It's February and by now most of your New Year's resolutions are gone. You made that goal to give up chocolate, to work out more, to eat out less, etc., but now you've given in to temptation. Since you've given in to temptation why even bother continuing on and striving to that finish line you set? If you're one of those people, who is like the person I was a few years back, you would have just given up. I'm here to tell you it's not futile! Don't give up!
Realize Growth is NOT Linear
Contrary to what we've been taught achieving goals is not linear. Personal development is not linear. We're human. We're bound to make mistakes and give in to temptation. It happens. However, it is how you react to those moments after they happen that makes the difference. I like to image goals as one long line that curves up and down. There will be valleys where I might take a step back or two, but there is continuous progression upwards. The good ole' saying, "Two steps forward, one step back" comes to mind. What is important to keep in mind is that you still take one step forward. There is still progression.
Do not beat yourself up when you take a step backwards. That hurts your progression and takes away that step forward you've made. Whenever I falter in my goals, I take the time to introspect. What was the trigger for my step back? Am I self-sabotaging? What can I do to prevent this from happening? From there, I will write down my conclusions and make a plan to prevent that mess from happening a second time.
Write & Map Your Goals Out
One of the biggest mistakes I'm guilty of making when it comes to goals is not writing and mapping them out. I'm not going to go over SMART goals in this. That is important, but I think going in to detail about them is not going to help you. Plus, I think everyone knows their goals need to be SMART. My biggest problem is that I don't physically write my goals down and map out how I will achieve them.
Now the biggest tool I have found with acheiving my goals is to map out milestones for each goal. I attach a physical date with each milestone. For example, if I want to lose weight, I set milestones for each ten pounds. I say I want to lose my first ten pounds by the end of next month and set incremental milestones based on that first one. If I don't make that first milestone, I correct the rest of my milestones based on when I acheived the first one. It creates a system that is achieveable. I can't be discouraged because I'm not meeting that main goal all in one month!
It is important to plan things out so that you can reward yourself. The whole concept of having one big long term goal broken down into short term goals is KEY. Writing down each short term goal and marking it in a calendar makes you accountable to that goal. I also recommend putting reminders in your phone weekly about upcoming goal "milestones."
Make Yourself Accountable to Someone
Instead of relying on yourself completely in terms of accountability, tell a friend or family member your goals and ask if you can talk to them about your progress. It can be as simple as sending them a text at the end of the week saying you went to the gyms 5 times in the past week or you can meet with them and talk to them about your struggles and accomplishments. I have made it a point to tell Joseph my goals and plans. Whenever I decide to do something like I recently gave up gluten, I let him know and ask him to help hold me accountable.
Whenver you make a goal, you need a support system that's going to push you to those goals. Joseph is my support system. He does little things like help me find restaurants that have gluten-free options or eats all of the free bread that comes with our meal before I get a chance to mindless eat them. Having that extra support system can be make or break for your goals!
Whatever your goals are for 2016, I hope you accomplish them! Hopefully this post helps to give you that extra post to continue towards the end of the line! What are your goals for 2016? What are your plans? Tell me below!