We all have dreams of doing something bigger than we are. Whether our moments of hope are filled with visions of Jaguar cars filled with cash and adoring fans, or with something as simple as being able to afford our own apartment, we as humans are all inspired by our goals. The thing is, though we are often inspired by them, we do not always commit to them, and often we find even the New Year’s Resolutions we so passionately set for ourselves become lost in the noise of everyday life.
So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen to you?
Be a realist
It’s all well and good to want to be the next Richard Branson, but even he didn’t start out thinking he wanted to be the billionaire owner of a multi-national corporation. He may have dreamed of it, but goals have to be more realistic.
He started by becoming his own boss and publishing a student magazine, and your goals have to be similarly realistic. If your goal is to “look like a model”, then that may be possible, but it’s too vague and too idealistic to be practical. Rather, look at yourself and set a goal that you can achieve over a shorter period of time, and hopefully one that you’ll be able to see the results of more readily.
Set objectives for your goal
If you want to achieve your goal, it has to be in your plans every single day. That’s why smaller, short-term objectives are so helpful in achieving your goals. If you take things day by day, not only will you feel good when you achieve your objectives, you’ll start to see the progress towards your goal grow and accumulate as you go along.
This will also keep you in touch with your goals, helping you to evolve them should you need to. If owning your own website is panning out at a slower rate than you’d hoped, new objectives can be set to help you steer the course towards success without you having to abandon your goal. By keeping it day-to-day, you’re ensuring that you’ll always take steps towards your goal, even in the busiest, most stress-filled of moments.
The clock is ticking
There’s no motivation quite like a time limit. Whether it’s deadlines at work, or countdown timers on nuclear explosives, nothing gets us working more intently than a ticking clock. That’s why setting a date for the achievement of your goals is important.
Like with your goals, you have to set yourself a realistic span of time: no one loses 5 kilos in a week (not healthily, anyway). This deadline will keep you focussed on your goal, and will help hone your daily objectives into missions directly pointed at that final date. You’re essentially making doubly sure that your goal is never far out of your mind.
Sharing is caring
Sharing our goals with others can be a bit of a vulnerable experience, especially if we are afraid that we might fail. However, there is no better chance of success than if you include those who can support you in your campaign to achieve your goals. By telling those around you what you want to achieve, you ensure that you’ll have a support system when you make mistakes, and that you’ll receive ample congratulations when you do take a step in the right direction. If Harry Potter teaches us anything, it’s that the love of our friends and family is the greatest, most powerful motivator of all. If you involve them, you make sure it’s not just you thinking about your goals: your friends will be there to help steer you along the way as well.
Even if you keep your goal realistic, set short-term objectives, make a deadline, and tell people about your goal, there will be days when it is extremely hard to stay motivated. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. The key is to not let single days of procrastination turn into multiple days, or even weeks. A splendid way of doing this is to accept you’re having an unproductive-day (Saturdays, right?) and to procrastinate by watching or reading something, or hanging out with someone, you know will charge you up for the work you need to put in the next day. We all have one of those, and whether it takes the form of superhero movies or peaceful meditation for you, learning to turn procrastination into motivation will be the biggest step you’ll have to take.