Have you ever started working on something that sounds exciting and promising? You start working on it, you’re spending all your free time working on this new, exciting thing? Then you finish, and it’s only now that you realize everything you were working on doesn’t align with your goals?
You’ve now spent so much time working on that new shiny new thing and not on your goals, and you feel like you have to scrap all that work and go back to square one with your goal?
It feels a bit defeating doesn’t it?
But that doesn’t have to be your story!
Let’s look at a few ways you can use to stay aligned with your goals:
Review your goals weekly
Pick one day each week where you will review your goals. Re-write them weekly, and if it helps read them out loud to yourself. You can also visualize yourself achieving your goals and what it feels like to achieve that level of success.
Schedule action plan sessions
Along with reviewing your goals weekly, schedule time to do the work. Decide how much time you want to spend each week working on your goals, then block that time in your calendar. You can use the calendar in your cell phone or set recurring alarms on your phone. You can also use Google Calendar, which you can set to send you notifications so that you don’t forget. When it’s time to work, block access to distractions including people and apps, during your focus time. Limit any research time to 1 hour and use apps to block access to distracting apps on your phone (I use the Stay Focused app).
Have accountability buddies
Who can you count on to hold you accountable in a way that is healthy and supportive? In this scenario, it is ideal if you hold each other accountable. Talk with your accountability buddy weekly about your goals for the week and where you’re struggling. Help each other think through your stuck moments and support each other through the rough times. And be sure to celebrate each other’s successes. When you don’t have a strong support system, your accountability buddy can be that one person that you have in your corner.
Know your “Why”
This one is critical, especially in those really difficult times when you’re ready to give up. You need to know why your goal is important to you. Know what impacts achieving your goal will have on your life. Both “good” and “bad” impacts on your life. Know what it means to you to achieve your goal.
Make sure it is a goal that you actually want to achieve
Before trying to focus your time and energy on this goal, make sure it is a goal that YOU have set for your life and not a goal that someone else has set for you. If it doesn’t feel good, it’s not your goal. And by that I mean the thought of achieving the goal, not the work you do to make it a reality.
Create a vision board
A vision board is a visual representation of your goals. You find words and images that match what you want for your life. Your vision board can be digital or physical. If physical, put it up in a place where you will always see it. Visualizing your goals is the quickest way to manifest them. Seeing your vision board daily helps keep your goals top of mind and makes it easier for you to stay open to opportunities that you may not have noticed otherwise.
Those are just a few suggestions for helping you to stay aligned with your goals. The shiny new things will always be there. They will always be a source of distraction and most often a source of self-sabotage. Don't let them distract you, focus on your goals.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments. What are some ways you stay aligned with your goals?