It’s July! That means half the year is gone but it also means that half the year is still to come. If you are one of the many people feeling that you aren’t achieving what you wanted to this year, you’re not alone. And even if you’re tracking fairly well so far, these 9 simple tips to achieve goals will set you up for even greater success as you coast into the last six months of 2023.
It seems that people sometimes feel that if they aren’t doing something big, it isn’t worth doing. But, that’s untrue. Inaction only perpetuates resistance and missed opportunities. Conversely, baby steps are worth taking and will have an impact on you and those around you. The choice to give time and energy to simpler things is completely fine.
But first…. reload!
Before we jump into some simple tips to nudge you forward, you may want to take a look at 4 steps to reset your 2023 goals. This strategy prompts you to reflect on what you had originally wanted to achieve in the new year and then reload on all of it. It may or may not still be relevant and goals are not stagnant. They ebb and flow according to your unique life circumstances. And that’s called LIFE!
Here are your 9 simple tips to achieve goals
Through my coaching work and the mentor program I hosted for a dozen years, I witnessed how people focused on their inability to achieve goals instead of realizing the need to adapt and progress. What I saw was that people got caught up in the actual goals, and specifically their failure to complete actions to achieve them, rather than doing things that sustained them through the process. But here’s the thing – the process is the journey and if you don’t enjoy that, it isn’t very good incentive to achieve the goal.
So, to ensure that you are making the journey enjoyable, sift through these 9 tips and grab what you need.
Tip 1: Set personal goals injected with fun.
Goal setting is not all about business. Balance it out with personal goals but even more than that, personal goals doing things that you love. Make a list of books that you want to read in the coming months. Do a jigsaw puzzle and why not set it up outdoors? Learn a new language or a musical instrument. During the pandemic, author Gretchen Rubin shared these ideas to make summer feel like summer. Canada’s shortest season is happening now and you can jump on board.
Tip 2: Routine and rituals.
Schedules are busy and our bustling lives just don’t seem to let up. But, consider what would make life calmer. What are the habits that support your well-being? Go to bed at a certain time. Take daily walks. Prep meals to encourage healthy eating. When life feels out of control or a bit off the rails, discipline around the things that we can control goes a long way.
Tip 3: Best practices for working from home.
It’s an acronym now – WFH. Indeed, people are discovering that it isn’t as easy or glamourous as they thought to work from home. Especially if you have other people in your house. Therefore, source out best practices to set healthy and productive habits for working from home. For instance, invest in an ergonomic workspace, stick to a routine or create strategies to combat loneliness.
Tip 4: Ask for help.
Why is it that we have such a tough time asking for help? But doing it all yourself will never give you the time you want to do the things that YOU want to do. But what if you just stopped and asked for help? To illustrate, it could be hiring a house cleaner or organizing focused work time without kids. Similarly, connecting with a friend for mid-day walks so you get fresh air and time away from your desk.
Tune into what is draining you — be honest with yourself. And then get creative in asking for support. It is not a sign of weakness weeding out what is weighing on you.
Tip 5: Start – and finish – projects.
Time management guru Laura Vanderkam suggests starting and finishing a project in the next few months. At last, pull together that photo album or print up photos to frame. Learn a complicated new recipe and perfect it through practice. Paint the bathroom. When you see your project in the future, it will bring to mind this time, and the complex nature of life. Most importantly, it will foster a sense of pride that you rallied to achieve something good.
Tip 6: Don’t avoid the numbers.
It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and avoid financial struggles. For some, it feels hopeless as keep going up and inflation is a very real concern. But, avoidance will only worsen the situation.
Reviewing your budget may be a bit of dance but it will fortify you to take an honest look and revise accordingly. Specifically, review your expenses and cut back where possible. Negotiate your bills with suppliers. Consider your spending habits. Likewise, curb online shopping habits. In fact, people are hitting that ‘complete purchase’ button at an alarming rate. It definitely started to be a problem during the pandemic with boredom being the the primary motivator. But now, sneaky marketing has kicked in with brands putting more money into influencer marketing than ever before.
At any rate, there is no “right” or “wrong’ when it comes to making decisions about our money. We value different things and different things make us happy. One of my favorite financial mavens, The Fiscal Femme advises that to make decisions that are “right” for us, we want to be conscious, honest with ourselves and intentional.
Tip 7: Infuse Positivity.
Again, pulling from Laura Vanderkam, she highlights the need to fixate on the positive. Negativity bias is a well-known phenomenon in psychology and in fact, humans are hard-wired to dwell on the negative. These days, no one needs to look far to find bad stuff.
An annual poll conducted by American Psychological Association shows stress levels for spring 2020 were higher than the same time last year (5.4 versus 4.9 on a 10-point scale). As well, 46 percent of parents rated their coronavirus-related stress between eight and ten.
So, what works for you to move from negativity to positivity? Again, different for everyone. Some ideas: get outdoors, be mindful, journal. And, savor! Vanderkam’s article suggests, “savoring is the counterpart of coping.” In fact, psychological studies found that very happy people weren’t just happy, they noticed that they were happy.
Tip 8: Be social.
Connection requires effort but it can make all the difference. Make time for conversations. Go for a walk with a friend. Be a part of your community in whatever way makes sense to you. Being social breeds energy and will help you refocus on what you want to achieve in life. If it feels right, you can also ‘buddy’ up with someone on a specific goal for accountability.
Tip 9: Cut yourself some slack.
Oh, there are many layers to this one. Are you beating yourself up for not doing more? Perhaps you wonder why it seems that others nail their goals while you miss the target again and again. Or, you aren’t as productive as usual and have trouble focusing. But, here’s the thing. Standards we set for ourselves are ridiculously high and unhelpful too. And it doesn’t do any good.
Bottom line is that life is busy and it beckons for our attention at every turn. Why does that matter? Because, humans rely on habits to make their lives easier and to reduce stress and tension.
So, be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Some tried and true advice is to figure out what works for you and stop comparing. Namely, my top 3 things are: control social media and news consumption; keep a ‘to do’ list and commit to doing 3 things on it every week; don’t hide behind work and get outdoors for fun.
Now, break it down….
Okay, so let’s break this down.
First, go back and do the 4 steps to reset your 2023 goals. This is introspective work that you can do to keep your goals alive. Remember, goals are not meant to be stagnant. They should flow with your unique life circumstances.
Second, review these 9 simple tips to achieve goals. Specifically, sift through them with an open mind and honest heart to see where you may be getting tripped up. And finally, what can you do to turn that around.