Setting attainable goals for yourself is healthy. Goals help us keep our motivation levels up and give us a sense of purpose.
However, the act of setting a goal is often the easy part. In that moment, we have all the motivation and excitement in the world to get started. For example, when we set New Year goals and a strategy, the first few days seem simple. We chart a plan to get ourselves set up for success for the first week … but then what? What happens when you’re 3 weeks in and you’re running on no motivation? To put it simply, we end up quitting.
Fortunately, if you’re serious about reaching your goals, there are things you can do to hold yourself accountable.
Find your why.
You can try all the accountability techniques in the book, but if you don’t have a good enough reason behind what you’re doing, it could be tough for you to commit in the long run. That’s why the first step to accountability is the most crucial: identify your why.
Maybe you’re motivated by deadlines. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, you’ll likely feel more motivated if you have an important event coming up, or in many cases, you want to have more energy or feel differently than you do now. In this case, your “why” is that you want to look and feel your best.
Establishing your “why” is crucial to hitting your goals. That constant reminder in the back of your head could be exactly what you need to push through when you don’t feel motivated.
Create your roadmap.
You have your goal set and you’ve identified your “why” … now what? It’s time to write out your methods.
If your goal is to stop spending so much money on takeout, this is when you would write out the steps to make that happen. In this instance, your methods could look something like this:
- Go through your bank account transactions from the last month and add up how much you’ve spent on takeout (the results will likely be eye-opening).
- Meal prep every Sunday.
- Keep snacks and beverages in the car so you don’t feel tempted to go through the drive-through.
Goals can be overwhelming, and the result can seem so far away. That’s why it’s important to break them down into actionable steps. This will make the goal seem less overwhelming and help keep you focused.
Get an accountability buddy.
People need other people … that’s a fact. While it’s possible to stay motivated alone, it’s easier when you have others around you to help push you. Finding an accountability buddy will help you stay motivated, even on the days when you don’t feel like putting in the work.
This person could be a family member, a friend, or even a mentor. Just make sure you choose someone who is serious about reaching their goals, and who you know will keep you on track.
Call or text each other daily to check-in. If you both have a goal of working out more, set a time to go to the gym together. It’s harder to back out of doing things, even if you don’t want to do them, when you make plans with someone.
Track your results.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of goal setting is tracking your progress (a.k.a. making sure what you’re doing is working). Once you start seeing results, it gets easier and easier to motivate yourself to keep going.
Start the tracking process by getting a baseline measurement of where you currently are. For example, if you’re trying to stop spending so much money, your baseline would be the amount of money you have right now, before you implement any tactics. From there, you could keep a weekly spreadsheet to document your spend-to-save ratio. This will make it easier for you to see where you’re having issues and how you can solve them.
Goals are healthy because they help us become the best versions of ourselves. There will be times where you’re unmotivated to work toward them, but it’s important to always keep the bigger picture in mind.
Looking for ideas for new goals to set? Check out our blog post here for three great life goals to start working toward today.