You may think that today’s post would serve better to be published closer to the end or beginning of the year; however, with just three and a half-ish months left in 2016, I knew that this would be the best time to start taking a look at what we all wanted to do at the beginning of the year but haven’t quite made progress with yet.
Your initial reaction might be that we should just keep working on making progress with the things we set out to do in January even if we’re nowhere close, right? It’s easy to say that you can accomplish your goal even if you have 60-70% of it left to do.
In fact, pushing so hard on those same things despite how much further you have to go can lead you the wrong direction once the new year is actually here. It’s easy to start setting goals for 2017 and feel like you want those goals to be tiny in comparison since you didn’t make as much progress as you wanted to this year. The problem with that is that you end up playing small while other people do some crazy cool things throughout the year.
That’s why in today’s post I wanted to share a few of ways you can make sure you’re actually following through with your goals over the last quarter of the year, so that you can set yourself up for success in 2017!
But wait! If you don’t really know what you want to work on, this post isn’t going to be quite as helpful for you. So take a second to go watch last week’s Periscope, which was all about how to set the right goals for the end of the year. We’ll be here when you get back!
Alright, let’s dive in!
Create a reminder of what your life would look like
It’s really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running your blog or business and forget the big picture of what we’re working toward. A great place to make sure you’re actually following through with your goals is to create a reminder of what that big picture looks like for you, of what your life will look like once you’ve accomplished your goals.
You don’t have to make some elaborate thing, but instead just start with a sticky note. You can write something as simple as “If I grow my business, I can leave my 9-5 job, which will make me happier in all areas of my life.” Then you can put that little sticky on your desk, bathroom mirror, fridge, or even set it as a reminder on your phone to pop up throughout the day / week.
Having that reminder of what you’re working toward will help give you the motivation to keep going even when you’re having a rough day. It’ll also give you the boost to push harder on the days that are going really well!
Breaking them down into a monthly plan
One of my favorite things to do to help make sure I’m working on my goals is to simply break them down. Instead of setting one goal in each area of your life and focusing on how big it is (and maybe even how hard it’ll be to accomplish), you can take those things you want to accomplish and break them down into things you can focus on each month.
Doing this makes your big “scary” goals seem a lot more doable, which makes us more likely to want to work on them and feel comfortable shooting for something that takes us a little outside of our comfort zone. Just think about it like this: if you set a goal to change your diet and exercise, especially if you’ve been slacking, you’re going to spend most of your time thinking about how hard it’s going to be and procrastinating actually doing it.
Doing this is literally as easy as it sounds. All you have to do is break down your goals into reasonable benchmarks for each month. For example, if you want to gain 300 email subscribers by the end of the year, all you have to shoot for is 100 a month.
Do one small task each week
Now, once you get a little bit motivated to work toward your goals after you have them broken down, it’s not necessarily about doing all the things!!, but instead it’s okay to focus on doing one thing at a time. If you’re on my email list, you’ve seen me talk about this a few times over the last year.
Focusing on just one thing is way easier because it doesn’t leave you so overwhelmed at the major goal you’re trying to accomplish, and of course, just like breaking your goals down into monthly benchmarks, focusing on one task a week makes things seem even easier!
So, how do you figure out what you should focus on? Well, you’ll take those goals you have set for the rest of the year and break them down into your monthly plan. But then you can take it a step further and break them down into weekly tasks. So a great example would be if you want to launch a course, you can focus each week on working on content and planning your launch. Then you can spend 1-2 hours per day working on that task to help knock it out and move you closer to your goal of launching the course.
The last and probably most beneficial in actually accomplishing your goals would definitely be to find one or a few people to hold you accountable. If you’re working on blog or business goals, you can start by telling your blog readers what you’re working on. I did this for 2 solid years on my blog. In fact, you can still read my monthly goal posts here. Knowing that I had to check in with people at the beginning of the next month to let them know how I did was great encouragement to keep going.
Another great way to find accountability is to find people who are working on similar things. I did this back in the Fall of 2015 by launching a small mastermind group of three other ladies who were also working on creating and launching a course. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to create a mastermind group, but simply reaching out to someone to have weekly or bi-weekly accountability meetings will help you stay on track with your goals.
Lastly, you can always join a paid mastermind group. I know I’ve said it probably a million times before, but starting that mastermind was one of my best ideas of 2015. Having the ladies in the group helped me keep going while I was working Kickstart Your List, even when I was unsure of myself. I should point out that I say to join a paid mastermind because those are often a little more structured and beneficial long term than free ones.
So, what do you do to follow through with your goals?
I know that everyone does something a little different, so I’d love to hear from you! What keeps you working toward your big goals even when you don’t feel like it? Be sure to share in the comments.