Goal Setting — And Goal Achieving

As we work into April, the recollection of our New Year’s resolutions slide into the past. But why should it? Here are three tips on goal setting and meeting those goals. 

The best part of being human is knowing you didn’t peak in high school, or college, in fact, every day is a new peak. Eckhart Tolle says, “You do not become good by trying to be good but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.” You know what you need to accomplish; lets see what you can do with these tips:

Goal setting should include a reachable goal you’re willing to tinker with.

If you set your expectations too high and don’t achieve results in the first few weeks, you might be tempted to quit trying. Re-evaluate your goal on a weekly basis to see what you’re doing well and what needs work. Cut yourself some slack. The fact you’ve set a goal and are working towards accomplishing it is a great accomplishment in itself.

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Set reasonable daily steps toward your goal that you can accomplish. 

If working on mental health is part of your resolution, try practicing gratitude daily. One of my resolutions is writing a book, which means spending about 15 minutes a day getting words on a page. Anne Lamott says, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” The same can be said about achieving any goal. You’ll have heaps of mistakes in the beginning that will slowly melt away as you improve. When you set daily steps that form into routine, you spend more time on what you feel is important at heart. It might sound silly, but it will affect your mood and your ability to persevere. Make your New Year’s resolutions more about the journey than the destination.

Cut yourself some slack. 

We all make mistakes, and it is okay. When we’re trying to be healthier, we occasionally eat the brownie, miss the gym, or have a few too many glasses of wine. The hardest part of goal setting and goal meeting is continuing after you fail. The beautiful thing with making a mistake is the chance to try again. Don’t think of the brownie as a failure, but as added energy to take a walk with your family the next day. We can’t all be Spiderman — there’s only so much radioactive material to go around. What matters is how we use the energy we have every day. 

While some days will be more challenging than others, it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve and hold yourself accountable. This includes forgiving yourself for inevitable mistakes and moving yourself forward to the next step. Don’t let your failures hold you back. Rather, learn from those mistakes and let those lessons guide you in the future. And celebrate the wins — whether you reach the end goal or not.