How far will you go to achieve your dreams?
It’s happened to all of us at some point.
You’re happily cruising the latest round of posts on Instagram or Facebook updates when suddenly you’re left with a sinking feeling. Unsure of exactly when it happened it seems your friend’s new hobby turned into a full-blown dream life. Wasn’t it just a few months ago she came to you with “this really bizarre idea” that has since taken on a life of its own?
You KNOW you’re capable, maybe even more so . . . So why is it that you’ve been left behind?
Why does it seem that everyone else is living their greatest dreams while you’re stuck in the same old boring routine?
Set goals if you want to succeed
Spoiler alert! Knowing the destination before you set out increases the odds of achieving your goals.
A 2015 study, conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, demonstrates that writing down and sharing personal goals within our network improves our chances of succeeding by over 70%!
How do you know where you are if you haven’t determined where you want to be?
Begin by picking a short-term life landing-place, a milestone, that will let you know if you’re on track. The experience and self-confidence from achieving the short-term goal will provide you with the personal motivation to choose your next steps.
What if you’re not entirely sure of where you want to go?
How to Visualize Your Goals and Dreams
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
Increase the odds of achieving your goal. Visualize the life you want.
When was the last time you gave yourself time to think? In a world fueled by notifications, workload, and personal commitments it’s difficult to carve out time for yourself. Visualization is a key component to tapping into your deeper desires.
This is a crucial step in the goal process.
Think about the life you want to lead in detail.
How do you see yourself living an ideal life?
In which type of environment do you see yourself living?
What do the clothes you wear look like?
Are you active and healthy?
How do you spend your leisure time?
How much money are you making?
How do you earn this money?
Visualize these questions down to the minute details. As you’re visualizing where you live think about the neighborhood, the decorations in your home, the types of food you will stock in your refrigerator, and our personal favorite, the size and style of your dream closet!
Will your home be filled with playful children and a group of supportive and tight-knit mothers or a group of fashion creatives at dinner parties?
Think about rewards you want.
Are the rewards desired monetary? Do they allow for greater flexibility in your schedule? Would you like to travel more?
Remember, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Use these qualities to flush out your goal visualizations.
Keep these thoughts in your mind as you take the first actionable step towards your new life.
For this next step, you’re going to want to get out all your old magazines or head to your favorite inspiration websites. Now is the time to put it all together in a vision board.
Craft your vision board from foam core and magazine cutouts, print photos and hang them on your wall, or go Pin crazy. Whatever works for you.
The key is to provide yourself with visual reminders of the life you’ve just envisioned.
Now that you’ve taken the time to visualize your ideal life write these huge goals down on a piece of paper.
This is the time to write down impressive goals . . . sometimes they can even seem a little frightening. Don’t be afraid of your own potential power.
“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.”
Why is it Important to Write Out Goals?
There are several reasons writing out your goals help you to achieve:
Helps you stay on track
It is all too easy to get derailed after things don’t go as planned. A written account of your plan will keep on the right path when considering other options.
Writing your goals provides you with a clear path. It also helps clarify what you want and what you don’t.
Writing helps eliminate moving targets. Ideas and memories change over time, having a written account helps keep you on target.
Helps you FOCUS on what counts
Avoid getting lost in mindless daily tasks/focus on the big wins.
Ask yourself “Is this the most useful/most important thing I can focus on now?”
Jot your “Focus” reminders and post them several places you will see throughout the day.
Offloading ideas maintains your mental clarity.
Capture the important thoughts that normally circle in your mind.
Allow the capacity to create action plans for ideas.
Learn about yourself
Your long-term thinking may change over time as new goals and values take priority.
That is OKAY.
Reviewing where you are and how you’ve gotten there will inspire you to adjust and take the next steps towards your ultimate goal.
Filter other opportunities
Opportunities present themselves to successful people. Don’t get distracted. Maintaining a list of written goals will help you evaluate whether it aids in your ultimate goal.
Fight the urge to quit
The nagging voice in your head will never be silenced. Focus on the things you want will distract you from the hardships you have to endure to get there. Acknowledging this step and creating an action plan to combat it will help you get there.
See how far you’ve gone . . .
Celebrating your achievements is an important step in this process. Written goals provide a benchmark or mile-marker. It’s hard work. And you’ve done it. Scheduling celebration points allow you the freedom to indulge after all the effort you’ve put in.
Best Ways to Write Down Goals
Structure your goals writing process towards easy wins. The way you write your goals will either help or hinder you.
Take a moment to write positive based goals. If your goal is to eat a healthier diet then “I will eat plant-based dinner meals for the next three-month” is better than “I will cut down on fast food.”
Notice the subtle difference between the two sentences? The first gives you a concrete goal to work towards, while the second gives you a vague sense of what you should NOT be doing. It also gives you an easy out. Binging on fast food during the weekend could technically count as “cutting down” but why would you want to cheat yourself?
Take the guesswork out of the plan and give yourself a fighting chance.
Create a Goal Oriented Action Plan
Before you walk you must crawl.
At first, your goal plan may seem overwhelming, even too big. You may wonder to yourself “How am I ever going to do all of this?”
In reality, these goals must be broken down into manageable baby steps or action-oriented tasks.
Now is the time to get super detailed. (Shout out to all the Type-A personalities out there!) Think of every action needed in order to complete each step towards your goal. If the step seems too big or overwhelming select milestones within it – breaking it down into smaller goals will allow you to visualize the path ahead.
Brilliant Idea on the Go?
Keep a cliff-notes version for yourself. Start a “notes” section on your phone and jot those ideas down. Inspiration comes from everywhere and you need a system to capture your ideas as they come. Add them to your master list – emphasize them and go into detail as you add them to your more in-depth list.
Tips for Achieving Goal Setting Success
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
Read it. Look at it. Memorize it. Repeat.
Visualize your dream life. Read your goal list and action plan every day. Post it somewhere you will see it every day.
Look at it again.
Give it a kiss as you walk in and out of the door.
Play songs for it.
Allow your goal to become BAE.
The steady stream of reminders will help keep you on track and focused.
Don’t be afraid to edit. The first draft is rarely the published version.
Write, rewrite, and add details and nuances you’ve learned from your most recent experiences. Keep the older versions to review from time to time. Reflect on why you’ve outgrown the old goals. These times of reflection will offer you a moment to notice patterns and make any adjustments needed to give you a leg up.
Shout it From the Rooftops
Have you ever been so excited about something you’ve wanted to tell everyone!?
Pour the same stoke onto your dreams and aspirations. Telling a few key people in your close network about your goals will create a conscious charge. By creating accountability you will automatically increase the pressure to keep your word. As a woman of honor and integrity, you’re more likely to stick to your commitments.
If you wander off track your network will be there to support you with a kind and encouraging word, or story from their own failures, setbacks, and the way they overcame the issue.
Set the Date
Increase the sense of urgency. Put it on the calendar.
Put a goal date on the calendar. Impose a date on yourself and be as serious as you would about the other incentives in the past – (school shopping day anyone?!? “WHAT MOM? You’re on work deadline, the car is in the shop, and Aunt Effie needs help tonight? But we’re still going, right?!?” )
Write it on the calendar. Register for the event. Buy the plane ticket.
Can’t buy the ticket yet? Mark a purchase on the calendar and create a day-to-day savings plan on how you’re going to achieve that goal. Remember, bite by bite!
A few parting thoughts about how to achieve all of your dreams.
Be honest about your abilities.
Setting your eyes on becoming a front row fashion blogger by next season without ever writing a blog post or posting an OOTD will only reap frustration and unfair comparisons. A more reasonable goal may be to create and maintain an editorial calendar on par with one of your favorite fashion bloggers. Be levelheaded about leveling up.
Game time, All the time.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. When the alarm goes off, it’s game time. Do WHATEVER you need to do to get up and active towards your goal.
It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. You will work overtime. You will be tired. Scratch that – You will be exhausted. There will be fun activities your friends have planned. There will be a load of laundry that needs to be done.
You WILL fall off schedule. You WILL fail. Understand that this is part of the process and built into the program. You will need to find a way to get back at it.
Feeling unmotivated? Make a game out of it. Mark down how many days you CAN succeed. Pick a color or symbol and add it to the calendar with the number of days completed. Now give yourself the proverbial gold star for the day. Increase your “score” as the days go by. Watch yourself grow stronger, faster . . . better as each day passes.
Miss a day? It’s not going to feel so bad if you’ve got several under your belt. The past “failure” morphs into “rest”. Take your rest day! Enjoy it! Revel in the sense of giving yourself this moment to recollect. And tomorrow start your score sheet over. Aim for a more focused approach to work. Increase your score between each “rest” day.
Remember, No timeouts. No days off. No replay.
Make a commitment to yourself. Promise yourself to act.
This is your life. Now live it.