How to Achieve Your 2021 Goals
I’m sure you’ve been around the sun enough times to know the staggering statistical rate of new years resolution failures. The train many of us hop on with great excitement at the beginning of the year, which quickly loses steam. Further draining our self-confidence and belief that we can drop that weight or alter bad habits to transform our lives. Which may lead us to ask the question: Is achieving your goals even possible?
Well, there’s a lot more to it than simply writing them down once on a piece of paper and ignoring them for the next 12 months.
So let’s get to the foundational tips I personally implement and share in my coaching practice to help you make 2021 the biggest year of the past decade.
Tip 1: Set Intentions & Goals, NOT Resolutions
While you may be inclined to ignore this, stay with me here for a moment.
The definition of a resolution is a commitment, a firm decision; something you are completely determined to accomplish. If humans could really act from this place then we wouldn’t have the majority of new years resolution creators giving up on them by mid-February.
Through looking at this differently, by setting your intentions and goals, you now have something that can detach you from these statistics.
This provides us with the absolute necessity we require in our human lives – FLEXIBILITY!
Flexibility is absolutely necessary on the journey towards achieving your goals because that’s exactly what they are… A journey. And one that is far from being linear in any way.
Accomplishing anything big is going to come with challenges, setbacks, failures and even big jumps forward. But it never happens in a straight line, regardless of the angle.
At the beginning of the year, we’re at the peak of our motivation. Though soon enough achieving your goals can become part of the “ I should do this List” that simply weighs us down. Reminding us of our lack of action, making us feel that much worse about it as the weeks carry on.
Is changing your wording here going to make or break your ability to achieve your resolutions this year?
Probably not, but this likely will…
Tip 2: Specify Your New Years Goals
Being specific is absolutely imperative towards carrying out and achieving any objective. If your goals are broad and poorly defined, we can lose interest and motivation quickly.
This is partly because our brain loves tangibility.
Targets and milestones that we can further imagine attaining, giving us the ability to measure our progress.
When you can measure your progress then you set the stage to build confidence. You deepen your sense of connection and trust with yourself.
Simply put, you’re providing your brain with real evidence of your accomplishments as you carry out these goals towards victory.
Besides, why would you set milestones that don’t thrill you when you imagine achieving them?
Confidence comes from making progress towards your goals. And part of progressing is learning how to actually see the small wins you experience daily, weekly and monthly as you edge towards your goals.
For this reason, we need specificity. We must define our goals.
Tip 3: Write down your 2021 Intentions
Now I don’t mean setting them, writing them out once and forgetting about them. We already know this is a clear way to fail.
I’m asking you to write out your targets often and in a variety of ways.
Research shows that people who write down their goals often have significantly greater success in achieving them. And we’re not even talking about the super tiny percentage of people in the world that write them down daily; they’re on a whole other level.
The purpose of writing them down is to provide you with clarity. Helping to frame your mind towards seeing your resolutions to the end. Utilizing this incredible gift we have of imagination. Expanding our ability to imagine a future with increased levels of hope that isn’t anchored down by our past.
Think of your goal as a destination through unfamiliar territory that may take some time to get to. Are you going to write it down once and not look at it again?
Or continue to revisit it, re-write it, imagine and review it to ensure you’re on the right track?
If you want to come anywhere close to achieving your goals this year, this map must be clarified, revisited and revised.
You’re likely going to need to make adjustments to your objectives anyway. And writing them out can really help you conceptualize this.
Bringing you closer to and gaining a greater sense of commitment for this journey towards your 2021 goals.
Next Level Tip to Attain Your Goals
When you write them down, get creative. Write them out in a variety of contexts.
You could do this in the frame of gratitude for already having realized them or ask questions such as:
Who do I need to become in order for each goal to become a reality?
There are certainly goal planning journals for this. Though if you prefer to simplify or save a few bucks like me, then use a journal instead. A simple notebook to freeflow your thoughts and expand your imagination daily.
Using a journal is an excellent tool for your personal growth, which is really the big picture here. This is what setting goals and making progress towards them are achieving; It’s all about who you’re becoming as a result.
Writing down your goals, your wins, challenges, and how you’ll improve will sharpen your focus. Helping to edge you closer on the journey towards achieving your goals and breaking through.
Ultimately, you’ll come to the underlying reason as to why they are important to you.
Once your WHY is absolutely clear then this will begin to fuel your daily actions.
Tip 4: Break Them Down Into Smaller More Achievable Goals
Why? Well, aside from the reality that large goals can seem intimidating, when you break them down this helps your mind to conceptualize the steps. To get a clearer picture of how you’re actually going to get there.
Simply put, if our goals are seemingly far beyond our current abilities it’ll be easier to find excuses than actually work towards them.
More importantly, when you break them down and start moving forward, this creates momentum. Further Building your confidence towards achieving the bigger goal.
For example, let’s say someone wants to drop 20 pounds this year to improve their physique. This 20 lb target can easily be broken down into 5 lbs every 90 days.
Something that’s psychologically easier to move towards than the larger number of 20.
And as they make progress month over month, their trust and confidence in the ability to see it to the end increases. Helping to drive their belief in themselves. Which is necessary as ever as they near the end of their weight loss target.
I’ll tell you first hand that it gets harder and harder to drop the last bit of weight.
Tip 5: Improve Your Motivation VIA Tracking Progress
While I’ve already peppered this throughout the article, I can’t emphasize the importance of it towards achieving your goals.
To make this your biggest year ever, you’ll need to review your weeks and months to see how your progress is going.
This is where you’re essentially collecting the evidence and data of how you’re advancing. Teaching you to effectively measure the gain and not the gap. Something that is absolutely imperative for next-level success in goal achievement.
You see, most of us grow up learning to measure our shortcomings instead of focusing on our wins. This is why tracking is such an integral part of the confidence-building process.
Quickly skimming through your notes on what you achieved that past 30 or 90 days instantly reveals your “gains.” Positively shifting your mindset into the hope of what’s possible for you. Stimulating imagination.
Helping you to better strategize and ask questions about your progress in case you’re falling off track.
Don’t Fall Into “the GAP”
In contrast, we can fall into a cycle that is far more familiar. One where we’re measuring ourselves against the goals we haven’t yet made it to. Comparing ourselves against an “ideal” that doesn’t yet exist. What Dan Sullivan (founder of Strategic Coach) refers to as “The Gap.”
To steer away from this direction, it helps immensely to use a journal to track your wins. Also, I like to also use a weekly sheet to jot down the top wins for the week that are easily accessible when reviewing the month.
This information is absolutely vital when it comes to moving forward on your goals.
If you’re not tracking then your progress can be easily forgotten about and with a simple slip up we fall right into that GAP.
Tip 6: Accountability Holds it all Together
I’m just going to go right ahead and say it: Unless you’re some sort of super-human goal crushing machine, you’re going to need some layers of accountability.
I mean even my mentors that fall into this “super-human” category know and use the power of accountability partners.
In order to move the needle forward, to really pull off your goals this year, accountability is imperative.
Next to tracking your progress, this is going to be the biggest game-changer.
I’m sure you can agree that being accountable solely to your self is a strategy that’s literally setting you up for failure.
And I’ll tell you this from first-hand experience, as far too many times I’ve definitely been lazy when it comes to my goals.
Aside from the fact that “life happens” we can have pretty wild swings in our levels of motivation and confidence.
But When other people are aware of what you want to achieve and you check in with them regularly about it, this makes it much harder to fall off track. We are stepping up our level of faith in our future selves.
Accountability Keeps you Going
An accountability partner will help immensely to keep you focused on your targets. They are the supporting foundation when we are impaired by the “eyes of impossibility.” Feeling stuck like we aren’t making any progress.
They are the ones who can lift you by simply reminding you of where you’ve made it to. When you’re stuck in the mindset of how far away you are, instead of the progress you’ve actually made.
After all, It’s a lot harder to fully give up on something when you have this level of support, making it an excellent strategy towards achieving your goals.
What goals would make the biggest difference in your life if you achieved them this year?