In this post, we will look at how you can create meaningful goals and stick to them, changing you for the better -forever.

Coming up in this post:

 

Did you know that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail?

With a success rate of only 2 out of 10 people achieving their new year goals, it’s clear that achieving goals is easier said than done.

Why does the New Year inspire people to create new resolutions?

Why is it that so many of us wait until the new year to decide to make a change for the better? Waiting for a particular day or date to make a change may seem logically silly especially if you are talking to advise gurus.

However, New Year’s resolutions mark the beginning of a whole new year, and an opportunity to dedicate yourself to being a better version of you. Saying goodbye to the previous year allows you to take a moment and reflect on your actions. You think more deeply about which areas of our lives need to change and even set challenges to achieve these. Removing bad habits, and focusing on positive traits.

With that in mind, there is proof that beginning a goal on a particular date or day gives people the feeling of a fresh start, which enables them to feel more motivated to see it through to the end. This is called the ‘fresh start effect’. 

So while you chuckle every time you hear the phrase, “My diet starts on Monday!” it actually makes sense to begin your new changes on a fresh week for it to have a higher chance of success.

So whether it’s the new year, the beginning of spring or even a Monday, selecting a meaningful day to start your goals will help you psychologically be more motivated to achieve them. This is because we tend to attribute negative traits to our past selves and maintain positive images of our current selves.

 

So why do many goals fail?

As it is the New Year, you may be feeling ambitious and excited to complete new goals. So why is it that many New Year’s Resolutions fail as early as February? This leads us to ask the question, why do goals fail so easily?

 

  1. Lack of purpose

Your goals must align with who you are as a person, and your life’s purpose. You’ll never be able to properly complete a goal that contradicts with your life’s purpose.

 

  1. You don’t remember why you want to achieve a goal

If you’re getting out of bed every day and forgetting why you want to achieve your goal, you’ll lose all motivation to complete it.

Your reasoning for achieving a goal must be important to you. You need to carefully analyse why you want this goal and to remind yourself on those days where you hit a brick wall and lose motivation.

  1. Focus on the wrong thing

Instead of focusing on what you don’t want, you’ll be far more likely to achieve success by focusing on what you do want.

So set your goals to be positive, not negative. Having a goal that you can work towards will give you direction and positive motivation to work towards.

If you focus on something you don’t want, you’ll be lost in a space with no direction to move forward, leading to a loss of confidence and no progression.

For example, you may decide you don’t want to work in the same job forever. But it would be far better to focus on a new job to achieve with new prospects, than dwelling on your current unhappy position in life as the motivation is lessened with no clear direction to follow.

  1. You take on too many goals at once

By taking on too many new changes at once you’ll not be able to give yourself the right amount of time to complete each goal broken down into smaller tasks.

Remember, achieving a goal isn’t one small step. It’s many steps all broken down into manageable bite-size tasks that allow you to build your skills and progression each week.

If you have too many goals to achieve you’ll find it much harder to achieve the progression of completed tasks towards the larger end goal. If a goal takes longer than your expected time of completion it is likely they will drop off and fail.

  1. Feeling overwhelmed

Without clear organisation, some goals can feel impossible to achieve, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. You then doubt your abilities to even achieve the goal.

Goals need to be broken down into smaller tasks that progress and build skills over time.

 

Benefits of setting goals:

Goals are more than a trivial New Year’s Resolution that you don’t truly intend on keeping. For the people who are serious and motivated to change they have incredible benefits to the self.

  1. Goals guide your focus
  2. Goals get you in an optimum state of mental performance
  3. Goals give you a sense of purpose
  4. Goals clarify decision making
  5. Goals allow you to control your life path
  6. Goals allow you to self-reflect
  7. Goals increase life satisfaction

 

Getting started on your road to a better you:

Improving yourself can be a very simple process if practised properly and thought about carefully.

That’s why in this post, we have outlined an easy to follow step-by-step process that allows you to not only create meaningful goals but a methodology that will turn your goals into daily habits, changing your life for the better.

 

  1. Awareness and self-discovery

You may know that you want to make a change, but sometimes deciding how to do it is the challenge. You’re unhappy and unsatisfied but don’t know where to begin.

The first step is how to find your life’s purpose.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey has an emotional and deep method of giving insight and perspective on what you want from your life, and how you want to live.

Exercise 1: 

To demonstrate loosely his exercise, close your eyes and put yourself in a quiet room with no distractions.

Now vividly imagine you are walking into a church. You see and imagine intensely all your loved ones there, everyone you care about crying. You feel the pain they are going through, imagining all the emotions. You take in the sights, sounds, smell of the room. As you walk to the altar you look in the coffin and you see yourself. You have passed away and this is your funeral.

You pick 3 of the closest people to you in your life and imagine vividly what you’d like them to say about you. This could be your partner, best friend, parents, siblings or work colleague. Think about what they loved the best about you, how you made them feel, how you impacted on their lives. Name the qualities of your personality that they deeply valued and the great things in life you accomplished.

This exercise if completed properly should be an emotional experience, that puts in perspective for you the things that are truly important to you. It makes you think about how you want to be remembered and how you want to leave your mark on this world.

With this exercise complete you can now begin to ask yourself life’s bigger questions. This involves your life purpose, what you want to achieve and how you want to impact those around you.

 

Exercise 2: 

Answer the following questions without deep thought, just write the first thing that comes to your mind:

 

  1. Who am I?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. How would I like to be remembered?
  4. What experiences would I love to have?
  5. How would I like to grow as a person?
  6. How would I like to contribute to this world?
  7. How would I feel if I accomplished my life’s goal? 
  8. What’s important to me?
  9. What am I passionate about?
  10. What makes me the happiest?
  11. What does a successful life for me look like?
  12. What are my best values as a person?
  13. What are my top 10 achievements?

 

You now have a general idea of who you want to be, and how you want to be remembered by people who mean something to you.

From this, you can make the necessary goals in your life to become your ideal self. Through practice and self-reflection you can achieve these goals easily.

 

  1. Make a Mission and Vision Statement

Exercise 3:

Creating a mission and vision statement allows you to quickly remind yourself of where you want to be when you lose motivation for your goals.

 

A vision statement is a few sentences detailing how you want to contribute to this world.

Your vision statement defines what you love to do, to be, to give, to create and to share. Is my vision achievable?  Does my vision make me proud?

 

A mission statement is a few sentences describing how you would love your life to be.

Your passions, and footprint on the world. Identify past successes, core values, how you’ll contribute and your life goals.

 

Through imagining your end goal you can make the necessary changes and improvements to your daily habits to be who you want to be.

Put your personal mission statement in a daily visible place. You need to be able to reflect and remind yourself of your statements to stay motivated and confident.

 

  1. Set Big Goals

Now you’ve worked what you want to achieve in your life, now you can decide on your big life goals.

Exercise 4:

Write 30 (or more) of your biggest life goals for the next 20 or 30 years, covering all areas of your life. There are no limits on who you want to become. Don’t be realistic or SMART (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) at this stage. Be imaginative, write your true dreams and fantasies.

 

Setting goals for every part of your being creates harmony for your personal and public self, so try to cover all the below areas of your being.

  • Health
  • Relationship
  • Money
  • Friends
  • Career
  • Recreation
  • Personal growth
  • Spiritual

 

Now write the time frame in which you’d like to achieve these goals. This can either be written in terms of months or years.

 

Exercise 5:

From this step select your top 5 goals that you’d like to achieve in year 1.

You can call these your ultimate goals, and give a reason why.

 

My Top 5 Goals Why?

 

For each of your goals write the following:

My goal:

Where am I now?

Where am I going?

How do I get there? 

How will I make it happen? 

Why do I want it? 

 

By recognising the steps of the journey, how important it is to you and how you’ll achieve it will make you prioritise which goals are the most important to you and will get you in a motivated mindset to achieve them.

 

  1. Create a Life Statement

Exercise 6:

Your life statement is how you want your life to look like in the present tense. It’s for you to reflect on each day to set you up properly for the day ahead. It will be the guiding force which motivates you to stick to your goals.

 

Your life statement must be a descriptive page on the 7 areas of your life, health, finance, recreation, career, family and spiritual life. Think about how much you enjoy your life in each of these areas, your attitude, self-confidence and mind-set. Write it so that it motivates and inspires you.

 

  1. Make a clear Strategy

Exercise 7:

Let go of your fears and setbacks

This section is about tackling your bad habits that will inhibit your goals. When we recognise our weaknesses we can then begin to reflect and change them for the better.

Write down your bad habits that you recognise, and how they may get in the way of you reaching your goals.

 

Embrace trusted people and mentors to help you achieve your goals

With each goal you set yourself, assign a mentor or a person you trust to hold you accountable or encourage you to your goals.

Also, identify who won’t be a good influence on you. By recognising who is good for you and who isn’t you can choose who you’ll spend more time with.

Recognise when you need help with your goals. You can delegate certain tasks to help you. Whether this is asking friends and family or even hiring help.

 

Create positive surroundings

When you reach your goal, give yourself something to look forward to. So that really nice item you wanted to treat yourself to? Save it for when you accomplish a certain goal. Rewarding yourself when you reach your goals will make the journey more enjoyable and motivating.

Set up visual pieces that make you happy and motivated to reach your goals. Create mood boards or even post-it notes on the bathroom mirror.

 

  1. Take Action: Monthly, Weekly and Daily Action Plan

 

Exercise 8:

Breakdown your lifetime goals into realistic and achievable smaller goals that you can review and reflect on. We’ve broken down lifetime goals into the following:

LIFETIME GOAL> 5 YEAR GOAL> 1 YEAR GOAL> 3 YEAR GOAL> 1 YEAR GOAL> WEEKLY GOAL> DAILY GOAL. 

 

Through using a daily planner, you can set the following:

  • Daily priorities
  • Daily Goal
  • Daily Gratitude
  • Daily Good Habits
  • Daily Visualization
  • Daily Reflection
  • Reward Yourself
  • Thoughts and Ideas
  • Declutter your mind

 

Exercise 9:

Monthly Goals:

At the beginning of the month set yourself 3 major goals to achieve, and list 5 actions steps it will take to achieve it, then set yourself the rewards for when you’ll achieve it.

GOAL > ACTION STEPS TO TAKE > REWARD IF ACHIEVED. 

 

Weekly Goals:

From looking at your overall monthly goals, you need to implement your action steps to fit within your weekly planner. So now it’s time to set yourself a weekly goal. Make sure all your actions it will take to achieve your weekly goal are listed in priority.

 

WEEKLY GOAL> WEEK’S PRIORITIES: 

  1. TOP PRIORITY 
  2. PRIORITY
  3. ERRANDS. 

 

Daily Goals:

Set yourself just a few daily priorities so that you’re fitting in your monthly goal tasks within your normal day.

Creating these small daily habits around a normal routine will enable you to keep goals in your life and accomplish them.

Through prioritising your time properly, you’ll find you’re making the most of your day rather than wasting time on things that don’t necessarily matter to you. Such as watching TV or scrolling through social media mindlessly.

DAILY PRIORITIES

 

  1. Reflect and Celebrate

Exercise 10: 

Daily reflection

It is a good habit to reflect on your day, every day. One of the most enjoyable and effective ways to do this is to make a small gratitude reflection at the end of each day.

Ask yourself:

  1. Did I accomplish my tasks for the day, if not why?
  2. What am I grateful for today?
  3. What am I grateful for in my life?
  4. How does this make me feel? 

 

For more advice on gratitude journaling, check out this post: Gratitude Journaling Benefits. By reflecting and celebrating the important things in your life you will remain mentally strong, satisfied and internalise your new habits achieving your ideal self.

Weekly reflection

Take some time at the end of the week. Maybe a Sunday afternoon to reflect over how you completed your tasks through the week.

 

Monthly reflection

Take a small amount of time at the end of each month to reflect on how you achieved your goals and how you handled them.

If you achieved them make sure you give yourself that reward you promised.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. What are my top achievements this month?
  2. Which of my bad habits or distractions occurred this month?
  3. What did I learn from my mentors and inspirational people?
  4. What did I fail to achieve and why?
  5. What made me happy and proud this month?
  6. What can I do to improve for next month?
  7. What have I learned from this month?

 

Yearly Reflection

Reflecting on your progress over the entire year will enable you to see how much you have achieved, and how far you have come if you have been following the goal-achieving exercise properly each day, week and month.

Exercise 11: 

Look back on the goals you made at the beginning of the year.

  1. Did you achieve what you set out to do? 
  2. How do you feel about the progress you made throughout the year?
  3. What are your proudest achievements?
  4. Where did you stumble? Why did this happen?
  5. What can you improve for the next year? 

This is your next opportunity for a fresh start, so reset your goals based on your initial list from exercise 4 or continue with your progress.

 

The Reliving Personal Development Features

At Reliving we support personal development and becoming the best version of yourself. That is why we have the Goals and Ambitions feature in our Reliving Pro app that allows you to create, manage and reach your goals.

We also have within our app the Reliving Journal, allowing you the ability to write about your day to reflect on your progress, with the ability to attach media files. This is great for having visual progress of getting one step closer to your goals.

Within the daily journal, you can select your mood from the day from a selection of emoji. This allows you to be in control and self-aware of your emotions or any distractions that helped or prevented you from reaching your daily task.

Over time you’ll be able to see a pattern of which days’ work out better for your goal tasks, and which days you struggle to complete them.