How to Set Goals and Stick to Them
Are you excited about something you want to accomplish? Are you unsure about how to set goals and stick to them? You may be facing a situation where you feel like you are stuck, either because you feel you don’t know enough to move forward or you are afraid you’re going to make a mistake.
Don’t worry about making mistakes or feeling like you don’t know enough. Chances are you know just enough to get you moving in the right direction!
TEMPLATE FOR SETTING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Here is a template to help you get clear on your objectives, set goals, stay focused, and follow through. Sticking to this template of steps will keep yourself from skipping forward or quitting altogether.
By organizing your goals, you will find it easier to see the big picture and give you the confidence to keep moving forward.
1. Journal about your goals.
Give yourself 15-20 minutes to write about what your goal is.
- What’s the purpose of your goal?
- What is the objective?
- How will it change you?
- What are the benefits?
- How will it make you feel to accomplish your goal?
2. Break down the goal.
Instead of thinking forward, and thinking of the steps you need to take to arrive at your goal, create steps working backwards. What would need to happen right before you reached your goal, and reverse engineer.
An example, is a group working on reaching their goals for a fundraiser:
- How much money do they need and by when?
- How much does each person in the group needs to raise?
- What could you sell or what kind of event could bring in the amount each person needs to raise? (Creative brainstorming session)
- Who in the community could support the group with sales or the event?
- What supplies are needed to sell or for the event?
- Where will the supplies come from or where can the event take place?
- How long will this take to plan? How many days, weeks, months?
- What is the start date for the fundraiser?
There are benefits of working backwards using this example of fundraising. If you plan an event, or have a silent auction, and the group puts in lots of effort in but comes up way short of their goal. Maybe they didn’t charge enough for tickets, they have to make another plan. If you plan ahead in this way, you can have back up plans to help you reach your financial goal.
Think of how you could apply this idea to your goal. Brainstorm and write it all down.
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3. Implement each step towards your goal.
You thoughtfully took the time to write out your goals, the objective, and the steps it takes to get there. This step is important because this is where you stick to the plan. This is usually the place where many stop moving forward.
It can be exciting to make your plans and think about the end goal. Yet implementing the steps can be very uninspiring for some. There may be difficult steps, including some things aren’t fun. By focusing on one step at a time and following through on it, before you know it you can see the progress! This progress will help to give you the motivation to continue moving forward.
Keep in mind there are no set rules on the order of how things are done. Follow your own path!
MOTIVATIONAL TOOLS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
There are a few motivational tools that can help you to keep your momentum and focus. Encouraging ideas can be written in your journal, written on a white board where you can consistently see them, voice recorder app, or however you best absorb information.
1. Songs about reaching goals. Do you like to listen to a play list while working out or doing homework? Listening to inspiring music during working hours or planning can help you to stay motivated and stick with the task at hand.
2. Quotes about reaching goals. You can find great quotes online or in books. The bible has many insights to help you stay focused and moving forward. Find ones that you connect with and relate to and display where you will see them regularly. This could be on your bathroom mirror, in your car, on your fridge, or wherever you will see multiple times a day.
3. Tips about reaching goals. Books can give great insights from people who have been where you are trying to go with your goals. Sometimes reading about other people’s experiences can help to give confidence and show that anything is possible. The book, “Write it Down, Make it Happen”, is a great book to help show you how to brainstorm and follow through. You can also find tips online to write in a notebook that you can refer back to.
SUMMARY OF STEPS TO REACHING GOALS
When you feel like you are ‘stuck’, that’s when you know you need to make minor adjustments.
Get uncomfortable, keep moving forward, and enjoy the ride!
Here is your summary:
1. Journaling all of your ideas and goals, along with your fears, will get it out of your head and on paper. It will give you more clarity.
2. Break down the goal and work backwards. Give yourself an end date, and hold yourself accountable.
3. Implement each step. When you get stuck, remind yourself of what your goals are. Use a whiteboard or someway to keep it front of you to keep you excited and motivated!
You now know how to set goals and stick to them. As you keep implementing these steps in the template, the process will get easier, your confidence will grow and you will create a system that works for you!