The biggest takeaway from the last year for me was to not put things off thinking that there will be time later. I’ve often been guilty of saying something is a priority and then putting it off time and time again. The phrase I always come back to though is that if something is truly important, you will find a way to make it happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I know life has a funny and often super annoying habit of getting in the way of our goals, to-do lists, and plans. There’s got to be some room for flexibility and unforeseen circumstances after all. Generally speaking, however, the issue for most people lays in setting good intentions and then completely falling off the rails when other things start getting in the way.
The biggest game-changer for me was when I started holding myself accountable for the goals I wanted to reach by writing them out and posting them where I could see them all the time. This daily visual reminder was what I needed to stay on track and start accomplishing the things I set out to do. I am fortunate to have been able to have accomplished some big things on my long-term goal list just this last year, and so far things are setting up to be the same for 2022. Did I just get lucky? Maybe, but you can read more about how I feel about that debate in my blog post Luck or Hard Work.
Truthfully I really think I owe a lot of where I am today to consistently setting goals and actually working to achieve them. I don’t always achieve every goal I set for myself in a year but I try REALLY hard to make it happen. If a goal of mine isn’t achieved, I assess why I wasn’t able to achieve it and what I can do differently this year to make it happen. Sometimes I discover that other steps are needed before I can achieve a certain goal so it requires a bit of backtracking. Making this realization isn’t a bad thing if you look at it as pivoting or adjusting instead of having failed.
For some, the issue is that they have too many goals, plans, and ideas that they don’t even know where to begin. So instead, paralyzed by the sheer enormity of it all, they do nothing. If this sounds like you, I have some ways to cope with that in my article 7 Ways to Beat To-Do List Burnout. Goal setting seems like it should be easy but it can lead to a rabbit hole of insecurity and self-doubt at times especially if you have the audacity to actually dream big. Sometimes the thing that is holding us back the most from achieving our goals is our belief in ourselves.
I was listening to a marketing podcast the other day and one of the hosts talked about advice she had been given by one of her mentors. “Plan to be a big deal.” Those words really struck me. The idea behind it being to obviously plan your life, career, or business as if you are already a success or just about to be. How would you plan differently? What goals would you set if you knew success was just around the corner?
Now, with that said, I’m not suggesting that you go make some large purchases or do anything risky financially. This exercise is more about setting the intention and operating professionally as if you already are where you want to be 2, 5, or even 10 years from now. You don’t need to be all Ron Burgandy about it, but a little self-confidence, belief in yourself, and where you are headed will go a long way in planning and reaching your goals.