I always function better when I have a goal to work toward. In high school, I spent hours studying because I wanted to be valedictorian. In college, I spent hours helping with Penn State’s THON because I wanted to dance. Recently, I spent hours running because I wanted to complete a half marathon.
When I decide I want to achieve something, I do it. Some of my goals are easier to reach than others, and some are more meaningful. But you know what? They’re all important.
They’re important because they prove to me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I know, I know—that’s really cheesy and a giant cliché, but it’s true. Setting goals and sticking to them has built my self-confidence, improved my self-discipline and made me a happier, healthier and just plain awesomer (I know that’s not a word; just go with it) person! Whether my goal is to run a marathon or see all 50 license plates while driving, I’m always working toward something that will make me one thing: happy.
My newest goal in life is to be as happy as this dog. (Source)
Sometimes, however, setting a goal and sticking to it is easier said than done. I’ve set plenty of goals that I haven’t accomplished, and often times it’s because I’ve set myself up for failure—like that time I decided I should start to eat more healthfully the day before Thanksgiving. Yeah… Not my best idea.
Want some pointers to help you set (and accomplish!) your next goal? I’ve laid out a few simple tips to get you started!
1. Start small. Want to run a marathon? Great idea! Want to make your first training run 10 miles? Terrible idea! Turn your big goal into a series of smaller goals. It makes achieving the end result a much less daunting task!
2. Get support. No matter what your goal is, having someone to support you throughout your journey is key to your success. Whether it’s your best friend, your mom or an online community, you’re much more likely to achieve your goal when you have someone in your corner!
3. Celebrate small victories. Is your goal to lose five pounds? Then pat yourself on the back when you snack on a handful of almonds instead of a handful of M&Ms! Want to get an A in your biology class? Then give yourself a high-five when you ace a quiz! Every step in the right direction counts, and you should give yourself credit when you get that much closer to your goal.
4. Learn from mistakes. As important as it is to celebrate when you’re doing well, it’s just as important to recognize that you’ll probably slip up here and there along the way. You might have a second slice of cake or skip a training run, but no goal was reached without overcoming a few obstacles. Don’t let one small mishap discourage you from sticking to your goal!
5. Do it for you. Whatever it is you decide you want to achieve, make sure you’re doing it for the most important person in your life: you! Don’t do something just to please other people, and don’t ever NOT do something because you’re afraid someone else might think it’s stupid, silly or impossible. The best part about setting a goal is the feeling of satisfaction you get after reaching it, but you won’t have that feeling if you’re not doing it for you!
What is one goal you can set for yourself today, big or small? How can you incorporate these tips into achieving it?