The beginning of every new year brings about an influx of optimism and new year’s resolutions. Go to the gym. Learn a new language. Stop eating out so much. Save 50% of your income. You might have some goals in mind already. Some of these goals might be the ones that I have mentioned. While there is nothing wrong with these goals or setting your own goals, how exactly do you plan on achieving these goals?
While setting goals and dreaming of success is easy, achieving it is an entirely different game. Studies have shown that 80% of new year’s resolutions fail, and most goals fail by February! These statistics make you question whether setting goals/ New Year’s resolution is worth it… or is it a lost cause? The brilliant James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, has argued that “you do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” So, how do you set up effective systems that ensure the success of your goals? Here are 5 steps you can follow that will set you up for success and achieve your goals by the end of 2022!
- Create a realistic goal
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the life you’ve always dreamed of. Dreams take time, so when you are thinking of setting a goal, consider whether it is realistic or not. This is not to say “abandon your dreams” or “stick to reality.” Instead, think about how your immediate goal (one that is within reach) will be a stepping stone towards your dream. For example, your dream might be to create an online platform that will change the world, but you are now working in an Amazon fulfillment centre. You are very skilled with technology. You know how to troubleshoot your printer and help your kids with technical issues on their computers. While your dream is to create the next Google, a realistic goal would be to quit your job at Amazon and transition to the IT field. This goal will provide you with the foundational skills necessary to work your way towards achieving your dream.
- How will you measure your success?
As mentioned above, achieving your goals takes time. At first, you have a rush of excitement about this new venture, and you are eager to get started. However, once you do, the enthusiasm and motivation begin to dwindle, and now all you are left with is hard work and self-discipline. The best way to combat this stage is to figure out what you will use as concrete milestones. What is something you can look back on and say, “wow I haven’t reached the finish line yet, but I have achieved this much, and I am proud!” For our students, these milestones are usually the completion of course modules.
- Create a plan and a timeline
Deadlines can be stressful, but… they can also be encouraging! By marking it in your calendar, it serves as a reminder of everything you need to accomplish by a particular day and a particular time. In addition to this, you can create a separate list of tasks organized by importance. What requires your immediate attention will be at the top and then work your way down the list. A good rule of thumb when completing your “to-do” list is: if it takes less than 2 minutes to complete, do it right away! This strategy will help you stay focused and make it so that you are more likely to achieve it.
- Comparison is the Enemy of Success
When the process of achieving your goal is copying somebody else’s method, you will lose the excitement and motivation to achieve them. If you wake up at 4am and go to the gym even though you are not a morning person, it will not only be unenjoyable, but it will be miserable! Your journey to achieving your goal needs to be YOUR journey. If you’re not a morning person, try refining your system by waking up at 7:30-8:00 am instead and working out in the evening. The road to achieving your goals does not always have to be miserable if you don’t let it, so create a system that works best for you.
- GET GOING!
Whether your goal this year is to get a new career, develop your education, or just personal fulfillment, your goals will not be achieved by doing nothing. So, what are you waiting for? Go for it!