5 Practical Ways to Reach Your Goals

New Year, New You. At least that’s what you tell yourself every January 1st. Here I guide you through how to set yourself up for success from day one and start reaching your goals TODAY!

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New Year, New You.

At least that’s what you tell yourself every January 1st.

While you have every intention of reaching all your goals, a few days or weeks in and you’re already starting to give up on them.

But that’s not your fault – the problem is in how we have always been taught to set goals.

As I was scrolling through Pinterest last month, nearly every post that I came across that talked about setting goals and reaching them simply talked about scheduling and planning.

Great.

So I can spend all day planning out the next year in order to reach my goal, but what does that get me?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Because let’s face it, life happens, and once we are thrown off our plan (even just a little bit) it is extremely hard to get back on track. Also, there are so many people (myself included) that use the “I have to plan before I can do anything” excuse to procrastinate actually working toward their goal.

I have also found this when planning my day to day at work. I may spend a few hours at the end of Friday planning my days and weeks out, but without fail something always pops up and it throws me all of track…several hours down the drain.

So, what can be done? How can we all succeed at our goals (New Year’s Resolutions or goals that we want to start mid year)?

Well, I’m glad you asked lovely lady. I have five practical tips I’ve learned (the hard way) when it comes to not only planning your goals, but reaching them as well.

  1. Quit wasting your time planning and re-planning – use this planner workbook instead
  2. Answer the question: Who do you want to be?
  3. Use if then statements
  4. Aim for progress over perfection
  5. Fake it ‘til you make it

Let’s walk through them step by step.

Quit wasting your time planning

This might seem counter productive, and you’re right – somewhat. One of the biggest issues I myself deal with, along with many people I know, is planning down to the very last detail.

Now, this isn’t necessarily wrong; however, when you plan in such a way where when one thing doesn’t happen when it’s supposed to happen, it seems virtually impossible to get back on track.

Let me give you an example.

This is what my goal setting used to look like:

Goal: Be more consistent in my business.

Action Items:

  • Draft blog post #1 on Monday
  • Edit blog post #1 on Tuesday
  • Post and schedule blog post #1 on Tuesday
  • Draft blog post #2 on Wednesday
  • Edit blog post #2 on Thursday
  • Post and schedule blog post #2 on Thursday
  • Draft blog post #3 on Friday
  • Edit blog post #3 on Saturday
  • Post and schedule blog post #3 on Sunday
  • Create email template by Monday
  • Have all pictures for blogs for the week taken and edited by Monday

If I would miss even one day due to sickness or something else, it would throw the next several days off and I would feel as though I just had to wait until the next week and try again.

I was in a perpetual cycle of planning and re-planning and re-planning.

This is what my goal setting looks like now:

Goal: Be more consistent in my business

Action Items:

  • Post on the blog 3x a week
  • Create an email template to re-use for each new blog post
  • Take all pictures for blog posts each weekend

Not as intense, huh?

This type of planning leaves room for life to happen, but still keeps you on track to reach your goals. In addition, I know everything that goes into writing and posting a blog post, there is absolutely no reason why I have to put every small step onto my to-do list.

A great tip my boss has drilled into my head is: if it take you less than 10 minutes to complete, there is no reason to put it on your to-do list. You’re just putting it on there to be able to cross it off. Then your to-list becomes too messy and thus ineffective.

Does that sound like you?

Don’t worry, that was me, and still is to a degree. This is still something I’m working on on a daily basis – progress not perfection my friend.

In order to help myself overcome this, I created this Mini Goal Planning Workbook to help keep me on track. It doesn’t have all the fluff of a lot of other goal planners out there, so if you’re anything like me, this is the workbook for you!

You can download the free mini workbook here, or you can purchase the full workbook here!

Answer the Question: Who do you want to be?

A lot of times, we set goals for ourselves that have nothing to do with our ultimate goals in life. And if they aren’t going to bring us closer to the women that we want to be, why should we expend energy on them?

The first step in deciding what our goals should be deciding on who we ultimately want to be in life.

So, who do you ultimately want to be in life?

Write it down. Draw it. Make a Pinterest board.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but spend some time visualizing who the person is that you want to become.

Use If/Then Statements

Another huge problem that I myself have run into is actually making myself put in the work to accomplish my goals.

For example, you tell yourself you’re going to cut out soda (or Pop for my Northern friends 😉 ) for a whole year, but you’ve been drinking 2 or 3 a day for awhile now.

I hate to break it to you, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to cut it (or anything else) cold turkey.

Or even the opposite. You haven’t been to the gym in a long time and you tell yourself you’re going to go every day for three months.

Been there, had that goal.

It’s rough.

So instead of phasing your goals in absolutes like that, use if/then statements – kind of like setting up rewards for yourself.

Some examples:

  • If I drink a gallon of water, then I can have a soda. (By the time you are done drinking a gallon of water, you probably won’t want a soda.)
  • If I go to the gym three times this week then I can have a glass of wine.
  • If I get all the housework done first thing in the morning, the kids and I will go to the park.

The hardest part to if/then statements can still be that willpower to not have soda even though you’ve drank 90oz of water, or whatever your statement is; however, it does make it a bit easier.

Aim for Progress Over Perfection

So many times when other women come to me asking why they can’t hit their goals and I ask them what their goals are I hear things like:

  • I want to workout every day for 60 days
  • I want to drink a gallon of water every day for 100 days
  • I want to lose 30 pounds by summer
  • I want to completely cut out candy and chocolate right now

While these might seem like achievable goals, they are worded in a way that sets you up for failure from day one. This is because if you miss one day then you have ultimately failed.

So, if you work out 56 of the 60 days, does that make you a failure?

According to the way you have worded your goal, it does.

So, how should you set your goals?

In short, be more broad and focus on progress over perfection.

For example:

  • Work out 5x a week (doesn’t matter which days)
  • Drink 4 yeti’s full of water before drinking anything else
  • Lose 2 pant sizes

If you notice, I didn’t add any dates to these goals. For the majority of the population, dates and specifics discourage most people. The first time they miss a day (whether it be to sickness or anything else) you consider yourself a failure, and guess what? You’re not!

Progress over perfection, love.

So many times we want each New Year (or whenever you set your goals) to become the perfect version of ourselves; however, we fail to realize how important simple progress can be.

If you go from drinking 5 cans of soda a day to only one, you haven’t failed, you have progressed.

So, quit setting goals that set you up for failure from day one, and start looking at the progress you have made toward hitting your ultimate end goal of the woman that you want to become – that’s what matters the most.

Because I promise you, there’s not going to be much (if any) difference in your body if you work out 56 of the 60 days you set your goal to be.

Fake it Until You Make It 

When I heard the following phrase, my entire mindset shift:

“Live as though you have already reached your goals, and your goals will naturally come.”

I have absolutely no idea where this came from, but it makes so much sense!

There is so much power packed within our words. If you tell someone that you hate going to the gym, is it going to make it harder to go to the gym once you get off work and you’re absolutely exhausted?

Of course!

So, even if you don’t mean it right now, but you want to mean it some day, tell everyone that you can’t go home without going to the gym because it’s just part of who you are – you have to work out!

Or

Instead of telling someone that you “can’t drink soda”, tell them that you “don’t drink soda until you’ve had your full water amount for the day or else you don’t feel like yourself”.

If we stop using restrictive verbiage when talking about our goals, and act as though we’ve already hit them, it will make it a lot easier to become the women that we dreamed of at the beginning of this blog post.

________

Well, there you have it lady.

The five practical ways that I myself have changed my goal planning in order to make myself more successful in hitting the goals I set for myself.

Just a quick recap:

  • Quit wasting your time planning – use this planner workbook instead
  • Answer the question: Who do you want to be?
  • Use if then statements
  • Aim for progress over perfection
  • Fake it ‘til you make it

Now that you have the tools to plan your goals successfully, download our mini goal planning kit (Remember, it doesn’t have to be a new year, month or week in order to set goals. You can start right now!) by following the link here >>> FREE MINI GOAL PLANNING KIT

If you enjoy our mini kit, purchase our full simple goal planning kit on Etsy here >>> THE SIMPLIFIED GOAL PLANNER

As always, I’m so thankful for you lovely ladies reading this. It’s because of your love and support I’m able to do what I do!

Love,

Ashlee Lanham

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