Staying focus on our goals can be a difficult task especially when we feel we are not making progress, or we have gotten out of the routine of working towards them. About three weeks into January is typically when we see many people walk away from pursuing their goals. We want to encourage you to keep moving forward no matter how imperfect your progress may feel or be. Every little step and task completed will help you to continue to make progress to completing your goal. You can do this!
If progress has not been what you had hoped for, take a few minutes to read these tips and see what might help you become excited again about your goal and get you back on track.
This is a good time to reflect back on the past few weeks and see how your plan has been working. Often our initial plans can be a bit ambitious for what our daily lives can accommodate. This is not a time for judgement or justifications but evaluating what is working and not working. This information will be helpful as you move forward.
If after reflecting back you see that your initial plan is not going to work, adjust it. Take the knowledge you have from the past few weeks and make a better plan, one that you feel you can stick with and accomplish. Most of us will need to do this step multiple times when working on our goals.
Develop Smaller Focus Tasks.
Often, we do not take the time to break our big goal into manageable steps. Without this we will become very frustrated with our progress and probably need to back track quite a bit to do the missed work that is needed to complete our goals. Start with your big goal and then write down everything that will have to be done to accomplish it. Now go back and make each one of those steps a focus task. Work on one task at a time in the order they need to be done. Before you know it, you will be on your way to successfully completing your goal.
Now that you have defined your next step, be sure to plan ahead so that you can successfully achieve the step. That will include being sure you have the time available in your schedule and the resources you need. Often our schedules are already overwhelmed, and we have trouble working on goals because we have not removed something from our schedule to make time for the new pursuit.
It is important to share your goals with someone else. Having someone to encourage you and ask how things are going is a great help. Most people need the accountability to stay focused on their goal. Without this accountability, life can have a way of taking over and we lose focus on our goals.
Track Your Progress.
This is a critical step in step in staying on track and meeting your goal. While we do need to be realistic about our timelines, it is important to assign a deadline for most tasks to help you keep you moving forward. If you miss a deadline, it is ok! Instead, of allowing that to stop you from working on your goal, make a new deadline and getting working again.
Do Not Give Up.
We will all get off track! We will all miss a deadline! Instead of letting this catch us off guard, let’s expect that to happen somewhere along the way. When it does do not beat yourself up over this. Do not quit! Acknowledge the delay, missed deadline or whatever it was and choose to move forward. Each day is a new day, and you can begin right now to work on your goal. Go back and finish whatever got you off track and keep moving forward.
This is a critical part of working on our goals. Every time you complete a task celebrate! Do not wait till the big goal is complete to celebrate. Every day that you work on your goal you are accomplishing so much. Yes, some of it has to do with your bigger goal but you are becoming a stronger, more confident person and that will always be worth celebrating.
If you are struggling with your goals and feel like you could use a little help, our therapists would love to help you with this. For more information, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/life-transitions/