The end of the year brings up a lot of emotions, both good and bad. However, this year, those thoughts and feelings are probably amplified. This isn’t just a new year — it’s a whole new decade!
I, for one, have changed a lot over these past 10 years, and I’m happy to say it’s for the better. I started this decade as a depressed 15-year-old girl, desperate for things to get better but unsure of how to make that happen.
Something that has helped me a lot with my motivation, confidence, and self-esteem is setting goals. Psychiatrists say that setting goals increases your motivation and wellbeing by giving you something to work towards. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Having things set out to work toward actually improves your focus, and makes those goals more likely to happen! Setting goals can be tricky, though. You don’t want them to be too broad, too unrealistic, or too easy. It can be hard to find a balance. So, here are 6 tips to help you set goals for yourself.
1. Make the “how” part of your goal in order to make it achievable.
It’s obviously not helpful to create a goal saying “I’m gonna make a million dollars this year!” Something more helpful would be to make goals that represent HOW you’re going to make a million dollars, exactly. For example, you could set a goal to say you’re going to put in more hours at work, in order to increase your productivity, and thus, lead to more money. These goals have to be tangible and doable, and not too obtuse.
2. Think of multiple ways to achieve your goal, in case the original “how” is more difficult than anticipated.
Let’s use this million dollar dream as an example again. Another way to work towards this would be to save more money. You could make smaller goals to eat out less, which would contribute to you saving more. Making a goal as broad as saying you’re gonna make a million dollars isn’t super effective. I mean, I respect it, but you actually have to outline the steps you’re going to take to get there, or else it’s unlikely to happen.
3. Write your goals down somewhere you’ll see them regularly.
Something else that helps me set goals is physically writing them down in a place I’ll see often. There’s something different about writing out your goals compared to just having them floating around your head. It’s a concrete way of committing yourself to these goals you set. Plus, it’s something you can reference at any time. It helps you not lose sight of them and to be reminded of them frequently, which can be helpful in getting you back on track if you lose your way.
4. Don’t set too many of them.
It’s also important to not set too many goals for yourself. This could cause you to become overwhelmed and spread too thin, thus making it more difficult for you to achieve any of them. Sure, dream big, but dream big in a realistic way. You don’t have to change the world in one day. Take small steps to get there. You can do it, I believe in you!
5. Set small goals in addition to big-picture ones.
Setting smaller, more manageable goals each day or week to get toward your yearly goals is important too. A goal I have is to save money this year, so each week, I’m going to make smaller goals that are accomplishable within a week to get me towards my larger goal. For example, each week, I’ll make a goal to transfer $50 to my savings account, and to make more meals at home. That seems more doable than the obtuse goal of saving money this year. It’s kind of like playing a game with yourself. Like how can I challenge myself to reach my goals while also maintaining my motivation and momentum? You can do this by making your goals, breaking them down into smaller tasks, and accomplishing them.
6. Make a list, and cross them out when you complete each one.
Who doesn’t like checking something off as complete?. It’s such a satisfying feeling. Plus, the more you break down your big goals into smaller goals (see point #5), the more you’ll have to cross out and be proud about!
Keep improving yourself, everyone. Dream big, make those goals you’ve always dreamed of. Manifest the best for yourself. 2020 is gonna be our year, if we make the choices we need to MAKE it our year. We have to do it ourselves, and our small goals are what will get us there.