Although most people set new goals and try to turn over a new leaf during New Year’s, you should set new targets continually. Having a dream or vision for your future gets you excited, keeps you inspired, and can motivate you to grow and change. Sadly, many goals are never met, as you all the sudden hit a wall and feel stuck or lack the determination to finish.
What happened to all your mojo? You were once on fire and eager to meet this task, and now your goal falls by the way and becomes a distant memory. Is there a way to stay positive and have the determination to see your dream come to fruition?
First, you should know that it’s pretty common to give up before reaching the finish line. Most people start with a great passion for getting things done, but they lose their willpower along the way. The problem is that many obstacles come and throw you off course.
Have you ever been on a road trip and see the dreaded detour sign? These detours can add more miles and time to your trip, and there’s always the chance you’ll end up lost. Life has many bypasses that you must circumvent, but you still stay the course.
Some goals are going to be short-lived, and it’s usually because people lack passion. For instance, weight loss is a common goal that is easily forgotten. The temptation of carb-laden foods and sugary snacks is too much to handle.
The key is to build a better strategy to finish what you set out to do. Don’t just set goals without anything to back them. You want to have a plan in place so that you’re successful.
Boosting Determination and Staying Motivated
Don’t beat yourself up too badly when things don’t go as planned. You’re only human, and life throws you all kinds of curveballs that cause you to become sidetracked. Thankfully, you can take charge and learn habits or keys to staying motivated.
It would help if you had S.M.A.R.T. goals. Think of these goals as your internal GPS that moves you from where you’re at right now to where you want to be in the future. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You wouldn’t go on a trip without a GPS or navigation system, would you?
Of course, you wouldn’t venture off without a map to tell you where you’re going. So, why would you start on a life’s journey without having some direction? George T. Doran created S.M.A.R.T. goals back in 1981, and it’s an easy acronym that means that your goals must be:
- S – Specific to your needs and desires
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable and not unrealistic
- R – Relevant to your life and dreams
- T – Time-bound
By using this system to establish and fuel your goals, you can accomplish that which seems impossible. While you don’t want to think small, your visions must be obtainable. It’s easy to lose your focus when your goals are not realistic, so try using these three habits to help you.
1. Write It Down
What would happen if you put the wrong street address into your GPS? You would end at the wrong destination. Well, writing things down on paper will give you a greater chance of reaching the correct location.
Taking the time to write it all down allows you to put things into the Universe to help you. Before putting anything on your paper, make sure that you’re specific about your goal. Second, you don’t want to set yourself up for defeat, so you need to make sure that it’s attainable.
You can set a goal to be a millionaire by the end of the year, but it’s probably not a realistic goal for most folks. So, it would help if you learned how to fine-tune your aspirations so that they’re practical. Also, make sure it’s time-centered. You may want to pay off a student loan by the end of the year that’s $50k, but is it possible to achieve this in a short period?
Having determination is one thing, but you need to write things down for clarity. You want to put your focus on the five W’s. Remember these from your days of writing in English class? You want to identify what, where, when, why, and who will be involved in the situation.
It would help if you established the proper criteria so that you can track your progress. The goal must be something you can attain, and it should be something that matters to you. The key is to stretch yourself and push beyond your current limits to achieve something great.
Many people seek life coaches or counselors when they want to make changes in their life. Their determination is excellent at the beginning, but along the way, they get stuck. The first thing you should ask yourself before starting a goal is why you want to accomplish this task?
For instance, if you want to lose 50 pounds, it’s obviously due to better health, although there can be other reasons. Think to yourself that the more significant the “why,” the easier it will be to determine how it will be done. Most folks don’t develop a deep emotional connection with their goals, and they soon get stuck because they’re not consistent and lack motivation.
Consequently, your “why” is what puts meaning behind the things you do. This little word can help to direct and guide you from start to finish. For instance, if you set a goal to move up the corporate ladder, the why would be making more money, using your skills, and supporting your family better. So, the “why” behind this goal becomes your driving force.
Think of it as the gasoline you put in your engine that helps you drive your car. You wouldn’t get far without gas on your journey, and you’re not going to get far on your goals if you don’t have an emotional attachment to why you’re starting it in the first place.
No matter what comes your way to derail you, your passion and determination will help you keep going. When you feel passionate about something, then it fuels your fire.
3. Schedule Everything
Schedules are important in life because they keep you on track. What would happen if your doctor’s office didn’t have schedules and allowed everyone to show up? It would be very frustrating and a complete disaster.
Having a schedule keeps you moving in the right direction, and it establishes a starting and ending point. Use the calendar app on your smartphone to record your tasks. This tool can help you lay out your priorities and remind you where you need to be.
Time is your most valuable asset, and it can remind you of the goal even when you become distracted. Isn’t the calendar on your phone one of the greatest inventions of modern technology? It’s something so simple, yet that reminder that pops up on your screen keeps you task-oriented and knowing what you need to accomplish.
What would happen if you didn’t put down the kid’s piano recital to pay the electric bill or the doctor’s appointments in your calendar? There’s a good chance that you’ll forget about it. Life is so chaotic and busy on most days that you would forget lots of things if you didn’t have these gentle reminders.
Having a visual reminder of your goals for the day, week, and month is essential to keep you going in the right direction. Your calendar is critical because it helps you to schedule and motivate yourself. Your determination may wax and wane, but the calendar is going to keep reminding you of the goals you’ve set no matter what’s going on.
You can do anything you set your mind to do. You can be anything you want, and you can move mountains with your determination. However, the key is that you must stay the course even when hardships come your way.
Do you stop driving just because it’s raining outside? No! You keep going regardless of the weather. You grab your umbrella, turn on the windshield wipers, and go about your day.
It would help if you looked at your goals the same way. Sure, there are going to be days when it’s more complicated than others to stay on track with weight loss, climbing the corporate ladder, and doing whatever you set out to do, but you must keep the course.
Thankfully, when you passionately connect with your dreams, then you can stoke the fire in your soul that will keep you moving in the right direction. Your car wouldn’t get far without gas, and you won’t get fire without some spark of motivation driving and pushing you to excel.