Let’s face it: when you think of a goal, it’s really hard not to get excited and overly motivated. You feel pumped by the idea of achieving something that’s important to you and you just can’t wait to start.
Maybe a day or two go by and then – BAM! Before you know it your momentum is lost, you get overwhelmed, and the thought of attempting to taking the first steps makes your stomach churn.
Soon all of those excited butterflies are replaced with anxious butterflies that make you want to forget all about that goal you had in the first place.
Momentum, procrastination, and the daunting task of accomplishing a big goal itself all leads to goals slowly falling to the wayside before you even have a chance to take a crack at it.
This isn’t uncommon and it happens to everyone (yes, everyone.) The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that that they understand that this is normal and they have steps to take to steer them again to reach what they want.
That’s why implementing solid steps for goal attainment is important. Kick that procrastination to the curb and take actual steps to make sure you give yourself a fighting chance to seeing that goal through to the end.
1. So….What’s Holding you Back?
Be honest with yourself and take the time to fully uncover the reasons why your goals may be on hold.
These may range from internal or external reasons – or even a combination of both.
Internal factors could be anything from thinking your goal is too difficult to attain, not knowing where to start, or thinking that you don’t have the skill set necessary to be successful at them.
External factors are things that are outwardly influencing you and keeping you from attaining these goals. These could range from your job commitment taking up your time and/or energy to your family members or friends inhibiting you from taking steps to reach your goal.
Regardless of whether these reasons are internal or external, it’s important to understand them so you know how to navigate them when they come back up to block your future attempts at reaching your goals.
2. Now’s Not the Time to Dwell
Getting too wrapped up in the past about why you ‘failed’ or didn’t accomplish your goals the first time around actually detracts from your ability to accomplish goals in the future.
It leads to more anxiety and can actually make you more overwhelmed when attempting a goal for the second time.
While it’s important to understand why things didn’t necessarily go as planned in the beginning, it’s important to forgive yourself for the past and forge forward.
Self-forgiveness can set you up with a clean start to your goals and get you going on the right foot with a renewed sense of vigor.
Remember: You aren’t just starting over – you’re starting over with experience on your side.
3. Start Making Decisions
Great, you forgave yourself. That’s the first step in getting back on track. The next step is to assess whether the goal(s) you have for yourself are still beneficial to you and where you are in your life right now.
Life is not linear and goals that may have been important to you at one point may seem silly in the present. It’s important to know if your goal should be tossed out and a new one should be thought of, or if you should continue on the path of goal attainment.
Take a minute and write down why you want to accomplish this particular goal, what it would mean for you, and any changes or tweaks you think it might need moving forward.
Example: I used to have the goal of competing in boxing. My goal was to train boxing 6 times a week and be in competition shape. It would be silly to have this goal for myself now since I don’t compete anymore. I need to forgive myself about not going to training 6 times every week and realize that my goals at this stage in my life have changed. Because of this, I have had to change my fitness goals to accommodate where I am in my life and what my goals truly are.
The point from this example is that situations, goals, and dreams change and shift throughout your life and you have to be okay with your goals and aspirations changing.
You didn’t fail if you change a goal. You only fail if you A) give up on a goal that you truly want to accomplish B) continue trying to accomplish a goal or aspiration that you have no true desire to do.
4. Make a Plan
Now is the time to get organized. Write down your clear SMART goal (something I will touch on in another post) on a piece of paper and put it somewhere that you can’t avoid – your bathroom mirror, your desk at work, or your car dashboard.
This will keep you focused and motivated on your goals. It’s helpful to say your goal out loud every day to keep it fresh and at the forefront of your mind. Bonus points if you tell people about it. Telling people about your goals actually holds you more accountable and makes more likely to achieve them.
After you have a clear goal written down, write down every step and every foreseeable roadblock along with possible solutions to those roadblocks.
Understanding what you have to do and what might get in your way from accomplishing your goals gives you a road map of what your journey to goal achievement will look like.
5. Start Now
Forget starting tomorrow, at the beginning of the week, or when things are better in your life. The only right time to stat something that you truly care about is now.
There will never be a perfect time to start and you will never feel as though you are fully ready. This is where the journey of goal attainment comes into play. On the path to reaching your goal, you will have wins and losses and will ultimately learn so much along the way.
Get out there with your new plan, stay motivated, and start.