There’s nothing worse than setting an exciting, lofty goal, only to realise a few months later that you’ve forgotten all about it. Often, we can set ambitious goals with the intention of becoming the best versions of ourselves, but if the goal’s too big, it can become overwhelming. It’s a common issue, and it’s also why 92% of people never actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. We love the enthusiasm that leads to setting big goals, and with a few simple tweaks, you can increase the likelihood that you’ll actually achieve those goals. You’ve got this!
Write down your goals
Let’s start with an easy win. All you’ve got to do is write down your goals. According to a study by Dr Gail Matthews, those who think about their goals without writing them down have a 43% chance of success. But once you actually put pen to paper and write them down, that chance jumps to 61%. It’s thought that writing down our goals makes us more aware of them, which means we’re likely to make better choices during the day that contribute to our success. Give yourself an extra dose of motivation by placing your goals where you can see them throughout the day. Think: on a post-it by your desk, next to your bathroom mirror, and even as a screensaver on your phone or laptop.
Break them down (5 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months etc)
Big goals are scary for a reason! Achieving them will likely change your life, so it’s understandable that there’s a lot of emotion surrounding them. Reduce overwhelm by breaking your big goals into daily or weekly actions. “No matter what, take that first action step today,” says Marie Forleo, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. “I’m talking right now! Then, add steps two and three to your calendar. Because as the saying goes, someday is not a day of the week.” We love this perspective, and here’s where your Circle Planner will come in handy. A variety of overviews will help you plan in the steps necessary to reach your goals, whether that’s on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Get an accountability buddy on board
As we often tell our kids, a problem shared is a problem halved. Luckily, the same goes with positive reinforcement, too. Sharing our goals with friends makes us more likely to achieve them, because we’ve got moral support for when things get tough. It’s also thought that the idea of letting someone down (for example, by not showing up to an exercise class you’d promised to attend with them) is enough to drag ourselves to the gym, no matter how much we’d rather Netflix on the couch. The same study by Dr Gail Matthews found that people who write their goals down, share them with a friend and send weekly updates are 76% more likely to achieve them. Regular check-ins make a big difference thanks to the accountability they provide. They ensure we don’t forget about our goals (hey, life is busy!), and that if we do start to fall off track slightly, we can correct ourselves instead of derailing altogether. You don’t need to be going for the same goals as your accountability buddy, either: one of you might want to lose weight, while the other might want to stop smoking. The important thing is to set regular weekly or monthly check-ins, and be there to encourage each other when it all gets too much.
Plan out rewards for each phase
We can always get behind a ‘treat yourself’ moment! Working on your goals is hard, and it can take a lot out of us. It’s important to remember to treat yourself along the way, too, and to take a moment to appreciate all the effort you’ve put in - even if you don’t feel you’re at your end goal yet. We recommend planning out rewards for each phase of your journey, so that you’ve always got something to look forward to. Consider treating yourself to a new beauty product, a manicure, or even a spa day, as a ‘well done’ celebration. It doesn’t have to be expensive - and an afternoon off to relax on the sofa (for free!) is another great alternative if you don’t want to spend any money. Write your reward for each phase alongside your goal list, so you feel excited rather than overwhelmed each time you check in with your list. Make sure the rewards are things you really enjoy, so you’ve got an extra push of motivation to spur you on. Go on, you deserve it.
Go easy on yourself
Finally, remember to go easy on yourself. You won’t make major life changes by pushing yourself beyond your limits - and you’re likely to do more harm than good if you do take that approach. Overwhelm can lead us into self-sabotaging behaviour, whereas practicing self-love helps us remind us of why we’ve committed to our goal. The key here is to work on your bounceback rate - how quickly you get back on the journey when you fall off course. Because you will fall off course from time to time, and that’s completely fine and normal. Changing your life isn’t easy - or else everyone would be doing it! Give yourself a big pat on the back, and remember that you can only do your best.
Looking for a sidekick to help you on your journey? The Circle Planner is here to make your life a little easier. Our planners are designed with experts to help you achieve your goals in hassle-free, effective ways. Who said goal-setting can’t be fun?! Check out our latest collection here.