Four easy steps to actually reach your goals

Making goals is easy. Reaching goals is hard. If you’re sick and tired of setting goals and just giving up a couple weeks in, this is the process for you!

It’s that time of year again. Four weeks ago everyone set goals, told everyone they know about the Keto-Paleo-Vegan-No Carb-Gluten-Free Diet that was going to totally change their life when they finally lose those 20 pounds that they’ve been trying to lose for the better part of a decade. People joined gyms, bought treadmills, started meal planning and said triumphantly, “This is my year!”

But now the gyms are back to the regulars with a couple new additions of people who are keeping the course, those meal prep containers that were an impulse buy from Amazon are sitting unused in the cabinet, and cheesy carbo-loaded pasta casseroles are back on the menu.

That was so totally me for YEARS (and still is sometimes!), but one day I had just had enough of just getting through life. I was walking to my car after work and all of a sudden for some reason I just stopped and said out loud “What the heck am I doing with my life?”

So I went home and started writing the things down I wanted to accomplish. I started with the broad strokes, then I got super granular. And the craziest thing started to happen: I started meeting my goals one step at a time. Not all at once, and not even every single one because life, but definitely making progress. 

HOW TO SET GOALS YOU’LL ACTUALLY KEEP

1)  Start with the big picture

I’m a Google Drive gal, so I typically open a Google Doc and start typing my goals using broad sweeping terms like more and less. Use whatever system you like: pen and paper, a note-taking app, whatever works for you.

Big picture goals are things like:

  • Read more
  • Weigh less
  • Be more intentional in my life

2) Get specific

Be really specific about your goals, but also be realistic! If you’ve never run a day in your life, setting the goal to run a sub-3:00 hour marathon might be a bit unrealistic.

Let’s say your goal is to read more. More is a pretty ambiguous word, it means something different to everyone. If you’re a real bookworm, more might mean read 2 books a week instead of just one. If you’re more of a Netflix and popcorn gal, more might mean actually read a book this year.

Let’s say you’re somewhere in between, so a specific goal would be:

  • Read 12 books this year

3) Get granular

This is where it starts to feel like you’re being silly. But this is also a step beyond what most people do!

So, you’ve set your specific goal of reading 12 books a year, which in your head you’re thinking, “That’s an average of one a month! Perfect! Good.To.Go”

Exactly. One per month. That’s your sub-goal!

4) What can you do TODAY?

Taking it one step further, ask yourself, “What can I do TODAY to help me reach my goal?”

And then break it down. If in order to read one book each month you need to read for 15 minutes a day, then put a reminder in your phone, pencil it in your calendar, or add it to your daily to-do list.

Now, this was a simple goal. There are other goals that are much more complex like “become my own boss” that might require 30 subgoals and 200 daily goals or even more, but no matter what your goals are, this process WORKS.

What are your goals this year? Show me on Insta by tagging @simply.sarahmae on your post, or send me a DM!

xo- Sarah

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