Monday, 16 January 2017

How not to fail at reaching your goals

Just to make this clear, I'm not writing this as someone who hasn't failed at achieving my goals... I almost always fail miserably so I want to analyze why and work out what I need to change about the way I set goals in order to succeed.

I was in two minds about whether to write a post about my goals for 2017, as I did that last year with 20 Things that will definitely happen in 2016, and it's rather depressing/ humiliating to reflect on my complete failure!

However, I'm going to try to look at it constructively, see what went wrong and come up with a "How not to fail" strategy that will hopefully be just as helpful for me as for anyone else.  Maybe even more so.  That's the plan, anyway!

Goals strategies success


My biggest mistake was this:  Lack of strategy
I really had no strategy for reaching the goals I wanted to achieve - huge mistake.  Without a strategy,
I was lost in the wilderness.  I actually forgot what most of my goals were!

Here's what I didn't do in my non-existent strategy:

No deadlines
As I said in my own post:
I need a plan - with deadlines, or none of this is ever going to happen.  I'm going to make a schedule for all of these goals and put it somewhere visible to make sure I accomplish them.

Did I do that?  No, I didn't!  

No breakdown of bigger goals into manageable chunks
This is key!  It's like having smaller stepping stones to get you across the river to your ultimate goal, one step at a time with daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly targets to bring you closer to where you want to be.

Not measurable 
A vague statement like "Do some yoga" is not a measurable goal.  I did do some yoga last year, maybe once every couple of weeks or so, but that's not really what I had in mind.  By specifying exactly how often, how much, how many, how long for, etc, then you are able to measure your achievement and how close you are getting to your goal.  

This year I decided to take up the #YogaRevolution 31-day yoga challenge on YouTube so I have to find time every day for a half-hour yoga session.  So far I've only missed one day and when the challenge ends I think I'm going to repeat the whole thing as I'm really enjoying it and feeling the benefits.  The idea with this is that I'm forming the habit of practising yoga daily and I'll just keep the habit going after the end of the challenge.



Not visible
I wrote my goals for the year in that blog post, which I never looked at again, and at the back of a notebook which I occasionally stared at and did nothing about.  So of course they weren't very present in my mind and I mostly forgot about them.

This year I have everything in my bullet journal, but the pages are starting to fall out, which is not great.  Feels like my planning is falling apart!  I think I'll have to get a new notebook, probably spiral-bound, that will hold together.  Apart from that, I'm going to try out the Trello app, on the recommendation of Aby from You Baby Me Mummy; she makes it sound like a really effective and useful tool and something I need to help me organise my life!


Bullet journal


Procrastination 
I am the queen of procrastination; always putting things off till later, tomorrow, next week.  The Mexican mañana (such a stereotype!) was made for me!

However, with a proper strategy in place to hold me accountable I should have the tools to block my own tendency to procrastinate and actually get things done.  If I want to succeed in reaching my goals I need to do all these things:
  • Keep my goals and planning visible to refer to every day 
  • Have measurable goals so I can track my progress 
  • Have smaller progress goals that are steps towards reaching the main goals
  • Keep all goals time-based, with deadlines for each step

I'm also doing a free online course, Project Productivity created by the very productive Aby of You Baby Me Mummy.  It focuses on setting goals and planning in order to be much more productive so I hope it will help me!

Lastly, my other deadly enemy:  Self doubt
There's not much I can say to help with the struggle against self-doubt, except to just keep ploughing on regardless and ignore those voices in your head that tell you you can't, you're not good enough, no one is interested in what you have to say, etc, etc.  Don't listen to them!


Self doubt Van Gogh quote


Do you have any other advice on how to achieve your goals?  Please share your experiences of success or failure, words of encouragement or advice in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you!




Cuddle Fairy

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Diary of an imperfect mum

The Pramshed

8 comments:

  1. That quote is just fab lovely! It's all about our mindset isn't it? I think breaking our goals down into manageable pieces is a huge help! It's so lovely to see you back at #candidcuddles I hope you can join us again today x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that Van Gogh quote! And I think if you follow your own advice here this year you have a really good chance of reaching your goals! I still need to get my goals for the year clear in my head, and then on paper, and then broken down into action steps. It's been a slow start here so I'm a bit late getting going! x #CandidCuddles

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know how you feel. I have this struggle even with my daily to-do list. I find that having realistic expectations is always key. #ablogginggoodtime

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha, it's like we're the same person! I'm loving my bullet journal at the minute and just set up my Trello boards last week on Aby's recommendation. I want to set up some boards for tracking linkies next x
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a good way of making sure you achieve your goals by breaking them down into smaller chunks. But you shouldn't feel like a complete failure of you don't achieve your goals, you should look at what you have achieved to reach that goal. I hope you manage to achieve all your goals, if you don't focus on how you've come. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tips here. I've been reflecting on my yearly goals and wondering whether they are too broad so have broken them down. #ablogginggoodtime

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have big plans; love the idea of breaking these up into tiny, bite size steps. Interested to hear about your bullet journal; had only heard good things, but that would be annoying if pages were falling out. #TheListLinky

    ReplyDelete