We’ve all heard the worrying stats on New Year’s resolutions: the failure rate rests somewhere at about 80%, with the majority stopping their efforts by February.
We all know we should set goals for personal growth, but we don’t always know how to set them well. It can be hard to know how to make them realistic and achievable enough to stick with for the long-term. How do you set goals that help you stay on track with your personal development? Here’s what you need to know.
Learn What’s Important to You
Before you keep reading, note that we didn’t say “learning what someone else says should be most important to you.” In terms of motivation, the fastest way to fail is to embark on a journey because someone else thinks you should. If your personal growth plan involves reading more books simply because you think you’re supposed to, it’ll be much harder to stick with it. On the other hand, if you’re passionate about becoming a better person, you may find it easier to adopt that new volunteering habit.
So, your goal is to “make more money.” But how will you know when you’re done? It’s not enough to know a vague outline of what you want to happen; you need specific and measurable terms to help you along. Stick with the SMART goal structure by creating goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. This might mean your original goal instead says, “I want to make an additional $6,000 by March.”
Write Your Goals Down
Something about having your goals written out on paper makes them real through your personal growth path. And this isn’t one of those wishy-washy recycled cliche pieces of advice, either: the science backs it up. When we write down our goal, it helps us commit to following through, and it also creates a visual reference for us to check in with.
Break Them Into Pieces
As Desmond Tutu once said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” What he meant, of course, is that major accomplishments happen one step at a time, not all at once. Setting minor milestones along the way can help you stay motivated as you breeze past them, and they can also keep you from procrastinating the way you would with a far-off finish line.
Make Time for Your Goals
If you don’t set aside time for the actions that help you toward your goals, you’ll never reach them. Block off some time on your calendar each day, or as needed, to make sure you’re in the habit of working toward your personal growth.
While these tips are a smart way to success, it doesn’t hurt to invest a little of your mindset toward the law of attraction as well!
Following through on your goals is easier said than done, but the right mindset can mean the difference between a quick failure and a slow and steady win. Make sure to follow these tips for success, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog posts for tips on taking control of your personal development.