It’s only a month into the new year, and studies show that 90% of resolutions and goals have already been cast aside. The excitement of a clean slate has worn off and motivation has stalled. Maybe you already feel defeated, but you can still revive your goals for this year!
Even if you’ve completely fallen off the wagon, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve the plans you set out for the year. As Lara Casey of Cultivate What Matters says, “There is nothing magical about January.” You don’t have to start on January 1st to reach your goals.
I’ll be the first to say that accomplishing goals is hard, especially if you’ve got big goals. It takes commitment, perseverance, and focus to keep moving forward.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes the biggest challenge for me is sticking to it when I’m seeing really slow progress. Our attention span as a society is getting shorter all the time. We’re used to getting answers at the click of a button. So when progress is minimal, we get anxious to see those bigger results.
How do you reignite that motivation you felt when you were mapping out all those awesome goals? How do you recognize even the smallest steps forward as movement in the right direction?
Here are 4 steps to get you fired up to revive your goals:
1 | Reflect on the past month.
If you’re feeling a little let down by how quickly you let go of your ambitions, it’s a good idea to first examine where you lost sight of the path.
What worked well as you jump-started your goals this past month? Maybe you had strategies in place to get you started off on the right foot. Maybe you did prep work ahead of time. Take a look at the ways you initially set yourself up for success.
Then look at what didn’t work. Did you start giving in to small temptations that snowballed into giving up altogether? Maybe you stopped doing those daily action steps that makes a giant goal feel manageable.
By pinpointing where you lost your motivation, you can more clearly see what steps you need to take to get back on track. But by looking at what worked well, you’ll remember the progress you did make.
2 | Revisit your priorities.
If you didn’t do so before you laid out your goals, make a list of your priorities. What truly matters to you right now? Where do you want your focus to be aimed?
Don’t worry about what you think your priorities should be. If you try to direct your focus on an area just because you think you should, your heart won’t be in it. It’s a better use of your time and energy to be honest about what you really want.
Once you have your priority list, look at your goals and make sure they align with your priorities. If one of your priorities is financial stability, then a goal to travel more might not make sense. However, a goal to save money for a specific trip or future travel is still in line with that priority.
I recently heard that your intention matters much more than your level of discipline when it comes to reaching goals. If you have an important reason/priority behind your goal, you’re much more likely to be committed and willing to make changes in order to succeed.
3 | Refine your action steps.
Be specific about the action plan for accomplishing your goals. If you were too vague when you initially mapped out a plan for reaching a specific goal, refine the steps you need to take in order to succeed.
“Lose weight” is not measurable so it gives you less direction. “Lose 10lbs by June 1st” not only gives you a set definition of success, but also makes it easier to set benchmarks along the way. Your action plan can include losing 2.5lbs per month.
4 | Add specific action items to your weekly/daily calendar.
Once you have your action plan nailed down, add set action items to your calendar. Using the example above, one of the action items might be checking your weight every Monday morning. Another might be adding certain classes at the gym into your schedule.
By putting clear-cut tasks into your calendar, you’re setting yourself up for success. Instead of a casual idea in your mind about exercising regularly, you’re eliminating the mental energy that it takes to find the time and place to do so.
Checking off those action items on your schedule or to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep moving forward towards your goal.
Remember to recognize your small achievements. Progress doesn’t have to be monumental to matter. Use these strategies to get back on track so that you’ll be able to really celebrate when you finally reach your goal!