You’re just past the midway point of the year. 7 months down, 5 months to go. The perfect time to reflect and realign yourself with your 2020 goals to help you finish the year strong.
Look, it’s fair to say the start of 2020 has been arguably the toughest year to date many of us will ever face. A lot of stuff has happened around the world that is affecting each and every one of us. While you may be tempted to just throw in the towel, experiencing setbacks is a totally natural part of the process to achieving your goals.
In fact, if you can refocus on your goal and start working on it again, you’re more likely to achieve it because you have reaffirmed (in your mind) just how important your goal is to you.
If you’ve fallen behind on reaching a goal, here are a few things you can try to get back on track for the last 5 months of the year.
Be honest about what’s not working for you.
Sometimes we might have a certain goal in mind but things we’re trying to do to get there just aren’t working. Say your goal is to get fitter and you’ve decided to get up every morning at 6am to go to the gym. But with a late night job, you’re just so tired in the morning that it’s much easier to hit snooze and go back to sleep.
Rather than try to struggle against your circumstances, look at how you can change the way you go about achieving the same goal. So instead of scheduling in a 6am gym session, look at whether you can hit the gym later in the day. And if the problem is that you really just hate going to the gym (hey, some of us just don’t get excited by loud techno music and sweaty gym equipment), find a style of exercise you can get into - whether that’s a long hike each weekend, an online class or something fun like learning how to dance.
Find smaller ways to stick to your goals.
When we start out on a goal we often want to go all in. So you make huge, dramatic changes to your life. But for some people, sticking to big changes is really hard. Instead, you need to make smaller (miniscule even) changes and stick to them daily.
If your goal is to save up for a new car, instead of trying to save half of your pay each month, start out small by focusing on just saving all the change left in your wallet at the end of the day. Then you can build up to saving on those shopping sprees and other expensive expenses. Eventually, you won’t think twice about socking away hundreds and very soon thousands of dollars for your new car.
For many of us we find it easy to meet external expectations (like meeting project deadlines or getting to work on time), but struggle when it comes to keeping promises to ourselves. If you’re in the latter camp, then one solution is to find some external accountability to meet your personal goals.
There are a few ways to go about it, you could enlist your partner or best friend to check in with your progress regularly or you could start a journal or online blog and regularly write and talk about how your goals are going. If that all sounds a bit too much sharing for you (hey, we get it), then something as simple as keeping a visible reminder can help.
What about buying a stack of ping pong balls and a big, clear container. Put the container somewhere you’ll see daily and every time you make progress towards your goal, add a ball. The visual reminder, plus the urge to see the container getting fuller, might be enough accountability you need.
Schedule in your action items
Whatever your goals are, they’re going to take real time and energy to achieve. But the biggest failure for reaching your goals can often be not making the time to get the right stuff done. Commit now to making that time priority. Schedule those things into your day – whether it’s a daily run, an hour a night to work on your business plan, or an evening a week to review your personal finances. What are your non-negotiables you need to get done to move you closer to your goals?
Enjoy the journey
As cliché as it sounds the whole point of goal setting is to help you do the things that matter to you most and as a result live a more fulfilled and happy life based on your terms. So if have picked goals that make you feel miserable maybe its time to change them and pick ones that make you feel excited and happy.
We asked our team of Confidence Warriors what advice they'd like for the remainder of the year, and took their questions to MiGoals!
What are MiGoals top tips for setting your focus over the next six months?
Don’t overdo it, commit to 2-3 goals max and really focus on those particular goals and areas in your life. Put in the effort and deliberate in your actions. Ask yourself everyday. What are the key things I need to do to take me closer to my goals.
As women, we are renowned multi-taskers. What sort of planning techniques would MiGoals recommend for the woman on the go?
Write you’re to do list in the morning or the night before so you are ready to take on the day and know exactly what to focus on.
Use the technique of time blocking key parts of the day to work on key tasks. Start with 30minutes focused work and slowly progress to 60 and then 90minute blocks of quality work. Alternatively use the Pomodoro techinique, which is quite similar but instead you work for 30 minutes and then have a short break and repeat the process.
Many of us have had to change up our plans these past few months, and our goals for the year aren’t looking quite as they were in January. How should we be setting our goals amidst such unexpected shifts?
The way we set our goals really shouldn’t change to much, the key criteria I follow is:
Is the goal I am setting in line with my core values?
Am I passionate about the goal I am setting?
Is my “why” reason for accomplishing the goal strong enough. Meaning if your setting your goals for the sake of setting a goal then it's most likely when an obstacle arises and times get tough you will likely just throw in the towel and give up.
Understand the “feeling” you are chasing as part of the goal. At the end of the day goal setting is really just a tool that helps you do the things that matter to you most and allows you to gain clarity, focus and direction in your life.
How important is reflection in terms of goal setting? What are MiGoals top tips for reflection, and being kind to yourself?
Reflection is a crucial part of helping you accomplish your goals. My top tip to start would be schedule in 10-20min at the end of the week to reflect on your progress. I use the acronym RAM to help me effectively reflect.
Reflect – Take time to pause and gather your thoughts
Acknowledge – Key wins, losses and lessons learnt from the past week.
Move – Make plans for the week ahead, which help me to move forward towards my goals.
Lastly, one of my favourite quotes of all time is from the movie, Ferris Buellers Day Off, which really sums up the importance of regular reflection.
“Life moves pretty fast.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”