This time of the *new* year is always an exciting time. People are feeling hopeful as they’re thinking of ways to make the coming year better and better. However, setting goals is a different story than keeping them. A lot of us have a difficult time with follow through.
Follow through (v): the ability to finish what we start.
People don’t realize that follow through is a habit. You can make it a habit by starting to finish your small tasks. Are you dropping the ball halfway through little/big projects? Stop getting distracted in the middle of your email, and finish what you start. The compound effect of simple, daily choices to follow through on small things will lead to follow through on your big goals. So, choose one big thing that you would like to focus on this year and commit yourself to beginning a new thing.
In the graph above, a bad day is working on a variety of smaller things, but not completing any of them. A good day is working on one project and finishing the whole thing. Whatever you resolve for this year, simplify & make it small. Lastly, don’t make your goal optional. When you don’t have an option-- such as turning in a 10 page paper at school or finishing a project at work-- you follow through because you don’t have any other option. So, why are your goals less important than what your school, company, relationships, or coach sets for you? Keep the promises that you made to yourself.
1. Enjoy the process
One of the hardest concepts for us to grasp is learning to enjoy the journey along the way. It’s so easy to focus on the destination, but hate the steps that it takes to get there. If you want to save money this year, but love to get new clothes, then focus on other areas that you can save money, or figure out how you’re spending money by beginning to budget. Your process of success might look different than the next person, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get to where you want to go. So, start by breaking down your main resolution into smaller goals and remember that the process is going to create the long-term lifestyle that you want!
2. Put a pen to paper
Write it down! It’s impossible to completely prioritize your goals when you’re just thinking your goals because so many thoughts run through your head at any one time. Putting a pen to paper will create a bridge between your thoughts and actions, and help you be clear on the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Writing down your goals will also help your conscious and subconscious communicate so that it becomes better ingrained in you. So…
Write it on a notecard and tape it to your mirror
Write it every day in your journal or create small steps for yourself in a bullet journal
Write it in the notes section of your phone
3. Invest in yourself
Prioritize the resolution you made + believe in yourself by investing in yourself. This can include monetary investments like spending money on a class, getting a personal trainer or coach, or an upgrade on new equipment. Investing in yourself can also mean making an effort to consistently take time for yourself. We’re always giving our time to other things like our job, relationships, or to-do list, but not prioritizing our own health & well-being. Sit down and make time for “me”, whatever that looks like. Reconnect with the deeper parts of yourself that wants to reach the goal and understand the “why” behind it. Continuously taking the time to understand why you set the goal in the first place will remind you of the bigger picture. Put it in your daily schedule by skipping a half hour of TV time or social media.
4. Find an expander
An expander is a person, activity, or object that will literally help you “see it to believe it”. This could be someone who has already accomplished your goal: either in your life, a mutual friend, someone you follow on instagram, or a documentary you watch. It could also be an activity or object that helps you visualize where you want to be. Want to adopt a dog? Spend time in a dog park, dog sit for a friend, or volunteer at a shelter. These people + things can help your subconscious open up to the reality that you can do these things. There’s something better for you, you just have to be able to truly visualize + believe it.
5. Be accountable to someone
There’s something powerful about telling other people about the goals you set; and, there’s something even more powerful about pursuing the same goal with a friend, partner, family member, neighbor, or coworker. Having a partner or person who is keeping you accountable will ensure that someone can be strong when you are feeling weak. The reality is that there will be plenty of times that you don’t want to keep working towards the goal you set. An accountability partner will be there to remind you of why you set that goal in the first place. Thankfully, when you join a SheFactor squad and download the app you’ll find people who are goal-oriented, like-minded gals just like you!
What’s the most effective strategy that you have for following through with your goals?