we have to keep in mind is that one person’s realistic goal will not necessarily be realistic in our case. We have to look at our own situation and find what our reality at the moment looks like. Don’t go about setting a goal like that of your friend to upgrade their car to a Range Lover when you currently only own a bike, stay in your lane and set goals that fit the you right now, you will get there one day. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and your empire sure wont.Goals should be personalized and tailored to fit your own dreams that lead to your own form of happiness.
Goals should be personalized and tailored to fit your own dreams that lead to your own form of happiness.
4. Establish a progress tracking system
So now that we have a great list of categorized, attainable and realistic goals. It is time to set a system in place to check on your progress. I like to revisit my list frequently to make sure I am on the right track and to readjust my goals if necessary to match my new needs. I also like to break my goals into detailed steps that help me know that though slowly moving, I am surely headed in the right direction. There is also a lot of apps and reminders systems out there that will help you customize your tracking system to match your needs. This is crucial especially when I start working hard and start hitting walls and life starts throwing me some curveballs, it encourages me to know that something in your life is on the right track.
5. Start now and Celebrate each accomplishment as you go.
I cant tell you how many time I waste waiting for the right opportunity to start on my new goal. “I will start working out next Monday and do every other day”, I tell myself sometimes. When you are working on a very hard goal sometimes the mind is willing but the flesh is weak. Procrastination is the enemy of progress. Start now and do little by little, the road to success is made of stairs. And in the words of Mark Twain, “ The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” So my friend, get on your big boy pants and start climbing that staircase to your goal. And every time you land on the higher level of that staircase than you were yesterday, take a look back with a smile and just do the dance of victory.Celebrate your way up to success my friend and I am sure you got what it takes. Go get them and best in luck.