Setting goals is easy but achieving them is a different story. Here a few tips that I've discovered that have helped me along the way.
1. Break it down
One of the most common mistakes people make is setting themselves a long-term goal and disregarding the steps needed to get there. I don't know how many times I've told myself I'm going to start exercising more or eating healthier but given no thought to how I'm actually going to do that. Everyone loves a "quick fix" but I've come to realise that these changes aren't going to happen overnight.
A better approach, I've found, is to set yourself short-term goals within your long-term goal, i.e. break it down. For example, if you want to exercise more start by setting aside two days a week for the first month. Although it may not seem like a lot, it's far more measurable than "I'm going to exercise more" and you're far more likely to stay on track.
2. Set yourself a timeline
If you didn't have deadlines for your work tasks or university assignments you would never get anything done. The same thing goes for your goals. For the past two years I've been saying that I am going to save money to travel overseas but never follow through with it because I haven't made actual plans to travel. So, I've finally set myself a travel date and I've actually started saving.
It's important, when setting a goal, to give yourself a timeframe in which you want to achieve it. This will help you stay accountable and once again ensure you're staying on track.
3. Have a purpose
And finally, I've found, the most important thing in achieving your goals is remembering why you set them in the first place. When making a change in your life it's easy to become discouraged when things get tough, and it's these times where it's most important to look at the bigger picture.
When you set yourself a goal, take a moment to think about why you really want to make that change and where you will be when you've achieved it. I've found a great way to capture this is to create a list or vision board of where you want to be and keep this in a visible place to keep you motivated along the way.