Goals are so important. They give our lives structure, meaning and focus. Achieving them means we are becoming the best versions of ourselves, and staying on track as we get there helps us to feel positive, happy and empowered.
Sure, it can be hard to stick to certain goals, especially if you’re not feeling in the zone that particular day or external (or even hormonal!) factors are against you. But, although falling off the wagon occasionally is both expected and permitted, we all know that staying focused rather than drifting out of the game gives us a sense of satisfaction that the biggest takeaway, chocolate bar or shopping spree will never beat.
Having goals helps us to take action and get the things in life that we want – and we can even take our biggest dreams and break them down into manageable, achievable smaller goals to help us to realise them.
This September, the usual “back to school” or life reset feeling has no doubt been overtaken by the constant and ever-changing confusion around Covid19, but – never fear – the Buump Active team is here with some top tips for setting, sticking to and smashing your goals!
Here are our seven steps to success…
- Write your goals down
First and foremost, think about and write down your goals and what you want to achieve between now and the end of the year. September is a great time for setting goals as we ease into Autumn and shake off the summer. It’s always been a time of new beginnings as the start of the school term, and many of us see this time as a natural reset for life – so set some time aside to plan, now that things are starting to get back to the “new” normal.
Writing down your goals makes them real. Think about what you really want to achieve before the start of 2021 – it could be to considerably improve your fitness levels after lockdown, lose those extra pounds caused by the wine and take-outs (we all did it, ladies!), start playing guitar, save up money towards your house deposit, launch a new business or grow the one you have, or get that much-coveted promotion at work.
Write them down. Make them real. Start your plan.
- Challenge your fears
When writing down your goals and thinking about what you want to achieve, improve or change, take note of the fears and insecurities that creep into your mind whilst you do so.
What are they saying to you? Write them down too and challenge them. Are you really useless at running, or could you improve over time? Do you really have no time, or could you carve out a little each day? Are you really hopeless with money, or can you save up when you put your mind to it?
Try and turn the negative beliefs about yourself into positive ones, and examine where the fears come from. You’ll find that many of them are unfounded, and the more you challenge them, the less power they will have over you.
- Make them SMART
SMART goals are nothing new, but the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely approach is still pretty sensible when it comes to making your success plan.
Using this system, look at your goals and see how each one stands against every point. Make each goal really simple and to the point, make sure you can measure your success, make sure it’s something you can definitely achieve within your limitations and daily life, and set yourself a deadline for each one.
That will help you to focus your goals, giving you a greater chance of smashing them!
- Set yourself interim targets
Having a goal to run 10k without stopping, lose 10lbs or gain five new clients may seem like a big ask, so break your larger goals into smaller ones as you go along so your sense of momentum doesn’t slip.
So, if your goal is to run 10k without stopping by the end of the year, start off with 2k over the next month and see how you get on. You can always tweak your goals as you go along, but setting interim targets will keep your mind focused and make the bigger goals seem more achievable.
- Remember – small things lead to big changes
Every time you go out running, turn down that piece of cake, opt for sugarless tea, reach out to a potential client, make a small sale or decide not to have that evening glass of wine, you are winning.
Remember that the little things count, and eventually they mount up to big changes. If you ever feel that you’re losing your momentum or having a bad day, focus on the small things you can do to keep pushing forwards.
Changing behaviours and ditching old habits for new, healthier ones is all part of the game.
- Reward yourself!
Super important this one – when you do meet an interim goal, or even your main one, reward yourself in a big way! It may be with a new dress, some ace trainers, a day out with the family, afternoon tea – whatever works. Just have a few treats in mind to reward yourself with if you do well.
Having a carrot to dangle may just get you through when you’re feeling a little jaded!
- Stay positive
There are a plethora of articles, features, books and memes around that aim to instill you with positivity, supercharge your inspiration and give you a metaphorical kick up the bum if required.
Buy a planner or diary, and keep track of your progress as you go along – but at the same time, write down or stick in any quotes, book paragraphs or pictures that give you a boost of positivity.
Imagine and even visualise how you will feel at the end of the year if you have met your goals or achieved the targets that you set for yourself. Now, imagine how you’ll feel if you stay exactly the same as you are now. Which version do you want to become your reality?
You can do it!
What are your end of year goals? Tell us all about them in the comments!