The clock is ticking as we inch closer and closer to the end of the year. And with time, you’ve hit a crossroads and are faced with a dilemma; continue working on (read, ignoring) your end-of-year goals or you can give up on your dreams and try again next year.
While it may be easier to let your dreams go, it’s still possible to finish the year accomplishing some, if not all, of your goals.
Now is the perfect time for mid-year planning. Here’s how to set aside time to get back to achieving your goals and being the person you want to be by the end of 2023.
Step 1: Give yourself grace
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re not where you want to be regarding your goals. Perhaps you have feelings of failure or defeat.
It’s common to waddle in self-pity and regret but also a waste of time to feel sorry for yourself. While your middle school gym teacher may have had you believe that shame would help you succeed, mental health professionals say otherwise. According to Kimora, a Holistic Wellness and Empowerment Coach, when you try to use guilt and shame as self motivation, you do more harm than good. Instead, guilt and shame create a false sense of who you are. A perception that doesn’t help you to move forward.
Instead of falling into a pit of despair, give yourself grace. Recognize the hardships you’ve endured, and focus on the obstacles you’ve overcome and the progress you’ve made to get you where you are today.
Step 2: Celebrate yourself
Whether you made significant, minor, or zero progress toward your goal, it’s important to celebrate yourself. According to Psychology Today, celebrating small wins is one of the simplest ways to build self-esteem and keep you motivated toward your goals. When you celebrate yourself, whether it’s for progress on your goals, or some other unrelated accomplishment, you’re helping your mind to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
If you’re having difficulty celebrating yourself, join forces with a friend. Call one of your closest friends and share what you’re most proud of accomplishing this year. Better yet, go out for drinks and toast to your success. No matter how big or small the celebration is, it’s essential to recognize your progress.
Once you start feeling good about where you are, you can redirect your focus to your goals.
Step 3: Re-analyze your goals
Often the biggest culprit for not achieving your goals is setting unrealistic goals. Thus, it’s important to look over the goals you set at the beginning of the year and ask yourself the following?
- Why did I set this particular goal? Is connected to a long-term goal or dream?
- Are these goals still relevant to me now?
- Do I have the time and energy to pursue these goals?
- What prevents me from progressing on these goals, and how can I overcome that challenge?
- Can I break up my goals into small, more achievable goals?
- How has my life changed since the beginning of the year, and how has the change affected my goals?
After answering these questions, you should have a clearer picture of which goals you will focus on and which to let go of.
Remember that your goals should be S.M.A.R.T., specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Once your goals are clear and precise, you can implement a strategy to achieve them.
Step 4: Set mini goals
You’ll want to break up your more realistic goals into mini-goals. What are mini goals? They are small goals that are related to one significant purpose. For example, you’re goal could be to save $1,000. A mini goal would be to save $100 a week or bike to work once weekly to save money.
To help you create mini goals, ask yourself the following questions.
- What steps do I need to take to achieve these goals?
- Is this goal realistic to complete by the end of the year?
- What small steps can I take to accomplish this goal?
- How can I create a timeline to achieve these goals?
In addition, mini-goals can be made timely, such as creating a weekly or monthly mini-goal.
Step 5: Visualize your success
Once you’ve assessed everything, you want to display your goals somewhere you can see them daily. Showcase your goals as a screensaver or background image on your phone. Go old school and write them out on a big piece of paper and post them on your wall or mirror.
Once you’ve chosen the optimal display area, the second to last and possibly most crucial step is to visualize your success. To visualize your success, you will imagine what it would look and feel like to achieve your goals.
For optimal visualization, find a quiet space and ask yourself the following.
- What would it look and feel like to achieve your goals by the end of the year?
- How will you celebrate your achievements?
- Who do you see supporting you on this journey?
- How will you share your achievements with others?
The critical aspect of visualizing is to tap into your emotions. Start to feel accomplished and joyful before you reach your goals. By doing so, your mind will focus on producing that feeling. Thus you will stay motivated to achieve your goals because you know how good it will feel to get to that finish line.
Step 6: Revisit your goals often
Lastly, you want to make sure you revisit your goals. When you reflect on your goals, you want to assess your progress. To implement this practice, schedule a weekly meeting with yourself or an accountability partner to check your progress.
You can also integrate goal review into your daily routine, such as writing out your goals each morning when you wake up. Read over your dreams while you brush your teeth. The more you focus on your goals, the more your brain starts to associate your goals with something important that needs to be done.
Lastly, continue to track or be aware of your progress. If you aim to improve your health, you can recognize that you eat fast food once per week instead of three times per week.
Remember that achieving your goals is not always a straightforward journey. But with consistency and perseverance, you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself.