29th December 2020
10 ways to win at goal setting in 2021
Goal setting is really popular at certain times of the year, we’ve all had that inspiration for new year new me. Maybe you’re reading this at the start of 2021 for your New Year’s resolution, maybe it’s a springtime goal, maybe you like to set goals in time with the equinox or solstice, perhaps it’s September and the start of school year has you prepping for new changes in your life.
One of my best friends swears by just starting when you’re ready, if it’s a random Tuesday in February or Summer Solstice, it’s all the same. Some people like the significance of goal setting for a special date to mark the moment & help them track how long they’ve stayed on track.
Whenever you start, keeping yourself going to reach your goal is the key. It’s simultaneously simple but difficult. Keeping disciplined & on track is a simple thought, but we’re not wired that way. Habits are hard to break and often it’s not only your past which can shape you, but all the expectations of those in your life which can make it hard. Say your goal is to get fit, you know it means spending evenings being active but you & your partner tend to watch a movie & eat snacks each evening. Changing your habits will affect them & that may make it harder.
We’ve compiled some of our best goal setting tips on keeping yourself going when the going gets tough, so you can create change and be the you you want to be.
Set goals & be specific
why is this important? Imagine your goal is to keep on budget each month, reduce your debt or create savings. How do you know if you’ve been successful? Being specific on what success looks like for you means that when you reach the goal. You will know, and you can celebrate! So, rather than ‘pay off debt’, your goal becomes ‘reduce my debt by £100, 10%, and I will achieve this by March, November, 10 months time’. After that, in 10 months time, when you look at your bank account and see you’ve paid off your overdraft, you know you’ve achieved what you set out to do!
Make a plan or you plan to fail
I know, failure to plan is planning for failure, it’s such a know it all phrase, but…it’s pretty true. If your goal is to run 5 times a week & you don’t plan those runs in, you probably won’t make them. Instead, if you plan the days you’ll run, going to bed with your clothes all set out, you’re more likely to get up and get it done. This means you can spend the day enjoying the physical feeling of having done exercise, the chemical endorphins this creates & the emotional satisfaction of having achieved it.
Get accountable & get a buddy
Goal setting with someone else helps keep each other going. Motivation will let you down some days; you’ll be tired, it will be raining, your favourite make up/clothing/accessories/holiday brand will have a sale and you will want to SPEND or just sit on the sofa and do nothing. Having a friend who is in on the deal, who keeps you going, who turns up with a fruit smoothy and makes you go to that exercise class will keep you on track. There will be days you do the same back to them too! It’s a great way to have something to do with your friends which is helping both of you too! If you’re both trying to reduce your spending, get creative together on ways to have fun which don’t cost too much. Spread the weight and the worry and I promise it will be easier and more fun.
Review your way to the new you
Make time to make sure that you’re looking back at your week & consider your progress. Goal setting is about being realistic, so make sure you set goals that are achievable; when reviewing progress, you can make alterations to your goals if you need to. What came up that made things hard? How can you avoid that? Was the weather crummy so you didn’t go on your run? Can you create a back up plan for days like these? Writing a journal is a great way to keep on track, noticing your feelings, having a place you can re-read and re-live your successes when you’re having a low day. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and revisit your goals.
There’s an app for that
Whatever your goal is, weight management, money management, drinking enough water, donating to charity, volunteering, working less, working more. There is an app to track nearly everything. It will also help you plan and review, which we know is important. You can even share your progress and create friendly competition with your accountability buddy or buddies to help keep you going too!
Visualise using manifestation diaries & moodboards
The trick is here to think about what your life looks like once you have achieved these goals. Are you going from always being the person who is struggling with money to having money to spare? Are you fitting into your favourite dress? Can you roller skate ramps? Write about how fun it’s going to be, make collages, draw pictures, watch videos, listen to podcasts. Make sure you surround yourself with the things you want to be to embed this new version of you into your subconscious. Need to find some motivational women? Here’s our list: Marie Foreleo, Mel Robbins, Tara Wagner.
Turn up as this person
What does this new version of you look like? Again, if it’s weight management, does this version of you eat differently? Travel to work differently? Dress differently like you’re suddenly a 40s Femme Fatale like you’ve always wanted to dress? Don’t wait to hit your goals before you turn up as this person. Rewarding yourself as this person can help you keep going. Feeling this newfound confidence because you decided you will go to dance class,you will brave the stage as a burlesque dancer, you will sing in front of a crowd and be a singer.
Just do the damn thing
Goal setting can be daunting, but try and do it early, at the first opportunity you have. If it’s exercise, do it at the start of the day when you have energy, if it’s money related, set up automated payments the day you get paid. Why? By the end of the day or the end of the month you’re tired, you’ve made so many decisions already, the last thing you want is to deal with another one and feel like you’re not treating yourself. Get it done early then go enjoy yourself, this is especially true if your goal isn’t something you naturally enjoy.
Be prepared to let go
Making changes in your life will involve letting go of that which no longer serves you. In particular, this can be people, and it can also be attitudes. Most often I have found as I’ve changed and levelled up. The ones who truly matter stick around and cheer you on. Remember that you are worthy! Anyone in your inner circle is lucky to be there. Behave like that is true & treat others like that is true and you will start to see real change.
Lots of little steps will take you further
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Believe me, I know ALL about being impatient, but here’s the thing, regular small steps create more lasting change than one big switch up. It’s science, though I have no evidence to back that up I’m pretty sure Mel Robbins does, or maybe Marie Foreleo or one of her guests.
Take small steps, make little changes that you can stick to and integrate into your life.
Perhaps you start & for 1 month you take the stairs rather than the lift, you walk the mile or two somewhere over driving (saving money AND getting exercise! Double win). You start the day with a hot lemon & ginger over a cup of tea, you make your lunch rather than buying it, you give yourself 5 minutes to do make up or hair if you want to look a certain way. Month 2, you add in a new habit, build on solid foundations.
The great thing with adding items is, it gives you something to look forward to. Rather than getting used to ‘the new you’, you start to see the improvements or changes you’re looking for and already have a plan to add in another small step where you will see positive benefits. And one small step a month and by the end of the year you will be not only reaching your goals, but smashing the next ones!
Why is goal setting important?
As mentioned before habits are difficult to make but having goals that you can visualise reaching and an understanding of what it takes to reach your goals can give you the momentum you need. Goal setting is imperative for long term vision and short term motivation. Whether your writing down your goals, using an app or just setting them in your mind, having clearly aligned goals can help you achieve direction and confidence in yourself.
What are your goal setting tips & tricks? Did we forget something which is key to you making the changes which have served you? We’d love to hear how you create a life you love!