How to Set Goals (and Actually Follow Through!)

I decided that right now is the perfect time to post about goal setting, and how to keep going once you've done that. Why? The beginning of February is when most New Years Resolutions run out of steam. What's really cool is that there is a way to set and sustain achievable goals!

- Step 1: What Do You Want?

Whilst I believe it's all well and good to discuss how social media is 'fake' and you shouldn't compare yourselves to other people's 'perfect' lives, because they are just the highlights, and so on and so forth, it's more productive to actually use those feelings of envy to your advantage. 

What is it about that photo that appeals to you so much? What parts of that blogger's 'perfect' life would you like to be a part of yours? Is it the ridiculously tumblr smoothie bowl they have of a morning? The way they seem to fit both study and socialising easily into their lifestyle? Their ability to spread positivity wherever they go? 

Write a list of everything you want to add, remove or fit into your life - whether it's physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, financial or blogging related. Do you want a job? An A in maths? A pair of those SUPER DUPER cute converses? Whatever it is, compile it all into a massive list. Look at pictures that inspire you if you want. What is it about them that excites you? Keep going until your happy with your list, like if you had all these things you would be SO HAPPY. More time with friends? Waking up earlier in the morning? Healthy school lunches each day? Just write.


- Step 2: Prioritise

What are the few goals that are most important to you right now? What are the ones that move you towards where you want to go in life - the ones that would make you feel the most satisfied to have achieved? The ones that would most excite you? 

- Step 3: Make 'em S.M.A.R.T

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Reasonable
Time bound

Writing out your goals like this ensures you know exactly where you're headed. Vague goals like 'get healthy' are basically a one-way route to failure.

For example: 'study maths on Khan Academy for 15 minutes every weekday'  seems a lot more doable than, 'be good at maths'. 

It's specific - not vague. It's measurable - you'll know when you've completed it. It's achievable - everyone has a spare 15 minutes in their day and you have all the resources there to help you if you get stuck. It's reasonable - it won't get in the way of other important activities, and it's time bound - 15 minutes every weekday.

Once you've done this, write  yourself a list of reasons you both can and want to achieve each goal, and file them away for when you're lacking motivation. The more excited you are about your fabulous lifestyle-in-progress, the more likely you are to keep on keepin' on.

- Step 4: Write Them Out

My current goals look like this:


(Whilst some of these may seem lofty, each and every one gets me excited. It's important to have goals that are achievable, but that you still have to work for. :) Of course, your goals will be unique and these are just for reference!)

These goals only have to make sense to you, a quick reminder of what you're aiming for. They don't even have have to be written in S.M.A.R.T. form, they should give you a big picture of where you want to go. You should never feel embarrassed for what you want, even if it seems ridiculously far off!

It's helpful to have your goals up where you can see them (mine are on my pin board) so that whenever you're tempted to stay on Instagram for an extra 10 minutes, you can see the very definite goals you have and you can do something to work towards them instead. 

- Step 5: Game Plan:

Write out every. single. step you need to take to achieve every goal. I keep all my game-plans in a folder because they take up 1-2 A4 pages, so they don't quite fit on my pin board. 

For example, in order to top 5 classes I will need to top: the in class work, homework, assessments, exams and behaviour. Then I have steps for doing all of those things. :)

Make sure you have steps right down to something you can do today, like 'get some new pens that don't leak' if you want to study more often, or 'take or find a nice photo of me for my résumé' if you want a job.

If your goal is something you want to do daily, like cook a nice breakfast, write a game plan/to-do list, but also add it to a check-list of activities to do daily, otherwise you just might forget it in the rush to get ready for school!

- Step 6: Just Do It!

You know what you need to do, so go do it! Add the activities to your to-do list for the day. Have a spare minute? Work on your goals. Get busy creating your dream life! If you've got a detailed plan, it's likely that nothing can stop you except yourself, so go get 'em!

Still don't feel like powering on?


- How to Start and KEEP GOING:

  • Work out what inspires you. Incorporate that into your day. e.g. going for a run, reading a good book, reviewing your goals.
  • Likewise, work out what makes you feel 'blah'. Avoid those thoughts and activites. e.g. eating an entire bag of chips when you get home from school. 
  • If you really feel like you can't knuckle down, do everything on your list for 10 minutes (or whatever works). Everyone can fit 10 minutes of exercise, study and cleaning into their day. You have the same 24 hours as everyone else.
  • If you find something like exercise a chore, do it for you and how you feel not because you 'should'. Don't you feel better after you've exercised? Do it because it puts you in a positive headspace to tackle the rest of your goals.
  • Working towards one goal makes you feel productive and successful, which allows you to work on the next one, and so forth.
  • Realise how lucky you are to have access to every resource you need to complete this goal, be grateful, and then utilise them.
  • STOP BLAMING. It is no-one else's fault if you don't exercise today. Not the weather's, not the people around you and not school, You can always wake up earlier, and I'm willing to bet that those 10 minutes you couldn't find for fitness were spent on your phone. (I'm often guilty of this...)
  • Do it because it's what YOU want. Visualise the future you want - the one you'll have if you work your butt off towards this goal!
  • Put your goals and sources of inspiration in a place where you can see them.
  • Talk to other people. It makes your goals feel real and definite.
  • Remember that if you don't achieve this goal, it doesn't affect anyone else. It'll just be your problem, and there will always be people out there who are working harder and achieving what YOU want. 

Let's finish this post off by creating a goal:

"I will write one goal (and a game plan) out, and do one thing towards making that dream a reality by 9 o'clock tonight."

Go get 'em!

Leave a comment or check out my social media and send me a message, I can't wait to hear all about what you're excited about achieving! 

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