4 steps to accomplishing a goal
Over the last few months, I’ve really been struggling with my productivity.
In all fairness, I did have a child. So I guess that’s a totally valid reason to have put as many things as I have completely off. But, I’ve been on mat leave for almost seven months now and all the things I imagined I’d get done remain…undone.
Driving home a few weeks ago, I thought out loud about why I haven’t been able to fulfill some of the goals I had set for myself. And while it was insightful, it was also depressing, because I realized that the main thing standing in between myself and my accomplishments wasn’t my baby, my reduced income or lack of sleep. It was a lack of proper planning and execution.
So I did some research on how best to set goals and came up with an action plan to make the most of the next five months. I’m only two weeks in, but it’s been working! Here’s my new take on how to set goals and actually accomplish them.
Identify your main goals and write them down
I’ve grouped together the main areas of my life I want to improve into three categories—fitness, finances and productivity. While there are a bunch of smaller subcategories, like specific parts of my body I want to improve, specific amounts of money I want to save, etc., grouping them into bigger categories allow you to see the bigger picture.
Writing them down in a place you'll actually see keeps you accountable. I tend to keep mine on a rotating to do list I have that I see everyday, desperate to scratch something, anything off. If you have a planner, even better! Just make sure your goals are visible to you everyday.
Make general statements about the general groups
When you look at the larger category, what is it that you want to accomplish? Personally, I want to be healthier, I want to make more meaningful decisions with my money and I want to be more productive.
The reason it’s important to have umbrella statements about your larger goals is because while you may not be able to focus on the smaller subcategories each day, you can definitely keep the larger categories in your mind as you live your life.
Deciding on general areas of improvement is a great start to determine what you want to accomplish.
Break them down into daily tasks
This is where you get more specific. One of the best ways to accomplish your bigger goals is by incorporating them into your daily life. Personally, I can get closer to accomplishing my fitness goal by working out daily. Even if it’s just for a couple minutes, everything counts! I can also skip on dining out, which counts towards my fitness and my finance goals.
Keep the bigger themes and categories at the front of your mind and let it inform your decisions each day.
Celebrate every single milestone
The thing about milestones is that they’re not always miles apart. Everytime you set a goal, do some work towards it, or accomplish it entirely, celebrate! Whether it’s rewarding yourself with a glass of wine, a day at the spa or a night on the town, getting into the habit of celebrating your efforts is the gift that keeps on giving.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and the journey of 1,000 miles begins with just one step!