I really think that Nike slogan is pure genius. It’s so easy to make excuses for not doing something you should, whether that’s exercising or finishing your college degree. There will always be a reason NOT to do something. That’s why you should Just Do it! But, sometimes a little planning can take you a lot further than a corporate slogan can, no matter how brilliant it is.
We’re halfway through the year, and many of you may be assessing how far you’ve gotten with your New Year’s Resolutions. Are you on track, or have you wandered off course? If you’ve lost your way, here are 5 easy steps to help you get back on the right path when it comes to goal setting.
1. Be specific – don’t set a vague goal. One of my goals was to publish three books in 2012. I’m more than halfway there with one released in April, the second scheduled for August 31st and another at the end of 2012. If I had simply said, “I want to publish more books,” there would have been no way for me to track my progress, and it would be a lot easier to just dismiss that goal altogether.
2. Be realistic – I didn’t set an unachievable goal of publishing 10 books. I still have a day job, which only leaves so much time for all the little tasks that go into publishing a book. If you set the bar too high, you’ll either kill yourself trying to reach it, or you’ll kill yourself for not reaching it. Do yourself a favor and inject a little reality into your dreams. You are only human, after all.
3. Prioritize – some goals are going to get pushed to the back burner. One of my goals was to devote more time to my yoga practice. Well, the first couple months of this year were totally nuts and I just didn’t have the time or energy to practice yoga more than once a week. And I decided that was okay. I would put that goal aside, while I took care of some much more important matters, and then return to it when life allowed.
4. Take baby steps – set small milestones to help you reach your goals. One of my goals was to finish my novel, Picture Perfect, by June 1st. I had about 40,000 words yet to complete when I set that goal, and knowing such a big task was ahead of me, I had to figure out how to tackle it. I decided to do it chapter by chapter. Breaking it down into small chunks made it easier to accomplish. I just focused on that one chapter until it was done. And then I moved on to the next. And by June 1st, I had met my goal.
5. Celebrate the milestones – achieving a big goal, such as writing a novel, is going to take time. Make sure to celebrate the completion of the milestones along the way to stay motivated. Post your accomplishments to Facebook and Twitter, or simply share them with your family. Just make sure to give yourself a much deserved pat on the back.
So, now that you’re armed with a little ammunition, it’s time to aim for the bull’s eye, and Just Do it!