The long and tiring year that has been 2020 is almost over and the New Year is fast approaching. A ritual that many people do in these confusing few days between Christmas and New Year's is to set their 2021 goals and resolutions.
We all know the tired routine of setting our New Year’s resolutions but then abandoning them after a couple of months. This trend happens time and time again. It happens too often that you might have given up on setting goals altogether.
Our team here at Ecosa has figured it out for you! Effective goal setting starts with clarity in your mind, then goal setting the smart way, and manifesting your specific goals.
Pace yourself appropriately and work with others along your journey, celebrating the small and big achievements together. Keep reading until the end to learn how to set and achieve goals.
Action Plan for 2021
What do you want to achieve and why?
Before you answer the question, write everything down. Use your phone, your computer, or a piece of paper and a pencil. Writing it down cements the ideas, helps you remember, and gives you a visual reminder of what you have set for yourself, all of which are useful for the goal-setting process.
Now, personal goals become attainable only when you completely understand the goal and why you want to achieve it. People often create half-hearted New Year’s resolutions because they forget to apply this principle.
Clarity is the key. Dreams become achievable only when you know exactly what it is you will be working towards. You can also keep track of your progress in this way, allowing you to celebrate small and big victories, which we will talk more about later.
Specify your visions of your future, write them down, and be specific with why you want to attain them. You probably want to undergo self-improvement, or you may be thinking of helping others. You can make goals for your finances, your social circles, or your family. Set a couple of specific goals for each area of your life. Setting too many goals at once can leave you overwhelmed and struggling to reach any of them.
Next, classify the types of goals you have as urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important. This way of categorising goals is known as the Eisenhower Matrix. It helps in prioritising your goals and organising them.
You then look at your goals and plans and know which ones you can work on first and which ones you can leave for later on.
Set SMART goals
Following the SMART method is a great way to be intentional with your goals.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It helps give you a clear path with what exactly your goals are and what you have to do to achieve them.
If you are writing your goals as you read, you should have already done the first part of the method: be specific with your intended goal. The next step is to make it measurable. You need to be able to track your progress and know how close you are to achieving a goal. This can be by breaking up the goal into smaller tasks, or planning what actions need to be taken.
Next, you need to make your goals achievable and relevant. Big goals are lovely, but realistic goals have a special place too. Look at your circumstances and yourself, and you may evaluate what plans you can actually complete and what you think is worth doing. It’s nice to have a goal to save $10,000 in one year, but if you only earn $15,000 then the goal really isn’t achievable or relevant to your current life situation.
Lastly, you need to ensure that your goals are time-bound, also known as timely. What can you do in one day, in a month, or in half a year? A timeline or deadline helps in motivating persons to strive towards their goals. You can track your progress in this way as well, and exercise time management wisely. With this, together with the other parts of the SMART method, you may then optimise your goals, setting yourself up for success.
Manifest your goals into reality
For now, set aside your paper or what else you use for goal setting. Focus inside yourself, inside your mind. Think hard and believe that you will be able to achieve the plans you have written down. If you have followed this, you are practising manifestation.
Manifestation is the materialisation of a thought or belief in real life since the mind supposedly acts as a tool for creation. You receive in physical form that which you see and believe in your mind that you will receive.
A myriad of spiritual, religious, or motivational teachings has different takes on manifestation. Nonetheless, manifestation centrally motivates you towards your goals, making it a valuable asset in the goal-setting process.
You can practice this with each one of your plans to make them real. Along the way, you may even improve your mental and physical well-being since you relax and feel happier when you only focus on things you believe in.
Manifesting might not be for everyone, but if you’re an unbeliever, look at it this way. Essentially you are telling yourself that you can achieve your goals, motivating yourself to be the person you want to be. This positive thinking can completely shift your mindset and help you work harder towards your goals.
Pace yourself with smaller goals
At this point, you may have set goals already using the methods above. Hold your horses for a little more and add smaller steps in between challenging goals or big goals. These smaller goals serve as essential milestones in themselves. They may be steps you have to take to achieve bigger goals.
On the other hand, they may also be simple plans you have that keeps you happy and motivated for the year. Whatever they are, short-term goals, once achieved, make long-term goals all the more actionable.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Discussing your goals with other like-minded people can also play a role in helping achieve them. These may be friends or family that you trust. These people can play a role in goal setting by keeping you accountable to what you have planned for yourself. Check in regularly with them, and they can encourage you towards your goals.
Celebrate big and small
You should celebrate your achievements, big or small. Goals are still goals, no matter their size. By celebrating goal achievements, you not only give credit to your efforts, yet you also cheer yourself onward, motivating you to strive for success in all your other plans.
You can even note this down in your planning, and plan to reward yourself at the end. For example, if you commit to going to the gym 4 days a week for three months, you can treat yourself to some brand new activewear or running shoes.
The secret to goal setting
You should be applauded for reaching the end of this article, and as promised, you may learn the secret to achieving attainable goals. You may have followed along or are planning to follow the advice given to you thus far. However, at the end of all things, what is truly important is to live.
Goals are fantastic: you feel strong, capable, and productive once you achieve them. Nonetheless, life stretches far beyond our plans. There are relationships to be enjoyed and experiences to be had in life that goals cannot account for. To make the most out of your goal setting then, live how you want and enjoy your life. Goals and achievements mean only so much. You can achieve far more than what you plan for without having to diminish other aspects of your life to complete some of your goals. Live, and live well; goal achieving will follow.
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