Two articles ago, I talked a bit about setting career goals and the issue that a lot of millennials think that their ONLY option is to go back to school.
In the last article, I talked about getting yourself in the right head-space to set yourself up for success with your New Year’s resolutions.
With a list of 23 goals (and counting) for 2018, I’ve got achievement on the brain.
So today, I’m going to walk you through how to achieve anything and everything you want…as long as it’s physically possible.
If your #1 goal is to ride a unicorn through a mystical forest as it poops rainbows, I don’t know what to tell you.
Let’s get right into it!
1. Break it Down
You’ve probably heard this 100 times before, so I’ll make it brief. Take your goal and break it into tiny daily habits. Say you want to learn guitar…find the YouTube video, book, or app that looks most promising to you and aim to work on it for 15 minutes a day.
The smaller the goal, the less overwhelming it will feel, and the more likely you can turn it into a habit.
2. Find an Anchor
I’ve talked about the anchoring concept in previous articles, but it’s SO helpful that it bears repeating!
Let’s take the guitar example again.
If you promise yourself to practice for 15 minutes at some point during the day, the lack of specificity makes it wide open to procrastination.
Instead, find an activity that you do everyday without fail. Maybe it’s brushing your teeth, maybe it’s eating lunch, maybe it’s walking in the door from work.
Whatever it is, promise yourself that you will practice for 15 minutes after you do that thing.
Now, the once abstract concept of practicing for 15 minutes has a clear place in your day, making it so much harder to avoid!
3. Give Yourself a Time Limit
‘One day’ is another concept that leaves you wide open to procrastination. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if that’s the only time limit you give yourself, it’s not going to happen.
If you take your large goal and calculate how much you need to do per day to reach your goal by X time.
So, if you want to read a book in a week, see how many pages it has, figure out how many pages you need to read a day, and keep going. This keeps you accountable to a time-frame.
Or, if you want to run 10K, sign up for a race and figure out when you will need to hit each milestone to be ready for the race.
When do you need to be able to run 1K? 2K? 3?
4. Make it Visible
This is an idea I stole from Thomas Frank, who has an awesome YouTube channel dedicated to success and achievement.
He suggests that creating a visible reminder of your goal will keep it in the forefront of your mind, keeping you motivated to keep working at it.
For example, editing photos of yourself looking fit and healthy and keeping them where you can see them could be a helpful way to keep your nutrition and exercise goals moving forward.
Or, keeping some of your hobby supplies out on a table could remind you to get back into that thing you love!
5. Know Why You’re Doing It
Despite being a difficult language to learn, you can find people all over the world who speak English.
Why? Why not French, Italian, or Hungarian?
Speaking English automatically opens a ton of financial opportunities. So, there is a clear benefit to putting in time everyday other than the satisfaction of a job well done.
Your motivation doesn’t have to be financial, but it does have to be something meaningful to you.
Ask yourself, why do you want to reach that end goal?
6. Find Social Accountability
You’ll find that a lot of my advice has to do with finding good people. That’s because reaching my goals is never easier than when I find the right people to do them with.
The whole ‘lone ranger’ vibe might be an enticing, but it adds a lot of unneeded pressure to your work.
From personal experience, I had an amazing roommate during university named Heather. She encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and always made heading to the library a rewarding social outing.
She was a ball of pure, positive energy!
I have never been so motivated to stay on top of every aspect of my life than when I was caught in her gravity of achievement.
Whether it’s on social media, in real life, or some other method of contact, seek out the Heathers of the world, tell them your goals, bask in their encouragement/accountability (while offering your own), and hold on to them for dear life!
7. Learn to Rebound
The one thing we all need to get into our heads when it comes to achieving our goals is that some days will be complete failures.
That’s a given.
The important thing is what you do after a bad day.
The “slippery slope” mindset is not a good place to be! Believing that each misstep is a step toward your inevitable failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Instead, keep reminding yourself that every bad day is a little struggle on your way to success. All it takes is more good days than bad. So turn tomorrow around and keeping going!
On that somewhat cheesy note, that’s all I have for today. Leave a comment and let me know what you want to achieve in 2018!
Title photo by: Samuel Zeller