I generally set myself some ambitious goals for the year, and this year I’ve set a lot of goals, many of which people would deem to be over-ambitious. In the past, I’ve found I start off well and then run out of steam; once I falter, I declare myself a failure and give up, or when I lose momentum, I find it hard to get going again. Sometimes I even forget I set myself a goal until it gets to the end of the year and I work on my list for the forthcoming year.
However, I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast and reading about improving your life, and consequently I’m far more self-aware and better prepared for the obstacles that get in my way and am taking steps to combat them.
Firstly, I’ve given a lot of thought to what I want my life to be like, what I want to be like, what I want to do. This has informed my goals for the year: they are my goals, not goals I think I should have, which are often influenced by others. This is making them more relevant, important and fun for me.
Secondly, I’ve written them down in a dedicated journal, divided into categories, with a new page for each goal. I’m reviewing this journal almost every day to monitor and track my progress (and so I don’t forget about them – it’s easy in the busyness of everyday life to overlook the fact that we want to go to the Globe Theatre and carve out time to do so).
I’ve also ensured that the goals, whilst in some cases being rather ambitious (write first draft of my novel), are broken down into small, easily achievable steps, which helps to keep my momentum going. For example, 200 words a day every day is far better than 3,000 words a day from 1st to 4th January and then run out of steam and give up (73,000 versus 12,000 words).
Finally, should I falter at any point, and I’m sure I will, I’m not going to view this as a failure and come to a crashing halt. I will instead view it as a blip and start again.
I feel optimistic that this year, with these strategies in place, I will achieve my goals, but even if I don’t quite manage this, I will still have achieved more than I’ve ever done before.
What strategies do you have for achieving your goals?