Stay on Track — Don’t Look Back! 7 Tips on Actually Reaching Your Goals

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Setting goals can sometimes feel overwhelming, but if you plan your goals incrementally, you set yourself up for the best shot at hitting your target. When you set smaller, more attainable goals on the path to your bigger goals, each goal you achieve becomes a motivator, pushing you further toward your ultimate aim.

You might fall off track from time to time. That’s okay — do not be hard on yourself. Instead, simply begin moving again. While you’re at it, find ways to stay on track so that you slip less and less each time.

Here are seven tips to help you set — and stick to — a path to your goals:

1. Find the Magic in the Mentor

Whenever you put a plan of action in place, you will need to find ways to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes, that means getting some outside help.

A mentor is someone who will guide and teach you while providing resources to assist with your goals. Importantly, a mentor can also be an accountability partner. They can check in on your progress and help you stay focused. Look for someone who has experience in your field and the know-how to help you reach new heights.

2. Don’t Use the Elevator — Take the Stairs

There are great benefits to reap from maintaining a healthy lifestyle — including the fact that living healthy will help you get the energy you need to keep striving for your goals.

A healthy lifestyle starts with eating nutritious foods in the right portions. Keep track of what you currently eat and drink, and then begin to eliminate the unhealthy choices. You can also implement exercise throughout the workday, even if it’s something small. For example, there is exercise equipment you can purchase to keep your legs moving while you work at a desk! You can also do simple exercises while on your breaks.

You don’t have to eliminate all your bad habits or totally overhaul your lifestyle at once. As with any goal, incremental steps will serve as a motivator.

3. Take Out the Trash

Working in a messy environment can be distracting and stressful. The process of decluttering will help alleviate your stress, which in turn makes your work environment more pleasant and more conducive to focusing on your goals.

Clutter extends to your digital environment, too. Begin by going through your junk emails and unsubscribing from all the email lists you do not need. Create folders to organize your most important files. Set aside a specific amount of time to look through your email inbox, and limit that to twice a day. Email can quickly become an additional time waster if you’re not careful.

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4. Dress Up and Show Up

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, most of us have been forced to work from home for close to a year. If you’re one of the many who stay in their pajamas throughout the workday, I recommend changing it up. Get up early, take a shower, and dress for work. Getting properly dressed will boost your self-esteem and help you get into a mindset that is more conducive to focusing on your goals.

5. Invest in Yourself

Continually educating yourself will improve your abilities, broaden your skill set, and help you uncover additional opportunities to pursue your goals. Expanding your knowledge about your profession will help you advance in your career and foster a healthier, more productive mindset. Each time you learn something new, you’ll improve your confidence — and gain new skills to put that confidence to use.

6. Break the Negativity Chain

We are, in a sense, made up of energy. When you remain in a positive energy flow, you attract more positivity. On the other hand, if you’re stuck in a negative headspace, it becomes much harder to progress toward your goals.

Recognize when you allow negative thoughts to enter your head, and then redirect your energy by making those thoughts positive. Try using positive affirmations to help you think and act as if you’ve already reached your goal. For example, use phrases that contain the words “I can” or “I will.”

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is another way to turn things around. When you feel grateful for the things in your life, you cultivate more appreciation and positivity.

7. Journal Your Journey

Journaling is an effective tool to track your progress, identify where you encounter negativity, and eliminate your time wasters. If you are not a fan of writing, I encourage you to at least try writing down your negative thoughts when they arise. You will be amazed when you see how much less time you spend stay stuck in those moments when you recognize them right away.

Setting and achieving goals can sometimes be difficult, but if you utilize these tips, it will be that much easier to stay committed, focused, and motivated.

Stay on track — and don’t look back!

Peggy Caruso is a certified executive and personal development coach and the author of the upcomingTake the First Shot: Strategies to Fire You Up and Change Your Life (2021).  You can connect with Caruso on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

By Peggy Caruso