It seems like during each new year, the concept of a “new year’s resolution” is slowly losing its appeal. More and more, you see bloggers and motivational speakers talking about how most people don’t keep resolutions throughout the year. Instead, they often recommend that you approach the new year with a different strategy, such as choosing a “word of the year” or setting smaller, month to month goals.
I personally don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to tackle the new year because I’ve personally had success with both resolutions and scattered short-term goals. It all depends on the person, what works best for them, and how they approach their goals or resolutions.
However, we both know that long-term goals are overall the hardest to keep. They take the most time, dedication, patience, and motivation in order to achieve. Even though these can be difficult, I find that they’re an important asset to achieving the life you desire. Having a long-term goal in mind will help you push through the tough times and shorter milestones.
Despite the challenges, here are seven ways you can stay motivated and conquer the long-term goals in your life:
Remember Your Why
What’s driving you to create this long-term goal? Why do you want to accomplish it in your life? Knowing and reminding yourself why you started can help you tap into your initial inspiration. This can help give you an extra push of motivation for the times you feel a bit uninspired.
For example, I know that my ‘why’ behind creating this blog was to help as many twenty-somethings as possible grow and live their best lives. Sometimes I remind myself by looking back at old emails and messages on social media from readers who have expressed gratitude towards some of the content and advice I’ve produced through my blog. Remembering why I started and reconnecting with my purpose repeatedly helps me keep going when I’m feeling less than inspired every now and then.
Form an Accountability Group
Having other people to help you stay on track for your long-term goals can make a huge difference in your motivation. Knowing that there are others who are keeping you accountable for everything you need to accomplish gives you that extra push to follow through with your plans and goals. You can also provide accountability for the others in your group!
Ways to find members to form your accountability group can include asking your friends if they’d be interested, or might know anyone who long-term goals or projects would benefit from the group. There are also Facebook groups online that have tons of like-minded individuals from around the world who might be seeking similar goals as you. I personally have a monthly video chat with one or two other bloggers I met through Instagram, where we talk about what we’re working on, books we’re reading, and new strategies or techniques we’re trying with our blogging plans and goals. It’s a great way to connect with others from all over, as well as get new ideas that you might not have thought of before!
Create Short-Term Goals
It’s extremely important to break down your long-term goals into smaller, short-term achievements. Doing so will help you feel like you’re moving closer and progressing towards your long-term goals, instead of constantly feeling like you’re fighting a nonstop uphill battle. Look at your goals and see what milestones and individual projects need to be completed along the way, and use those to create your short-term goals. You can also use these smaller projects as deadlines to help you stay on track to accomplishing your long-term dream. Don’t forget to cross them off and celebrate once they’re completed!
Break Everything Down to Achievable Tasks
After you’ve created short-term goals, take the time to break these down into even smaller achievable tasks. Not only will this help your to-do list feel less intimidating, but you’ll feel like you can actually accomplish and do these smaller tasks. Each finished task is one step closer to achieving your short and long-term goals!
As an example, say one of your dreams is to launch a new blog or online business. What are the steps you need to take in order to accomplish this? First, discover what smaller milestones are needed along the way, such as deciding on a website host, designing or choosing a theme, and nailing down the specific details about your new blog or business.
Each of these smaller milestones can be turned into short-term goals, while the tasks that are required to achieve these short-term goals are broken down into your daily to-do list. It’s much less intimidating to read that you have to choose three potential theme ideas for your website, instead of writing down the daunting task to completely design your website.
Notice and Change Unproductive Habits
Do you spend too much time on social media? Maybe you sleep in too long in the morning instead of waking up when your alarm goes off? Noticing and acknowledging bad habits is the first step towards changing your unproductive ways. I know that personally, I have a terrible habit of getting distracted easily or not prioritizing my blog work or workout routine as much as I know I should. Procrastination is also a terrible habit I still need to break, but I’m working on it!
Imagine how much quicker you’ll be able to achieve your short and long-term goals when you finally remove those unproductive habits in your life. Take some time to pay attention to your actions throughout the day, and note whether or not they’re helping or harming your motivation and ability to accomplish your goals. After, make a plan and take steps towards breaking these bad habits and forming more productive ones! (I actually give detailed advice on how to break and change bad habits in one of the lessons in my Self-Care for Millennials E-Course!)
Take Breaks When Necessary
In order to avoid burnout and overwhelm, it’s important to schedule breaks throughout your journey. Making yourself a priority is a vital part of your overall work-life balance. If you’re unbalanced and constantly working on your goals without taking time for yourself, you may start to experience feeling burnt out and lose the motivation and desire to continue pursuing your long-term goals.
Scheduling in time for self-care is not only important for accomplishing your goals, but it’s also important for your overall health and happiness.
Celebrate Small Victories
What have you accomplished so far since creating your long-term goal? Did you finally break one of those unproductive habits, or achieve a short-term goal? No matter how small, it’s important to take the time to celebrate your small victories along the way. Celebrating can include treating yourself to your favorite food, taking a day off to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, or even something as simple as doing a little happy dance to some fun music in your room. Feeling proud of your progress and accomplishments is important, so don’t forget to give yourself pats on the back along the way!
What are some of your goals for this new year? Let me know in the comments!