Personally, I have had a lot of trouble keeping my priorities in order and accomplishing the things I have wanted to accomplish. With weight loss, I always lasted a month (if that). Keeping up a chore chart? Maybe a week, if I was lucky. Writing a book? Those lasted for maybe two days. I just really sucked at successfully tackling goals.
What I later realized was that I didn’t suck at following through; I didn’t have a problem with “never finishing anything,” like I thought I did. I sucked at setting goals. Like actually formulating the goals and planning them out properly.
I figured maybe some other people are having this issue as well and I could offer some free advice; maybe I could make someone else’s life better by giving them some handy tips that’ll change their mindset, so they don’t feel like I did, like a failure. I’m not going online to find this advice. These ideas are things that I do in my personal life and may not work for everyone. But if it works for you, great!
Is your goal something you can realistically even do, or want to do?
I’m pretty consistent when it comes to my opinion on realistic goalposts: most are achievable. But if you flunked out of high school and you’re already 35, you’re probably not going to be an astronaut. Maybe you should shoot a little lower. Maybe you can go to college for astronomy, or just start using star-gazing as a hobby. Do you only want to be an astronaut because every man in your family was an astronaut? I seriously doubt that but either way, don’t waste your time. You won’t be able to succeed in something that you aren’t gaining intrinsic value from.
What is your time limit? Now chop it up.
Let’s use weight loss as an example for this one, because it seems to be a pretty big deal these days. You might say you want to lose 65 pounds and decide that you if you lost 2 pounds a week, you would be at your desired weight goal in 33 weeks. A normal person is going to go straight to their calendar and count 33 weeks into the future to see what month they’re going to finally be able to get back into the bikini. Don’t. Do. This. Go as small as you can possibly go.
Don’t plan to lose 8 pounds in a month, go for 2 pounds in ONE week. Literally, the goal should be to lose two pounds for just this week, and then re-evaluate at the end. If that doesn’t seem to work for you, make your goal to stick with whatever diet or eating pattern you’re using for at least ONE day. Then re-evaluate. The thought process behind this is that you can simply say to yourself, “I can break my diet next week,” “I can just get my chores done for today and worry about the rest tomorrow,” “I’ll just finish this one-hour study session and then I won’t have to worry about it anymore.” Changing your mindset in this area turns a huge daunting mountain into a small approachable pebble.
Don’t stress if you don’t do it
So you didn’t exercise today and it’s 11pm, time for bed. We can’t beat ourselves up in this type of scenario. The way I like to think about it is to ask myself if it’s going to affect me in 10 years. Usually the answer is no. It’s not going to matter that I didn’t go to the car wash on that one particular Sunday in March of 2019. My kids will be fine if I fed them potato chips for breakfast, even though I told myself that Thursday was going to be “healthy breakfast day.” Sometimes it actually does matter though, maybe not in 10 years for yourself, but to your boss the next day or your subscribers on YouTube who were looking forward to the next vlog post of life from your cat’s perspective. Let’s address that next (deadlines, not your weird cat videos.)
Always plan ahead
So you set yourself some nice goals to finish that work project on Tuesday because you had a full day with an open schedule. But unfortunately, you woke up and found out your mom had a car accident and she needs you to come pick her up, take her the mechanics, and probably to the grocery store and post office. You get home at 6 pm and your Wi-Fi is out. You call the internet company and they finally get it back up and running two hours later, just in time for your best friend to stop by and cry on your couch while she talks about her boyfriend breaking up with her. It’s now 10 pm and you have to be up by 6 in the morning. You’re exhausted so you pump out some half-assed garbage that you know isn’t going to make anyone happy, including yourself.
How could this have been avoided? I’m sure this is obvious to everyone, yet most people still make the same mistake over and over again; they set their schedule where everything has to run reliably. Good intentions, sometimes bad results. If your homework assignment is due on Wednesday, plan to have it completely done by the Sunday before, editing and all. Sometimes that isn’t always possible because you don’t know about a deadline until the deadline is approaching, but if you always have it set up where everything else is done early, it won’t matter that you had something urgent pop up.
Anyways, that’s my advice. That’s how I do things for myself and it seems to work out more often than not.
Comment and let me know what has helped you reach your goals in the past or what you’ve personally struggled with!