Did you set any New Year’s Resolutions for 2015? Maybe you just wrote a to-do list or a set of goals you wanted to achieve? Well the end of year is nigh and you’re probably thinking that you’ve failed or there’s no way you’re going to achieve them now. Wrong! There’s never a bad time to start working on your goals and there is actually still time to achieve some this year. I’m sure right now, you’re asking how?
1. Defining Your Goals
The secret of how to achieve your goals lies largely in realistic goal definition and your own will power to follow through. If you set realistic goals to time frames that can actually be managed, you are more like to succeed and less likely to give up after just a few weeks. Whether you want to lose weight, find a better job/boyfriend/home, or aspire to become the master of the universe, the trick is not to overwhelm yourself and try to do too much in too short a time frame. Finding a new job is, for example, mostly down to luck and other people's actions, but you could even the odds a little by having your resume done professionally and applying to at least three jobs a week. With little left of the year. Look at your goals and see if you can pare them down or break them into smaller goals.
2. Tell Everybody!
Share your goals with other people; tell everybody what you're planning to do. That way you'll be accountable, especially if your goal is to get fitter with the help of a gym or lose weight. Use social media to broadcast your plans for less intimate projects and tell everybody you know how to achieve your goals. More private objectives should be shared with those you trust the most, your family or BFFs. Using a buddy or mentor can help enormously to make you go the extra distance. Never underestimate the pester power of well-meaning friends!
3. Draw up an Action Plan
No action man or woman can achieve their aspirations without drawing up a plan and setting a deadline to work to. If you're still trying to achieve your New Year's Resolution, you've got until 31st December 2015 to do it. The whole process works best if you draw an action plan where every week you need to complete one small step to take you closer to your ultimate goal. Want a better job? Week one: work on better resume details, week 2: have resume written up by a professional, week 3: start sending out 3 applications per week, week 4: attend workshop on better interview techniques etc.
4. Declutter Your Schedule
Cutting out distractions from your schedule will help you create sufficient time for your goal. Instead of browsing half an hour on social media like Facebook or Instagram, devote 30 minutes to your project. Or if, for example, you want to give up smoking, get online and be inspired by your favorite celebs who have made a lifestyle change. Build in rest periods and fun time with friends, but cut out time-wasting stuff like mindlessly trawling the internet for the latest in shoe fashion or gossip about your favorite star. Doing away with one time-waster at a time each day will soon leave you with a schedule that allows you to achieve your aspirations.
5. Get Some Exercise
Going to the gym or similar exercise will flood your brain with happy-mood endorphins after each session of strenuous exercise. The fitness time also serves to allow your brain to rest from sorting out your life and aspiring to goal achievement. Your whole system will provide lots of extra oxygen to your brain, which should help you have a few "eureka" moments later on, when you do your cool-down exercises.
6. Obtain a Timer without Delay
Another trick how to achieve your goals is to use a timer device to equip you with some proper time-management. Divide your day into sections of dedicated time periods during which to work on different parts of your goal. Build in a few rest periods, too. Make these time-slots realistic, say 30-40 minutes on a particular task before moving on to five minutes of relaxation time. It serves as reassurance that you can tackle more complex, even scary tasks one step at a time, and because you've set a time limit for the chore, you know you'll soon be "released" to have a break.
7. Begin the Day with the Most Unpleasant Task First
Start your day with the hardest task first, because that way you'll have a fabulous "I can do this" moment which will see you through the rest of the day and allow you tackle other, less daunting tasks with more confidence.
8. Finish Every Day with a Drum-roll List
Reward yourself with a round of applause every day when you have completed the tasks on your schedule. Go through your daily "to do list" and just see how much you've already achieved. It's a pat on the back that won't take long, but will give you enough motivation to do it all over again the following day.
9. Use the Holidays to Get Inspiration
Yes, yes, everybody gets really busy in the run-up to the Holidays - office parties, shopping for presents, cocktail parties, family get-togethers. Use these events like a reward system. Complete a certain number of tasks towards your goal and you'll get to go to the office celebration with the dishy man from the other department. Use each social occasion like a milestone by which you have to complete a certain task. That way you'll be enjoying a guilt-free time, because you will have followed your step-by-step guide on how to achieve your goals and will be up-to-date to tackle the next task.
Did you stick to your resolutions this year or are you facing remaking the same one in 2016? Have you achieved your goals or are you on the way to being successful at them?