With a new year, comes new goals. And with each year, we set those goals for things related to our careers, our health, or our lives in general. It’s easy to say “I have a goal!” but when it comes time to actually pursuing it, we often get caught up in our progress and seemingly give up. How do we actually put the goal in action and follow through with the work of it? How do we ensure we accomplish what we set out to do?
Lipstick & Ink’s mantra includes goal-setting and creating a plan so you can ultimately pursue your goals. Find out how you can get started in creating your plan to pursue the goals you’ve set for yourself this year and make sure you stick to them!
Prepare Yourself in Setting Goals
When setting a goal, it’s important to be realistic with yourself. If you don’t think deep down that you will follow through with what your goal is, then what’s the point? Just so you can tell other people that you have a goal? Your goals are about you and what you want to work towards or improve. So how do you want to develop and grow personally this year? If you want to achieve the goal you set out to accomplish, you need to be prepared to put in the work and get out of your comfort zone a little bit. It’s important to recognize that a goal takes ambition, dedication, persistence and most importantly – belief in yourself. You must be willing to believe that you do have the power to achieve your goal and do whatever it takes to get there. So girl, prepare yourself and get in that kick ass mindset!
Break It Down
Trying to achieve one large goal can seem impossible at first. When you think of it as a whole, you easily get discouraged and sometimes even give up. But by breaking down that one large goal you have into seemingly smaller mini-accomplishments, you will be hitting milestones more often, which will thus give you the encouragement you need to keep going.
I recommend writing down your main goal on paper. Beneath that goal, write all the things you need to do to get there. From there, you can start to prioritize and list out each of your steps towards that big goal. This way, it’s more attainable and you have a new perspective on how you are going to tackle it.
Hold Yourself Accountable
As you begin pursuing your goal, you need to hold yourself accountable. Writing your goals down on paper is certainly one way to do it. Make sure to keep that piece of paper in view each and every day as a reminder to yourself to keep going. Make sure to also set deadlines for yourself that will give you something to work towards. Having these in a calendar or planner will help keep you on track and will allow you to check in with yourself and “check off” each of those milestones as you hit them.
Another way to stay accountable is to share your goals with others. For me personally, I’ve begun working with a career coach who pushes me to goal-set and hit those little milestones each week. She holds me accountable in that I can’t make excuses or get in my own way of accomplishing what I set out to do. Find that person for you – whether it’s a family member, a friend, a mentor, or a coach – and share your goal with that person so that they can help push you and cheer you on as you make your progress.
Track Progress + Celebrate
Speaking of progress, as you work towards your goal and its mini milestones, it’s important to track that progress and celebrate each of your accomplishments along the way. If you keep moving full steam ahead towards your main goal without really taking into account all of the small accomplishments you are achieving to get there, you could find yourself feeling burnt out. Tracking that progress helps to realize the important steps you’ve taken towards achieving your goal and gives you that encouragement you need. My point here quite simply, is enjoy the ride. Celebrate how far you’ve come so you can appreciate it that much more when you accomplish that big bad goal of yours. (Plus, crossing off those to-do’s can be oh so satisfying, especially if you’re Type A like me).
Be Kind to Yourself
If you find yourself running into roadblocks, allow yourself to take a step back and reassess. Don’t get down on yourself if you’re not hitting milestones as quickly as you would like. Life happens and things will go wrong, but that’s no reason to let it get to you or discourage you from continuing to pursue your goal. Show yourself kindness and remind yourself it’s not a race. You will accomplish your goal when you are meant to accomplish it.
And when you do eventually hit that goal you’ve been striving for, be kind and reward yourself. Don’t push yourself to just start trekking towards a new goal you’ve set. You need to recognize the work and sacrifices you made for the goal you just achieved! Allow yourself to celebrate and be proud of your accomplishments. Reflect on the journey it took to get you there and understand the lessons you learned so that you can then apply them for future goals when you are good and ready.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, speaker, career advisor, and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. In addition, she works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, SheFactor, and Six Degrees Society. She is also in the process of writing her first book.