I run a weekly goal-setting linky and set my own goals each Monday. They are linked to my monthly goals, which in turn are linked to bigger goals for the year. I’m not an expert at this sort of thing, and the goals I set at the start of the year are a bit wishy-washy in format, but I’m getting there with the weekly and monthly goals.
Writing down a goal makes you a lot more likely to achieve it – but just writing them down doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve them. Here are five things that will stop you from achieving those goals you wrote down:
1. Taking Too-Big Steps
It’s a great idea to have great big, scary goals – it’s not such a great idea to keep them that big! You need to chop them up into smaller, more manageable chunks. That way, you can achieve your great big, scary goals one tiny step at a time. If you try to achieve your goal in one great big leap… you will fall on your arse and walk away without ever getting to where you were going.
How many times have you said, “I’d love to do that, but…”
If your goal is big enough, it will be scary. And when something is scary, it’s easy to think of a million excuses as to why you shouldn’t try. It’s not the right time, it will take too long, I have to finish this first, I can’t afford that, it will take too long, I might do it wrong, people will laugh at me, I’m too old/young/ugly/pretty/fat/thin/whatever. It’s easy to come up with an excuse and tell yourself it’s a reason; not so easy to call yourself on it, put on your big boy/girl pants, and get on with it.
I wrote a post earlier this week about how procrastination can be a good thing – but when it comes to achieving those great, big goals, procrastination is not your friend. It might get your kitchen nice and clean, your filing up to date and your TV watching schedule set for the week, but it won’t get you stepping outside of your comfort zone. And stepping out of your comfort zone is how you achieve those great, big goals. The only cure for procrastination is to… stop procrastinating! Just start doing something immediately, without allowing your mind time to come up with an excuse or something you “should” be doing instead.
I’m a terrible one for allowing shiny things to distract me. I have too many tabs open on my browser; I check my email every few minutes; Facebook notifications; in the evenings, the TV. If I switch all of that off, I can get two, maybe even three or four times as much done. These are all distractions on an immediate level, but there are also larger distractions on a daily basis. We can get sidetracked by a side project we only took on to pay a bill; we look up and realise we’ve spent loads of time working on something that will do nothing to move us closer to our main goal. It’s easy to get distracted. Often time-wasting activities are pleasant, so we don’t necessarily realise they’re side-tracking us. Try to question yourself on a daily basis; look at what you’ve done that day: was it in aid of achieving your goal? Ot was it a distraction? Be honest with yourself!
5. Being inconsistent.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is, or how close you are to achieving it; if you’re not consistently striving to achieve it on a daily basis, you will never get there. The obvious example with this is weight loss: if your goal is to lose a stone in weight, you can’t only work towards that goal on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you’re having cupcakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner every other day of the week, then waht you’re doing on Tuesday and Friday will make no difference at all, and you will never reach your goal. Try to remind yourself each morning of the goal you’re striving to reach – with a Post-it on the bathroom mirror or a memo on your mobile or something else. Keep yourself on track, and be consistent in your work.
If you’d like to join in with setting some weekly (and monthly, and yearly) goals, come and join in tomorrow.