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How to set goals and Crush them.

The new year is almost here and everyone will set goals or resolutions. Unfortunately, most people don’t keep their new year’s resolutions. We tend to set them too high and expect results quickly. That is the downfall of the new year’s resolution.

Setting goals and sticking to them can be difficult, but not impossible. We all set goals, we do it every day. We set a goal to go to work, clean the house, see a friend or go grocery shopping. You may not think of these as goals, but they are. Sticking to your goals is as easy as changing your mindset.

So how do you set goals and crush them? There are many steps you can take to make sure you are not one of the many who will not achieve their goals this new year.

Define your goals

1. Set one or two long term goals.

Long term goals are your goals for the next year, three or five years. These are large goals like buying a house, losing 100 or more pounds or going on an expensive vacation. These goals are the large ones that seem unachievable.

2. Take those goals and break them down into smaller goals

By breaking these goals down into smaller more achievable goals you are able to see results faster and are better able to reach those large goals. Think about it, when you were in school you learned how to read one word at a time. You learned math by learning addition, then subtraction, then multiplication and so on. In this way the small steps made our childhood selves learn what we needed to without getting too overwhelmed.

3. Take those smaller goals and break them down one more time

These are your monthly, weekly or daily goals you set to achieve your overall long term goals. Maybe you are saving $20 a week for your vacation or your weekly weight loss goal is 2lbs a week. (that’s 112 a year!) Looking at small goals and setting them so that they are achievable can keep you on track and keep your goal alive.

Check out: Printable worksheets for setting your goals

Sticking to your goals

1. Remind yourself daily of the short term and long term goals you are working on.

Leave yourself notes on the bathroom mirror, fridge or dream board to remind yourself of what your small goals and long term goals are. Reminding yourself daily of what you have to do to reach your goals is a great way to stay on track.

Reminding ourselves of what we are working on not only keeps us on track but prevents us from doing things we don’t need to do. An example would be trying to save money. When your saving and you have a reminder you are saving it’s in your mind and accessible. That means when a friend calls and ask to go to lunch you right away look at your bank account to see if you have the extra after your saving to go.

Saving money, after all, does not mean not having a life. It does mean watching what you spend and planning for special events. If you saw this friend last week. A no may be the answer, but if you haven’t seen your friend in a few months or years, then after checking you can say yes. As a result of having your goal fresh in your mind,, you are more likely to reach your goals faster.

2. Take a few moments to visualize you achieving your large goal or small goals.

Every morning try to visualize yourself reaching your goals. Even if it’s just while you’re getting ready to head to work. Visualizing your goals is a great way to remind yourself that these goals are achievable and you can reach them.

When we visualize something our minds believe it to be true. That is why people with negative thoughts always seem to have bad things happen or a negative attitude. When we see ourselves succeeding and growing we will grow. Check out this post from medium.com about rewiring your brain.

3. Reward yourself when you reach each small goal

If you’re trying to lose weight reward yourself with a new shirt or something non-food related. If your saving money rewards yourself with a relaxing night in or find something free to do in your area. Do you have a goal to quit smoking? Reward yourself with a nice dinner or night out with all the money you have saved.

Rewarding small goals with something is a great way to stay motivated and reach your overall goal. Having small rewards along the way help us to validate what we are doing. It’s also something to look forward to that is not going to take five years to show up.

4. Plan a large reward for when you reach that overall goal

If your goal is a vacation, then that may be reward enough for you, but let’s say you are trying to lose weight, reward yourself with new clothing to help show off that new healthy body. Using a reward that is not food is a great way to stay on track.

Let’s say though that your goal is to spend less money. How to you reward that? What I have done in the past is for every $50 I don’t spend I put $5 into a savings account. If you can’t afford this, try a higher amount or do it monthly. When you reach your goal every month for 6 months use the money you set aside and do something fun.

When I did this I was trying to pay down credit card debt so I cut my bills for 6 months. I added up what I saved and put that money onto my credit cards. I still kept $5 of every $50 I saved and after a year I treated myself to nice dinner and a mani-pedi. I even had enough left over to treat myself to a new frying pan.

5. Don’t get discouraged

Everyone falls down sometimes. All you have to do is get back up and keep going. Maybe you had to spend some of your vacation money on a new hot water heater or car repair. Brush it off and start again. Keep going and your vacation will happen, if you give up, it never will.

When saving for a vacation one way to make sure you can keep saving is to also save for the unexpected. Open a second or third savings account and put half for emergencies and half for that vacation. Once you have enough saved for your emergency fund start adding the rest to your vacation fund.

6. Get friends or family to help motivate you

This is really important if you are looking at losing weight, paying off debt or changing a habit. You need people who are supportive and will help keep you motivated. As much as you may love a friend or family member if they bring you down, stop talking to them as much, keep only positive people in your life.

I have not only tried to lose weight but have tried to pay off debts as well on my own and it just didn’t stick. Having someone who can hold you accountable and be supportive is a great way to make sure you stick to it. I hated the thought of having someone know my situation, but when I got the extra help it really did make a difference.

Comment: What are your goals/resolutions for 2020?

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