Ever set goals and then let them slide to the bottom of your list? Here are 10 tips to help you stay on top of your goals and finally build your dream life.
The secret to success when you’re setting your goals is to prioritize the vital few and not take on more than you can chew. This makes progress achievable, which fuels your motivation to continue.
But what’s the secret to actually accomplishing the goals that you set?
I go through seasons of motivation, particularly after a super engaging podcast episode (thanks Rachel Hollis!), some conferences/retreats, or an amazing book (You Are A Bad*ss, Jen Sincero, for real).
Related post: 5 Personal Development Books To Change Your Life
At this point, I set all of the goals! Literally all of the goals in the world are written down on a piece of paper and I get really fired up … for the first few days.
Day 3 or 4 my goals become overtaken by to do lists, and eventually I don’t even remember what I was striving for.
I look back on my planner in a couple of months and either
- laugh at the things I wanted to achieve, how could I be so silly? or
- become motivated again because I really did want those things and I’m going to get them this time dammit, or
- cry… because another 3 months have passed and I haven’t done anything
So let me tell you something.
In order to accomplish what you set out to do, you must keep your goals top of mind!
Once you’ve figured out what you want, and why you want it, the next step is to keep reminding yourself of that vision.
- When you’re slogging through a crappy commute to an awful cubicle, keep your goals top of mind.
- When you’re overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to get done around the house, keep your goals top of mind.
- When you’re struggling to pay your bills and budget your money, keep your goals top of mind.
Let’s talk about 10 ways you can keep your goals top of mind.
Write them down every day
Writing your goals down on a piece of paper repeatedly is much more powerful than thinking about them once in a while in your head.
I love the Start Today Journal that Rachel Hollis put together which has you write
- 3 things you are grateful for
- 10 dreams you already made happen
- 1 focus for today
Writing those 10 dreams down every morning keeps your vision front and center. You know what you want and you don’t stray.
The focus for today ensures that you are actively moving toward one of your goals. Each and every day matters, and should bring you closer to your dream.
The gratitude practice ensures that we remain positive about all of the things we already have. It keeps us from only seeing the gap.
Take action: grab a journal, or any old piece of paper, and write down the answers to the above statements. Do it right now! And then keep doing it tomorrow.
Join a butt kicking, goal crushing, accountability group
I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of surrounding yourself with people that are going to lift you up!
It’s hard enough to chase our dreams when we’re filled with our own self doubt. It’s damn near impossible when other people are shooting down our dreams and dragging us to the bottom with them.
Find a group of people that will listen to your goals, encourage you to pursue them, and hold you accountable to your commitments , and your success will skyrocket.
Having a safe place to state your goals and knowing you have to follow up on your progress makes it very hard to forget about what you set out to do. It’s a great way to keep goals top of mind.
Put up a motivating vision board
You can think about your goals, but that’s not nearly as powerful as writing them down.
You can write your goals down, but that’s not nearly as powerful as seeing them.
Can you visualize in crystal clear detail what your life would look like if you dared to dream? If you left your excuses behind and worked harder than you’ve ever worked before? If you didn’t let the ‘couldn’ts‘ and the ‘shouldn’ts‘ and the ‘oh my gosh did you hear that Sally isn’t …’ stop you from chasing that thing you want ohhh so badly?ANA MCRAE
Whether you use a bulletin board, a bristol board, a piece of paper, or the front of your fridge, put up some pictures of what your life will be when you achieve your goals.
The magic happens when you see those images and you get a tiny glimpse into the world where you’ve finally succeeded.
When you can feel the feels that come with hitting your goals and reaching your dreams, all of a sudden, you’re not reaching in the cookie jar, you’re not choosing Netflix over your side hustle, and you’re not putting up with what your mother thinks about you buying a tiny home.
Put together a vision board for 10 years from now, 1 year from now, or even just one goal from now. Something to remind you why it matters so much.
Create mini reminders with sticky notes
A vision board sounds awesome and looks so great on Pinterest, but it can also be a little intimidating.
If you’re a perfectionist like me, you’ll procrastinate starting a vision board because you haven’t yet planned out to the tiniest detail what the perfect, Pinterest-worthy board would look like, and therefore there’s no way you’re going to haphazardly slop together some mish mash of cut outs.
But come on, live a little!
Anyway, if a vision board is not your cup of tea, another great way to keep your goals top of mind is to use sticky notes all over your home.
- You can write your goal to build 6 pack abs and stick it on your remote control.
- You can write your goal to stay off social media and stick it on your laptop.
- You can write your goal to eat whole foods and stick it on your pantry.
It may sound silly to put sticky notes everywhere, but keeping your goals top of mind is a huge factor in your success. If you can make your goals pop out wherever you are, you’ll be more likely to stick to them.
Sticky notes are a great way to stick to your goals – see what I did there?
Use that thing in your hand
Unfortunately, we spend more time than ever holding on to and checking our phones these days. What if every time you touched your phone you were reminded of your goals?
You’d fit in so much extra inspiration into your day.
Put a motivational quote that is related to your goal onto your lock screen.
Use the background to remind you what your goal is, whether through pictures or words.
Set an alarm or a reminder to review your goals or work on your goals at a certain time each day.
Since we are so connected to our devices, this is a great way to make our phones work for us by helping to build our dream lives.
Time block goals in your bullet journal
Big lofty dreams are fantastic for thinking outside of the box and shooting for the stars. However, goals still need to be broken down into manageable chunks so that you can take action and move toward success.
If you ‘time block’ actions in your bullet journal (or any planner that you use) you will have a reminder every day of what your goal is and what your next step is to achieve it.
This will help keep it top of mind, and it will help you get it done.
Don’t just write a list of ‘to dos’ down the side of your page. Take the time to schedule specific hours where you will be able to devote the time to making things happen, or else it won’t…
In my time management 101 e course, you will learn exactly how to time block effectively, so that you can get 7 hours back in your week! Plus, how to prioritize, stay more focused, and get more done. What’s stopping you from taking control of your time?
Implement an effective goal setting routine
Implementing a process or a routine for reviewing your goals and setting new ones allows you to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.
You can see whether you’re actioning things at a good pace or not, and you can adjust to make sure you hit your goal for the year.
When goals are part of your monthly/weekly/daily routine, you keep them top of mind consistently.
I do this and it works better than anything I’ve ever tried before! You may have a different process for setting, tracking, and reviewing your goals. Or you may not, which could be part of your struggle to accomplish things.
The more regularly you review your goals, the more natural it becomes to check in on your intentions for the month and see how you’re performing against them.
A good goal routine is pivotal in keeping you on track to hitting your goals and living your best life.
Track your progress
If you can’t see the progress you’re making toward your goal, it is so easy to forget about your intentions and to simply give up.
Seeing the small wins getting you closer to the end will remind you why you started in the first place.
Tracking your progress through apps, habit trackers, or sticky notes — whatever method works best for you — allows you to keep your goals top of mind and keep your motivation sky high.
In this post I talk about how I use a minimalist journal spread to track my progress.
Celebrate small wins
When you hit a mini milestone in your journey, it is so important to celebrate it!
Dreams are big.
Goals are hard.
Giving yourself the credit you deserve — when you’ve stuck it out in the gym every morning for a week, or surpassed a record running time you hadn’t hit before, or did a public speech for the first time, or finished a race you’ve never done before, or didn’t yell at your kids all morning — these are things that need to be acknowledged!
You don’t have to spend all your money on a fancy dinner and undo the healthy eating habits you’ve been working to maintain, but you do need to take a few minutes in the day and just grin with pride that you’re finally doing it.
You’re finally getting closer to your dream.
Consume related media
With the crazy amounts of information available to anyone and everyone on the internet today, it is so easy to become dissuaded.
If your goal is to declutter your whole house and downsize to a tiny home this year, your mountain will get bigger and bigger every time you see Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram images of your friends with their mansions in gated communities.
Consume content that aligns with the values you have for your life.
Read blogs where people are actually doing the exact thing you want to do.
Stay off Facebook if all your ‘friends’ are doing the exact opposite.
Watch YouTube videos of how it’s done.
Read books about people that are doing what you want to do.
Find a tribe that shares your passion.
I used to think my goals were crazy until I started seeking out people that were actually doing it. And guess what?
You’re never the first one.
For all goals you hold in your heart, there is at least one person living that life you dream of.
Setting goals is the easier component of personal development.
We generally know the things we’d like to improve and the direction we want to head in.
Although we might not dare to dream too big from the start, we tend to have an idea of the life we want to live.
Achieving goals? That’s when things get hard.
Our lives are already so busy that it’s easy to let things slip in an effort to keep all the balls in the air.
The key to successfully achieving your goals is to get crystal clear on the critical few actions, and keep them top of mind every day.
Keep your goals front and center, and go after them.
- Setting My Personal Growth Goals for September
- The Perfect Morning Routine To Make Your Day
- 10 Tips To Be More Motivated
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to achieving your goals? Let me know in the comments below!