The best way to ensure that you’ll achieve your wildest dreams? Turn those dreams into goals.
I’ve been unofficially setting goals since before I can remember. But the moment I started actually writing down concrete goals, my life totally changed for the better. Whether you’re finally ready to lose that extra weight or want to land your dream job, here are my five tips for putting together goals that will kickstart your success.
Be a little selfish
Goals are all about you and what you want your life to look like. Don’t get influenced by what the people around you want for your life—think about what YOU want for yourself. What would make you feel happy, fulfilled, and successful? Take a few days to reflect on what truly inspires you before you form a concrete goal in your mind.
Get more flexible
So you set a goal to run a 5K race by the end of the month, but training took a little longer than you planned. Don’t beat yourself up about missing the deadline, and more importantly, don’t give up. Just because your timeline changed a little doesn’t mean all is lost. The purpose of creating tangible goals isn’t to make you feel bad if you fail to achieve them immediately. Instead, think of them as steps that lead you toward your dream life. It’s not a big deal if you temporarily veer off course, because you know you can choose to jump right back on track.
Listen, you want to create inspiring goals … But they’ve also gotta be realistic! If your goal is to run a marathon six months from now, but you’ve never done any physical activity before, your goal isn’t exactly setting you up for success! Keep that awesome marathon goal, but extend your timeline a little. Then, create another specific, measureable, and achievable short-term milestone like: run three miles, four times a week.
Write it down
By writing goals down, you lay out instructions for your path to success. Putting pen to paper provides you with the direction and clarity you might be lacking. Plus, how cool is it to cross things off your list once you’ve achieved them?
Begin with end in mind
It’s a lot easier to hit the snooze button and skip your workout when you’re just trying to “get in shape.” But when you know that you’ve gotta head to that bootcamp class to help you fit comfortably into your favorite pair of jeans, suddenly there’s way more motivation to lace up your sneakers and get out the door.
Illustration by Foley Wu