It’s the start of a new year, so you’re going to see a lot of people create resolutions or goals for this year. Setting goals is important when it comes to your mental health. Goals are imperative for motivation. Once you know what you want and have a solid plan on how to get there, you feel a drive to succeed. If you’re like me, you have a lot of ambition but not a lot of motivation. There is so much I want to accomplish, but I have no idea how to make it happen. I had learn how to set goals. This has held me back from really going for what I want. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Why did I start projects only to abandon them? I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was 11 years old. I won’t tell you how long ago that was, but I will say that it’s never happened to this date. The truth of the matter is that I had no idea how to set goals and follow through. I made a lot of bold proclamations, but I had no plan to achieve them. Now that I’m older, I’ve figured out what works for me. As always, nothing is a one-size-fits all solution. Some of these tips might help you, but some of them might not. Please comment your tips, so you can help someone too! It’s important to know how to set goals for you!
How to Set Goals
Step One: Don’t overwhelm yourself with potential goals.
I fall victim to this one frequently. There is so much I want to do, but I can’t concentrate on all of my projects. I want to write a book, but I can’t work on other projects due to time constraints. My brain just can’t handle all of the ideas floating around, yet I try to do this repeatedly. As if writing a full-length novel isn’t enough, I once tried writing a script for a movie and running a YouTube channel at the same time. To no one’s surprise, nothing came to fruition.
Step Two: Build habits to support your goal.
If writing is what you want to do, then form a habit to write everyday regardless for how long or how much you write. Just write. Once you create a habit, you’ll want to write because your day doesn’t feel complete without performing the simple task. Research supports the idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit. If you can power through it for 21 days, you’re golden. Whatever it is that you want to do, do it as much as possible until it’s a routine.
Step Three: Put in place an accountability system.
Find a method that holds you accountable. I know consequences are scary, but they really do help put a flame under your feet. My friend and I recently decided that we need an accountability system to keep us honest when it comes to writing. We exchanged logins to our respective Twitter accounts and agreed that the other person gets unlimited control for 24 hours if we fail to meet deadlines. We both have not missed one yet.
Step Four: Create a solid plan with deadlines.
Deadlines are a lifesaver if you’re like me. I need deadlines. If they negatively impact your mental health, find something else. If a consequence-based system doesn’t work for you, then try a reward-based system. You have something to look forward to rather than something to fear if you don’t meet your deadlines.
Step Five: Don’t give up.
This is probably the most important step in the process, which makes sense why it is the hardest step to complete. I’m someone who can get easily discouraged. If you want to succeed at something, you can’t let that stop you. I know I have to work extra hard not to let a lack of instant success stop me. There is no such thing as failure if you tried because that means you learned something. Gaining experience is a win in my book.