It’s hard to believe 2019 is already halfway over, but here we are! If you are anything like me you probably made New Year’s Resolutions, or goals, at the beginning of the year. And, perhaps you are even more like me if you’ve looked at your midyear check points and realized you are nowhere near where you wanted to be.
I told myself this was the year I was really going to go hard after my goals, but it just hasn’t happened. At first, I started wallowing in disappointment, and shame. But that, of course, solves nothing. I had to come up with a new plan of attack, so here’s what helped for me. If you find yourself also in a midyear goal struggle, perhaps some of these tips will help you too!
Be hard on yourself, but also give yourself some grace.
We are often times our greatest critic, and in this case it can be beneficial. I needed to give myself a kick in my own pants because one of the reasons why I am not quite where I want to be goal-wise is because of procrastination. I can play the blame game on many aspects of life, but the bottom line is I haven’t prioritized my goals and I have been honestly dragging my heels on some of them. I had to give myself some tough love to realize I am not going to be where I want to be if I didn’t take action–and soon. After the tough love, I did allow myself a little bit of grace, but I tried not to let it turn to excuses.
Stop making excuses and just do it.
There will always be “things” that come in the way of you accomplishing something. Making dinner. Working. Taking care of the kids. But if you have a personal goal, you have to make time to focus on it. One way this played out for me is by rethinking when I could go to the gym versus when I couldn’t. I told my husband that twice a week I wanted to take a 5 a.m. class and together we figured out how to make that happen. It doesn’t happen every week, and when it doesn’t I figure out the next best time because the answer can’t be not going.
Break down larger goals into smaller pieces.
Often times we think of this as related to work tasks. Take for example, in this article from Trello, Melissa Gratias, Ph.D., a workplace productivity coach and speaker is quoted as saying, “Breaking tasks down helps us to see large tasks as more approachable and doable, and reduces our propensity to procrastinate or defer tasks, because we simply don’t know where to begin.” While this is very applicable for work, it also applies to your personal life. For example, I have a goal to run a half marathon. While that is my overarching goal, I actually need to break it down into pieces (running a certain distance each week, signing up for shorter races, etc.) so I can achieve it.
Find a tool to help you.
Whether it’s keeping a planner with your goals written down, or using your phone calendar to schedule a time for you to work on your goals, having a reminder of what you’re working on/towards is really helpful. There are so many great planners/journals on the market now that can help you track your goals. Passion Planners, Erin Condren planners and Bullet Journals are a few popular options. If you are more into going digital, there are plenty of apps that can help. One of my goals included keeping a gratitude journal. I have several but have always struggled to make writing in it a daily practice. I recently learned about the Grateful app and have been using it daily, mainly because I have a daily reminder that alerts me to write.
Find an accountability partner.
Sometimes external accountability can be all the motivation you need to get yourself in gear. Find a person who will not only motivate you but call you out when you’ve been slacking! For me, that person is my husband. If I am not out of the bed by 415 a.m. when I’ve told him I’m going to the gym at 5 a.m., he has permission to call me out. My gym is also one that takes your fitness seriously. If they haven’t seen me in a while they’ll start texting to ask where I’ve been. While an accountability partner helps to push you towards your goals, they are also there to help you celebrate when you’ve reached a milestone.
Even though we’re halfway through the year, it’s not too late to get started on your goals! It’s like Confucious said, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”