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Tips for Setting Goals

By Andronica Owens
Web Content Contributor

How many times have you said, “I’m going to do xyz…” or “By the end of this month I will be able to…”? How many tasks or projects have you started that were left unfinished because you got too busy, ran out of time, or because you just got bored? I am personally guilty of doing everything listed above. I start something and don’t finish it because of school or work getting in the way, and I always find a way to make myself feel bad about it. Here’s the thing: It happens to everyone and it is nothing to be ashamed about.

An article from MindTools.com said many people set goals but don’t get anywhere due to not knowing what they want to achieve. In other words, most people will start something and be excited about it in the beginning but get forget about it soon after because their heart wasn’t in it or there was no purpose for them. To help combat unfinished projects, here are some tips and tricks to help you get your goal setting on track and actually accomplish the goals you put your mind to.

Plan it out. Sit down with a journal and map out your goal. Determine the purpose and figure out the steps you need to take in order to achieve that goal. Then determine if it’s a long-term commitment or something that will take a short amount of time to accomplish. The next step is considering the cost. Money is an important factor because if it is too expensive to achieve your goal, you may have to restructure or reconsider pursuing it.

Start off small. Setting a goal is easy, but we often try to go all or nothing, which is not a good way to approach everything. Take it day-by-day and keep a calendar to help track your progress. This is a good way to see how close you are getting to achieving your goal and see how far you’ve come from the beginning. Taking these smaller steps will help put things in perspective for you and help you gain the confidence to push yourself a little harder and take those extra steps.

Utilize your resources. There are numerous tools at our disposal at any given time of the day. Most of us carry a computer in our pockets everywhere we go, so it makes sense to put them to good use. This means it’s time to do some research! Roll up your sleeves, flex your fingers and look up recipes, classes, tips, tricks and videos to help you get your feet off the ground. You are not an expert with an extensive background in the thing you’re trying to accomplish, so feel free to look up anything you may need.

Don’t get discouraged. Life is life and things happen that we cannot control. We are only human and sometimes we mess up. That does not mean you have to beat yourself up over it or try to overcompensate for it in the upcoming days or weeks. Whether you are learning a new skill, or trying to defeat a bad habit, these things take time and you can’t help it if you slip up. Instead you should reflect on how you feel about it and use that to motivate you to continue your journey.

Hold yourself accountable. While it is important not to get discouraged if you miss a step, you should always take it upon yourself to make sure you correct it or try to become a better person from it. There are always external factors getting in our way, but it’s not a good excuse for stagnation. Take it upon yourself to pick yourself back up and keep going! It’s good to have a support system, but don’t only rely on them to keep you going. This goal is not for anyone else but you!

Take pride in the work you accomplish. Progress is progress and if you’re making any, you should absolutely be proud. Setting a goal is a commitment, and putting in the work, time and energy to accomplish it is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Even if you think it is something small, congratulate yourself! Celebrate your accomplishments! Validation is key and being able to give yourself a feeling of pride and accomplishment is vital to your success, so take a moment to sit back and say, “Wow, I really did THAT!” because you absolutely deserve it.

Achieving your goals is in no way an easy task. There will be times where you compare yourself to the things you see on social media, times that make you want to cry and give up, times that make you question everything in life, and times where you feel defeated. However, there will also be a time when you feel driven, motivated, ready to take on the world and confident in your ability to be a better you. This is what achieving a goal is about in my opinion. It is a way to prove to yourself that yes, you can put your mind to anything you want to in life.

Image by Andronica Owens.

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