How to Set Better Goals (And Actually Achieve Them)

Early summer months mark the mid-way point in the year. Seems like a strange time to talk about goals, right? Well, chances are, your lofty New Year’s resolutions may be slipping. You vowed to make it to the gym 5 days a week, but lately, it’s been limited to two – if that. And that big promotion you’ve been vying for? Seems like a far away dream that might have to wait until next year.

Instead of focusing on our shortcomings, re-charge your battery and remind yourself why you set your goals in the first place. Here are a few tips for mid-year goal setting that can help you re-align your motivation and tap into your “second-wind.”

Write it down

Writing down Goals

Not on your phone, tablet or your computer. Write down your goals on a physical sheet of paper that you can smack on the refrigerator. This may seem old school, but there’s a reason why millions of people still swear by this practice. Writing down our goals make them seem more concrete, more real. You can take this practice one step further and write down your goals daily. Make it the first thing you do when you wake up. Remind yourself what you’re chasing after that day, and it will have a greater chance of becoming a reality. Don’t harp on finding a fancy journal to jot down your dreams. A yellow legal pad — heck, a napkin — will do the trick. Just make sure they’re written down in plain sight where they continuously fuel you throughout the day.

Write them down as if they already happened.

Sharing goals with friends

Ok, this may seem odd, but trust us. This works. If your goal is to publish a book, instead of writing down “I want to publish a book,” write down “I published a book.” Speaking about our goals as if they’re a reality as if they already happened, allows the mind to visualize them with more clarity. If your goal is to be a better mother, a better partner, a better friend, then write down “I am a good mother,” “I’m a great partner,” “I’m a good friend.” Creating positive pathways in the mind naturally creates more self-belief that our aspirations are true. It’s natural for us to focus on what we are lacking. Instead, focus on the resources and talents we already have that can get us closer to reaching our dreams. Our thoughts turn into actions, so make your thoughts as positive and uplifting as possible!

Start with the end, and work backwards

Start with the goal you would like to achieve, and reverse engineer your way back to the beginning. Map out what you need to do to get to that endpoint. Maybe it will require reorganizing your finances. Maybe it will mean reaching out to someone in your circle who has access to something you need. Whatever those things are, write them down. By starting with the end and working backwards, we inadvertently make a mental list of all the steps that must be taken to achieve our goal. Chances are, some of your strategies will turn up with dead ends, but keep trying and writing down new routes to reaching your dream. Remember to look for windows when the front door closes. Get creative in reaching your goals and always exhaust every outlet before throwing in the towel.