Submitted Date 04/17/2019

This is my second post in my "Your Best Life" series. Now that we have conquered fear, we're going to talk about setting goals. I know, most of us think about this in January and then beat ourselves up much later when we aren't accomplishing what we want. You can set a goal at any time of year. It's never too late to achieve what you set out to do, and you're never too old. It's never too late.

So, how do we set ourselves up for success in achieving our goals? Here are some ways to start fresh and get your goals back on track.

1. Write out your goals-The first thing you need to do is write out a list of your goals. I would make a list of short and long term goals. Don't be afraid to dream big or start small or a mix of both. Just make sure you write everything down.

While you are doing this, be as specific as possible. Instead of "I want to lose 30 lbs." say, "I want to lose five pounds a month over six months." It is so easy to be vague about our goals. However, that doesn't show us where we're going. The more specific you can be, the more direction you will have.

2. The "Huge" Why-I think this is one of the most important things when setting goals. It is crucial to know your "why." Why is this goal important to you? Why are you pursuing it? What is going to keep you motivated not to give up? Are you willing to stay the course until you achieve it?

Sit down and write out your specific "why" for each goal. Here are some examples.

" I'm pursuing this freelance writing business to have flexibility, time management and to do what I love. I refuse to go back to a traditional 9-5 job, and I'm going to keep looking for jobs and sending pitches until I start getting regular clients. No matter what. My ultimate goal is more time with my family. Failure is not an option."

"I want to lose five pounds a month over the next six months for me. This isn't about what other people think or say; it's about me. I want to be healthier so that I can do more things, keep up with my kids, and finally get back into those size ten jeans that have been calling my name. I want to live a long life with my family."

By the way, there is nothing wrong with a 9-5 job. :)

3. Setting a date is crucial-I once heard someone say, "A goal is a dream with a date on it." I love this quote. Everybody dreams, and there is nothing wrong with that. The thing is, many people don't understand that dreams need to have a date on them. Why? Because they are more likely to be achieved this way.

We can dream forever, but when we put a goal on that dream, it's a game changer. We are more likely to stick to our goal of making that dream come true. There may be a learning curve that may put you back a little bit, but that's okay. For example, as I mentioned in my other article, on January 1, 2014, I told myself that I would publish my first book in a year. It took me a year and four months. So what? There was a bit of a learning curve, but I accomplished it, and I was laser focused while working on it.

Take some time and add some dates to your goals. If you don't quite hit that date, that's okay. As long as you're working towards your goal with a purpose, you will get there. You will probably hit snags, but as long as you keep making progress, that is what matters.

4. Step by step-The thing about goals is, sometimes we feel like we have to do everything all at once. This is crazy. Break your goals down step by step as to what you need to do to achieve them. Take it a little further and write down what you need to complete each day, week, and month to achieve your goal.

Write these things down on your calendar or in your planner or wherever you will see them every day. This way, you can keep yourself on track and moving forward. If you get stuck or need help along the way, ask someone.

5. Take action-Here is where the rubber meets the road. Taking the first step. This is the scariest part of any journey. However, once you take the first step, you will feel an incredible weight lifted off your shoulders. You did it; you are one step closer to your goal. So, apply for that job, start formulating that business plan, or go out and take that walk. You're one step closer to achieving your goal.

6. Cut it in half- I'm reading a great book called Finish by Jon Acuff, and it's about finishing your goals. In this book, he recommends cutting your goal in half. Why? Because people are more productive and increased their performance more than they did when they tried to achieve other related goals in the past.

Why? This is because the high amount of pressure is off. If you cut your goal in half, you're more apt to do what you need to do to achieve that goal because you are only doing half the work at a time.

For example, when I started writing my next book, my initial goal was to write 1,000 words a day. That's a lot of words, and I wasn't doing very good at hitting it and was getting frustrated with myself. Instead, I've decided to cut my goal in half and only write 500 words a day. Most days I can write 1,000 words, but some days I do struggle. This way, I'm staying on track with my goal and don't feel all the pressure I put on myself in the beginning.

7. Find a support system- You need a support system. In addition to your friends and family who support you, join groups where other people are doing what you want to do. If you are trying to lose weight, ask a friend or friends in the neighborhood if they're going to start a group and walk together three days a week. Being with others on the same journey makes all the difference.

8. Make a list of rewards- I'm going to go into this deeper in my next post, but start making a list of awards for your goals. They can big or small or anything in between. When you are working toward a goal, it's important to celebrate everything, no matter how big or small.

There are many ways to go about achieving our goals. You can find tons of books on the subject of goal setting on Amazon. I hope these suggestions will help you map out a clearer vision of your future. You are on your way to something great.



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