5 Key Ways to Turn Your Goals into Reality
We all know the feeling of making a goal and failing miserably. Let’s be honest. It happens to the best of us at the beginning of each new year. January first we make a goal and then we spend the whole year saying “I’ll start it tomorrow.” What would happen if we actually did go through with all of our goals though? What if we didn’t let any excuses, outside discouragement, or negative self- talk bring us down? How much more successful could we be? How much happier would we feel? I know when I achieve a goal I feel unstoppable.
For example, I used to work out every now and then whenever it was convenient. When I got pregnant with Lexi, I needed to work out consistently in order to stay healthy and happy. My husband convinced me to wake up at 6 AM every morning to go to the gym. This sounded like the hardest thing ever! Not only would I have to wake up before the sun was up, but I would have to get out of my warm cozy bed and head into the icy outdoors to get in the car and work out really hard, shower and go on with the rest of my busy day, all while growing a baby! OK maybe that was a little dramatic, but sometimes that’s really how I felt. I had so many excuses not to get up in the morning to work out. However, at the end of my pregnancy, I had accomplished going to the gym at 6 AM almost every day and I felt like I was the healthiest I had ever been. I felt awesome! I was so glad I went through with it. So, here are some tips to accomplish your goals, however big they may be, and go on to a happier, more successful life.
1. Make SMART goals
a. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This is basically a blueprint for how to make a goal you can actually achieve and feel good throughout the process. Specific goals are the opposite of broad. They have an end date with an obvious end goal in mind. Instead of having a goal to get in better shape, for example, make a specific goal to run an 8- minute mile by the end of the year. Measurable goals are those that can be kept track of with some sort of measurement scale. For example, “I will run 3 times this week…” or “I will learn 1 new soccer skill this month.” Making a goal measurable is important so that you can keep track of your progress along the way and feel accomplished at the end! Attainable and realistic go hand in hand. These are goals you can actually achieve given your ability to control what is around you. For example, don’t make a goal to win the lottery this year, as you cannot control the outcome. On the other hand, try to make a goal where you can control the outcome, such as, “I will make $2,000 this month”. Lastly, a timely goal is one you can achieve in a given time frame and is relevant to you at the current time. For example, a high schooler may say, “By next semester I will bring all my C’s up to A’s.” By following these guidelines, you can set yourself up for positive success.
2. Visualize Success
a. You have to see yourself successful to be successful. In the case of goals, seeing is believing…and achieving. If you want to land a new job, see yourself working in the company. If you want to learn how to snowboard, see yourself successfully shredding down the slopes. If you want to make a change in your community, see yourself gaining momentum and putting positive change into effect. Whatever your goal may be, see yourself victorious at the end. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do it, especially yourself! If you truly believe you can accomplish something and you are passionate enough about your ability to succeed, you can do it! Don’t let anything stop you. See it, believe it, achieve it!
3. Have an accountability partner
a. This is one of the absolute best things you can do for yourself when trying to attain a goal. Have someone you report to on a consistent basis. Let them know how you are doing. Tell them all your successes and confide in them about your struggles. An accountability partner is even more helpful if they are working on the goal with you! Then the two of you will be able to relate to each other and support each other even better since you are going through the same thing. When you have someone to report your progress to, you want to do better! You push harder so you can tell a story of hard work and ultimately accomplishment to someone who cares about your efforts!
4. Take Action right away no matter what
a. When I was working on my goal to work out every morning with my husband, I was most successful when I immediately got out of bed to the sound of my alarm and started getting ready for the gym. When I complained, pushed snoozed, or tried to make an excuse, I just wasted time. I got grumpier because I was fighting with myself. I even felt worse emotionally and physically as I started my day because the extra minutes of broken sleep hindered me more than helped. Though I fell into this trap much more than once, I slowly learned to just get up and go to work! Forgetting excuses and taking action sets us up for success and creates a much more likely path toward a positive experience.
5. Know failure is ok
a. No path to success comes without bumps in the road. We will all have our ups and downs when we are trying to achieve a goal. The key to experiencing hiccups is to remember they are not the end of the world. Take the time to learn from them and figure out what you can do better next time. When I missed a day at the gym while I was working on my pregnancy fitness, I would feel annoyed at myself and wish I had not given in to the tempting calls of my warm bed. Sometimes I would be pretty hard on myself and I would feel like a loser for a couple hours. Eventually I learned that I needed to be okay with my mistakes and learn from them instead. While it can be challenging to turn a failure into a positive experience, it is well worth it! I started reminding myself of all my successes throughout the course of my fitness goal and learned to be okay with my downfalls. This helped me improve overtime, without constantly beating myself up over every small blunder. Continue to tell yourself you are awesome, even through the rough patches!
The road to success starts with you! Take the steps to make a goal and work hard for your achievement! See yourself victorious after all your intentional efforts. Have someone to be accountable to, who can build you up and support you. Always take action, no matter what obstacles lie in your way, and always remember bumps in the road are normal and okay. Good luck. You can do it, and see you next post!
- Holly B