Guest post by Elisha Palacios
We set goals for ourselves because we want to live better lives: I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to work harder, I’ll stop drinking, I’ll do this, I won’t do that. While we often have our best interests in mind, more often than not, we find ourselves unable to stick to our convictions and achieve our goals. There is no shame in admitting that you’ve struggled to attain your goals; sometimes we don’t get it on the first try, and that’s perfectly alright. It doesn’t make you lesser person.
What matters is that you don’t give up; on yourself and on your goals. Keep them in mind when times get tough, and remember why you wanted to achieve them in the first place. Use your experience to help guide you towards improving your approach to achieving your goals.
It’s important to identify what is holding you back, and preventing you from achieving your goals. Once you are able to do so, you can remedy those errors and get back on track to achieving those goals.
There are a lot of factors that could attribute to failure when it comes to reaching goals. We can narrow it down to two components: Internal and External.
Internal factors have to do with your own insecurities and self-doubt. These hindrances are occasionally self-induced, and are your own fears keeping you from achieving your goals. In order to address and overcome these internal factors, you must assess yourself as a person and accost your shortcomings. Doing so could help improve your mental wellness as well by focusing your time and energy into something productive instead of remaining trapped by self-doubt.
External factors could be physical aspects that could hinder your efforts to reach your goals. Sometimes, such factors are out of your control, like the weather or other people. Perhaps the person whom you enlisted in for help is not there to support you, or an incoming hurricane delayed some of your plans. Even time could serve as an external factor, after all, we can not determine everything that is going to happen in the future. We can only hope for the best, and make the best out of what we have or the situation we find ourselves in. Take it as a chance to improve yourself and/or your current plan to success.
During difficult times, it pays to have patience and to treat others with as much kindness as possible. Don’t let your frustration get the best of you, and end up hurting someone who doesn’t deserve the brunt of your anger. If plans change, adapt to your new circumstances as well instead of letting them paralyse you. Do not let yourself be disheartened. You don’t have to get it right the first time: there is always room to grow, and a chance to try again.
- Find Your Conviction
It’s important from the start to determine exactly what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve it. Especially if the goal seems like it’s going to be a long process.
What does your goal mean for you? Why do you want to achieve it? What do you want out of life?
These are questions that you should be asking yourself when you find yourself lacking in the conviction to stick to your plan. Your answers could help remind you what it is you’re striving for, and could help your get your bearings so you could continue your endeavour towards a better life, and a better you.
- Step Out of Your Comfort
You can’t move forward if you choose to remain in the same place.
It’s easy to choose to remain satisfied with what you have instead of aiming to achieve something greater or better, simply because it’s enough to have something, even if it means settling for less than what you could have.
Other times, it might feel like you don’t deserve better in life. But that is not true at all.
You deserve to have good things in your life. It’s alright to want better for yourself. Instead of focusing on the what ifs, take risks. Strive for change and break the status quo. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. It may seem daunting at first, but you will gain new experiences that could boost your self-confidence and push you further up the path towards a better life. It doesn’t have to be something outrageous, you can start small. Take things one at a time, and build your way up.
Simply have courage , and you can surprise yourself.
- Stop Making Excuses
Whenever you feel anxious, scared, lazy or hesitant, it becomes easy to come up with a plethora of excuses as to why you can’t bring yourself to accomplish something. Rather than focus on the reasons why you should do something, you concentrate on different excuses why you can’t.
I’m too tired. I can do it tomorrow. It won’t even matter. Why should I even bother?
Excuses paralyze you, rendering you incapable of working towards your goal. It’s vital that you stop making excuses for yourself, and have the courage and conviction to stick with your effort to reach your goal. You have to keep in mind your reasons for doing what you do, focus on the goal you are striving to achieve and why you want to achieve it.
Don’t lose sight of your conviction, and don’t let yourself be overcome with self-doubt and fear.
- Create a Plan
It’s one thing to set a goal, it’s another to actively strive to attain it.
Having a plan helps get your organized, and keeps your goals in check. It would be helpful to lay out possible steps you could take in order to achieve your goal. Let those serve as a guide to what you have to do and what you should accomplish.
Plans would also help you keep track of your progress. If you can see how much you’ve accomplished, you can see how much closer you are to attaining your goals! Create a plan, set deadlines for when you need to accomplish tasks, and you will reach farther than you can imagine.
Make sure that your plans are flexible. Nothing is set in stone, and you should be prepared for any setbacks that may delay you. Plan accordingly and have backups in case anything goes askew. It pays to be prepared.
Sometimes, complete changes in plan might be necessary, and that’s alright. Don’t be disheartened by the task, and focus instead on various ways you could improve your approach. Looking at things from a different perspective could benefit your plans greatly.
- Set Your Priorities
Know which tasks require your most attention and time.
If you’re juggling multiple goals at once, formulate which ones need your attention the most, and set aside those that are not urgent business. If it can wait, make it wait.
Do not expend all your time and energy trying to accomplish multiple tasks at once. Find a balance that works for you, and allows your to complete what needs to be done in due time. You could organize them depending on when they’re due, which ones require the most time to accomplish, importance, etc.
Sort out which things need your most attention, time, and energy and start from there. There is no need to stretch yourself thin trying to accomplish everything. You need to take care of yourself as well, and exhausting yourself only has a negative impact on your mental health, and won’t help you achieve your goals.
Focus on what’s important; including yourself.
- Keep Your Commitments
When times get tough, you get tougher.
It can be a struggle to stick to your commitments, especially if you’re feeling a lot of stress, you’re suffering from self-doubt or even laziness. But that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Keeping to your commitments shows that you can remain dedicated to your convictions despite the turbulent times. Sometimes, it becomes difficult or terrifying, but if you face it head-on with courage and determination, you’ll find yourself emerging as a stronger person than you were before.
If you are serious about achieving your goals, then you need to stick to your convictions. Your goals give you a purpose in life. The only way you’ll be able to attain them is if you continuously put the effort to work towards them, undeterred by distractions or easy ways out.
- Believe in Yourself
You must believe that you can accomplish your goals.
There will always be hesitancy, there will always be doubt, and fear. But you can not let them discourage you from attaining your goals. You have to overcome those fears and insecurities, and start believing in your own capabilities.
Sometimes, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing you have to do. But only you can achieve your goals, not anyone else. People might even try to dissuade you from your endeavours because they do not believe in you and they think you won’t be successful.
They don’t matter.
What matters is that you remain steadfast with yourself, and believe in your potential and your capabilities. Because you can do anything you put your mind to. And when other people see your conviction, they’ll believe in you too.
Achieving your goals won’t be easy. It could be a long and arduous process, not something that simply happens overnight, despite how much we wished it could. You have to be willing to set aside the time and effort to continuously work towards your goal. Nevertheless, with the right mindset and diligent planning, nothing is impossible.