Whether you are looking to make a big life change, like going back to school or starting your own business, or simply want to lose some weight, there is no better time than now to set some goals for yourself. Having a goal can help motivate you when things get tough and remind you why it is important to keep working hard. It can also help you identify areas where you need more support as well as strategies for meeting those needs -- but only if you produce realistic expectations from the outset!
So how do we do that? Let us start by looking at what goes into making an effective goal:
Only you can decide what is important to you.
It is important to remember that only you can decide what is important to you. Your goals will be different from those of your friends and family members, so do not feel pressured into following their lead. You need to be honest with yourself about what it is that makes sense for your life right now (bear in mind these may change over time.)
Be realistic about what achievements are within reach, but also flexible enough so that when unexpected opportunities arise (and they will), they do not go unappreciated or ignored because of an overly rigid approach.
Break big goals into smaller chunks.
If a goal feels too big, it probably is, try breaking it down into smaller chunks. This can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals. You might have heard the saying "No pain, no gain." The truth is that if you do not enjoy what you are doing, it is going to be hard for you to stick with it.
You do not have to be perfect or know exactly how you are going to get there.
As you are working on your goals, it is important to remember that you do not have to be perfect or know exactly how you are going to get there. You will make mistakes along the way--and that is okay! In fact, I would say it is inevitable. Remember that mistakes are just learning opportunities for self-growth.
Once again: do not worry about getting it right the first time! If something does not work out as planned, be willing and open-minded enough change course as necessary so long as what comes next aligns with your purpose and values.
Accept that your goals will change over time.
An effective way to stay on track with your goals is to accept that they will change over time. In fact, I'd argue that this is the only way they can really work: if we try too hard at any given moment (or even over an extended period of time), our efforts will feel forced and strained instead of natural and effortless like they should be when pursuing something meaningful and important to us!
If you have ever had trouble keeping your goals in mind, it is not just you. It can be easy to lose focus on your goals when life busy.
The most important thing is to not get overwhelmed by the process. Keep in mind that the goal is to make progress and stay motivated, not necessarily achieve everything right away. If something does not work out as planned (or even if you just need a break), take some time off from thinking about your life goals for a little while before trying again later down the road.