How to make the most of your goals

Ari Guest Blog

WEDNESDAY GUEST BLOGGER

 

As most of you know I believe the secret to success is to surround yourself with smart people. And when you do, you listen.

I have been listening to Ari Meghlen for a while now and I have no plans on stopping.

Ari, take it away.

 

 Before I begin, I would like to thank Bryan for welcoming me onto his blog and letting me share my thoughts with all his followers.

 Why you should make goals

I have always been a firm believer in goal settings.  Anyone who follows my blog will know I post new goals at the start of each month. 

As well as these short-term monthly goals, I also create long-term goals and have an ever-growing bucket list. 😊

A goal is the target of your effort, the desired result you are aiming for.  Goals help to solidify an idea and creates focus. 

 

Write it down

When you write something down it becomes a visual reminder.  If you want to make this goal a reality, you need to be reminded of it.

You can also create accountability by sharing your goals.  Nothing makes you more likely to succeed than the fear of having people ask you about a goal you’ve failed.  It is one of the reasons writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and 85K90 are so popular.

People sign up and commit to writing 50,000 words in a month or 85,000 words in 3 months.  They track their progress on the relevant websites where everyone can see.  This creates accountability and that is a great driving force.

 

Create a Plan

However, having a goal and even writing it down is not enough. 

There is a popular quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that reads:

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

This is one of the reasons why those who set New Year Resolutions often fail to keep them by the 2nd week.

People create random goals they want to attain…and that’s it.  They don’t usually follow them up with a plan of how to get there.

You need to create a roadmap of how you are going to reach that goal.  The best way is with steps.  Break down each action you need to take to reach your goal.

 

Overloading yourself

Another way to struggle with goals is to give yourself too many or try to do everything all at once.  Let’s take getting healthy as an example.

If my goal was to get healthy, I wouldn’t jump right in by chucking out all the unhealthy foods, refusing to drink anything but water and running 20k every morning.

If I did that, I’d be dead in my first week.  Not joking!

So, you make small, manageable steps. 

  • Reduce intake of sugary drinks in the first week
  • Drink an extra glass of water a day
  • Create a meal plan where 2 days a week eat a healthier option with more fresh vegetables
  • Walk 10 mins every other day.

You create a list of steps, as small as they need to be, to give you the best chance of reaching your goal.

We all have this worry that we need to do more.  The idea of doing 10mins walking every other day may seem silly. 

After all, I know I can walk more than that.  However, I know I will actually go out and do it if it’s only 10mins whereas if I gave myself 30mins or an hour then I might end up getting distracted or finding an excuse. 

The idea is to build a habit not do everything all at once.

Whether you say you want to write 500 words a week or for 10mins a day.  The size of the step doesn’t matter, the action itself matters.  Maybe you can easily write 1000 words a day.  Great, but some days you won’t have time to. 

However, if you say you’ll write for 10mins a day, then some days you can exceed that and other days you might only manage that.  But it’s still a step in the right direction and a completion of that mini goal.

 

 Set a deadline

Giving yourself a deadline is important.  We have a habit of letting things drag on if there is no end in sight. 

Remember, don’t give yourself too tight a deadline if that won’t work for you.  I have monthly goals because I work from home and have no children.  This means I have greater control over my time so I can plan my goals throughout the month.

If you have other obligations and responsibilities, then give yourself longer.  You are not trying to challenge yourself so much that failure is likely.  (Yes, it happens, and we should not get dragged down by any failures, but don’t set yourself up to fail).

 

Enjoy the journey

Creating goals allows us to focus on where we want to be, what we want to have done but that doesn’t mean we should not enjoy the small victories. 

Maybe you have a goal to write 80,000 words in 3 months and you don’t make it.  You instead managed 50,000 words.  That is great!  Enjoy that achievement too and appreciate what you have done.

It’s like when we fail or make mistakes, use them, learn from them, they are part of the journey towards success and should be treated as such. 

 

Check your goals regularly

If you set goals, make sure you check them regularly.  I have a page on my blog where I list my goals so I can check on them every week.  I also update their status to show if I’ve started them and how far along I am.  This tracking is for my benefit only and it keeps the goals forefront of my mind. 

 

Don’t be afraid to change things

Never stick with a method that isn’t working.  Do you have monthly goals?  Are you struggling to meet them?  Then change to quarterly goals or bi-annual goals.  Or maybe set yourself fewer goals each month until you find what works for you.

I’ve seen people create a goal system modelled of someone else.  That’s great if it works, but if not, don’t stick with it just because it worked for someone else.

Yes, goals are meant to challenge you, to push you a little.  But they should be achievable, enjoyable and inspire you to keep going.

If you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed, let some go, focus on as few as you need.  Change what doesn’t work for you. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, I hope you found it useful and I’d love to know if you are a goal setter and what is your best piece of advice for others who may be considering creating goals.

Ari Guest Blog 2

21 thoughts on “How to make the most of your goals

  1. Great post Ari with lots of very practical ideas. I’m a big believer in setting goals and believe that it can start from as little as a daily To Do list. Having them written down and then following through with a plan is definitely the starting point of achieving what we want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Miriam. That is it exactly! Writing down the goals is such a strong action and can certainly drive us forward. I wish you all the best with your goals 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading. Yes, it’s always better to make those tiny shuffling steps that may seem like it will take forever to reach the goal, that sprinting headfirst into a hole. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right Ari. I am an avid walker … in the beginning of my walking regimen I started with a walk around one City block. I have now progressed to five miles a day, sometimes six miles on a weekend day when I have more time. My goal this year is 1,051 miles in 2018. If I could only be that diligent about learning other new things … the brain is taxed sometimes, but you always have to make room for new discoveries and goals for yourself …. life is a continuous learning process.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Firstly, apologies for the delay in replying to your comment.

        Secondly, wow that is awesome. You are totally making me realise just how LITTLE I actually walk these days 😀

        “Life is a continuous learning process” – beautifully said 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No problem Ari … I am often behind in Reader or commenting as well. I especially get behind when I do a long post and now I’ve done two in a row.

        I am hoping I can reach this walking goal because our weather here in SE Michigan has been pretty fitful this year. We have had so much rain in 2018 and we have another rainy weekend on the way. I actually started the walking regimen when I began working from home. I realized that I plunked myself down at the table in front of the computer for endless hours and it is a small house, so I had minimal steps, so I started walking. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and two years later I started my blog about walking. The rest is history. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. This is inspiring as since I started working from home, I feel I do a lot less exercise. I schedule in my yoga routine every day but I feel I need something more.

        I think I need to do something similar, start small but make sure I do something. Do you find tracking your steps helps as a motivator?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hi Ari – I realized when I no longer worked on site, that I could not climb down onto my knees to get things out of a low cabinet and it seemed when I got out of the car or off the chair I could feel pain in my legs and hips and started to think it had to be from lack of exercise. I used to work in the garden every morning, but that’s not a lot of exercise and so I started out small, just a block at a time, gradually increasing every day.

        I started Labor Day weekend 2011 and we had a mild Winter that year and I was able to walk almost every day. At that time I was walking just in the neighborhood (I discovered Council Point Park in 2013) and I walked about 2.5 to 3 miles per day – I had to walk slower as sometimes there was little patches of ice or to be more careful in Winter for slick spots. I gradually increased my miles and on the weekends I am able to get in 6 miles a day. I just hate that we’ve had so much rain – today I will lose 6 miles as it is an all-day rain. I know I should walk in the rain and I took the bus for years when I worked downtown and had to deal with crummy weather so I am less inclined to go out in rain, but I should change my mindset, but in warmer weather … today temps are in the 30s/40s and a cold rain.

        I do use a pedometer, not a fancy one at all – it just measures steps and keeps track of the past week and I’ve had it since I began walking. I have a log and keep track of my daily miles. I usually post my mileage at the end of the month. I am trying to make 1,051 miles this year and that total is always one more mile than the previous year … I did 1,050 miles in 2017. I do think making a goal is a good motivator – it is for me and I make mini goals through the year … trying to make a certain mileage by the major holidays for example. Sometimes I say that in my post … I want to get to such and such miles by 4th of July,

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Thank you for sharing your experience and method. I think starting slow is always good in doing any thing. I like the idea of keeping track.

        think I better get myself a pedometer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes, a pedometer will help inspire you Ari and you would not believe how many steps you take in the house. They all add up. They stopped making my Omron model which is too bad as it was basic and did the job – I don’t like a lot of bells and whistles. And I keep a log on my computer – at one time I walked more in a year than I drove, but I had to start driving more as my car was getting older and electrical issues would start happening.

        Liked by 1 person

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