Looking to implement your next brand level up? I’m a HUGE believer of setting goals. Honestly, you should see the current state of my Evernote app, it’s full of goal lists covering individual months, quarters, years and even a business bucket list! Achieving your goals is a great motivator and often helps to push us out of our comfort zones; however, I also know from years of experience that sometimes it can be hard to stick to those goals when the end result seems a little too far out of our reach.

Need a little help achieving your goals? Here’s eight simple steps you can follow to help you accomplish your goals and make them feel more achievable…

achieving your goals - business goal setting and accountability. Hertdshire brand photographer Tigz Rice photographs Personal Trainer Dee in Welwyn Garden City
Personal Trainer Dee photographed by Tigz Rice

1: Visualise your goal. Imagine right now that you’ve achieved your ultimate goal. How would your life be different? How would it feel? What positive effect would it have on you? Here’s an example goal: You’ve just nailed your work-life balance. Your life would be different because you’d be working less hours, giving you more time to spend with your friends and family, does up on some mood-boosting endorphins from daily exercise, or maybe take up that hobby you’ve been meaning to start forever. Maybe you’d have a better sleep pattern! You’d feel more rested, more balanced, happier. The positive effects will be visible in your health, mood and quite possibly in your relationships too. Placing visual references around your environment will also keep you motivated. Try creating a mode board near your desk that catches your eye several times a day.

2: Break your goal down into more manageable chunks. Some goals cannot be easily achieved in a day, so if you’re aiming for something big this year and are finding your goal a little intimidating, why not try splitting into more manageable milestones. Setting monthly interval targets that build upon previous efforts will make your goal seem far more achievable and helps you to keep track of your progress. Lets use work-life balance as an example again: If you’re working 12 hour days, 6-7 days a week, it might not feel possible to suddenly implement a 9-5 structure on yourself. Instead, maybe for the first couple of weeks, you focus on not working weekends. During month two, maybe you finish work at 7pm instead of 8pm, or schedule in daily lunch breaks to break up your day.

3: Make time. One of the biggest excuses for giving up on a goal is not having enough time to see it through or put it into action. How could you restructure your schedule to make more time for achieving your goals? Perhaps try cutting out an hour of TV a week by recording your chosen programs so you can skip the adverts (or cutting down your TV time in the first place). Or, you could try cooking all your dinners one day a week and freezing them in batches so they can just be reheated as and when you want to eat them. Alternatively, consider delegating some of your workload to someone else by hiring a cleaner or virtual assistant…

4: Remove temptation. For some resolutions, resistance to temptation can be managed by simply removing the offending item. It’s far easier to quit smoking if there are no cigarettes in the house. Similarly, it is a lot harder to keep checking your social media if you remove the apps from your phone, or use the Screen Time settings on your phone to limit your access to certain apps after, say, 9pm. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily stop your from checking your socials, it just means you have to make more of an effort to do it and, most of the time, the path involving the least resistance wins.

5: Make yourself accountable for your actions. Breaking promises made with yourself is easier than breaking promises made with others… if only to keep your pride in place! Consider getting yourself an accountability buddy, where you both check in each week, or invest in a business coach who will help you set weekly/fortnightly goals. I find both of these extremely useful in achieving my own goals.

6: Be flexible with your goal. Some goals can have instantaneous results. Others, like saving enough money for a studio deposit or publishing a book, are resolutions that have to be worked on continuously over time and can experience setbacks like unexpected bills or global pandemics! Accepting these setbacks as part of the challenge will keep you focused on your overall goal – and its completely ok if your resolution to runs into the next year. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

7: Reward yourself. Lets be honest, change is hard! Whether its treating yourself to an expensive purchase or something as simple as a hot bath and an early night, rewarding yourself every time you hit a milestone is a great way to celebrate progress and keep motivation high.

8: Remember how far you’ve come. When motivation reaches an ultimate low, just remember how much effort you’ve put in to get this far. Remember where you started and how you felt. Now revisit step one and visualise how you’ll feel when you reach your goal. Do you really want to give up now, or can you push through?

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