Reaching goals is like long distance running, not a short sprint. The goals you set may not always be easy to reach. That doesn’t mean that you should give up on them. They are still good goals. You will have challenges and slip-ups on the path to reaching your goals.
Pay attention to the things that don’t go as planned. Challenges are just as important to getting to your goal as your successes. When something gets in your way, try a new strategy and adjust your plan. Use what you learn from slip-ups and you’ll be a champ at reaching your goals.
Set up a time each week to check how you’re doing with your goal. Ask yourself these questions:
- What worked (successes) or what didn’t work (barriers)?
- Why did it work or why didn’t it work?
- What can you try differently?
- What did you learn this time that will help you next time?
You’ve already accomplished so much in your life, even if it doesn’t feel that way sometimes. Remember that change takes time. It isn’t always easy. You may find you need to change plans or start over when things don’t work out, but your hard work will pay off. Keep at it!
You have the strength and courage it takes to make the life you want for yourself. Below are some tips to help you stay motivated as you work on reaching your goals.
Look over your progress. Look at all the good progress you have made and what you will gain by the end. Ask yourself:
- What did I hope to accomplish when I set this goal?
- Have I achieved all my goals?
- What will I do in the next 6 months to work towards my goal?
Celebrate your success. Celebrate your victories, both big and small. Ask yourself:
- What have you already done for yourself that you are most proud of? What changes have you made.
Put up reminders. This will be a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.
- Write out your goals on a piece of paper. Display the paper on your mirror, refrigerator, or your car dashboard.
- Set alerts on your cell phone that will help you remember what you’ve set out to do each day.
Try something new. If you are tired of doing the same thing, change up your routine.
- Have you tried to add something new to your daily routine?
- What seems boring to you about your plan?
- Do you have any ideas about how you can add variety to what you’re already doing?
Involve others. Get other people who have similar goals involved. Your friends and family may be able to help.
- Do you have a friend with the same goals as you? Keep each other on track or set up a way to have a friendly competition.
- Look to your support team to help you stay motivated and keep you focused.
Challenges and Slip-Ups
How to deal with challenges and slip-ups:
- Stay positive. Fight your negative thinking with positive thoughts. When you slip-up tell yourself, “It’s okay. I am not giving up. Next time I’ll try something different.”
- Figure out what went wrong. Take the time to think and write down exactly what happened when things didn’t work. Help yourself understand why you might have slipped-up. That way you can work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Break up your goals. If things aren’t going as you planned it can be useful to break your goal up into smaller pieces. For example, if your goal is to take classes for your GED, you can start with waking up early each morning or gathering the information you need to enroll.
- Reward yourself. Take pride in the positive changes you have made. Find a way to reward yourself for all the milestones you reach. Celebrate your success.