One Day at a Time: Setting Goals and Forming Habits in the New Year
At the beginning of each year, a lot of people commit to a New Year’s Resolution. Some work towards a personal goal, while others attempt something that will improve their professional lives.
Unfortunately, most people who make a New Year’s Resolution don’t end up seeing it through. By the time February comes around, they are left wondering, “what happened?!”
At this point, you might feel tempted to give up and try again next year. But, don’t let this be your resolution’s fate - it doesn’t have to fall by the wayside!
Check out the tips below for help with setting and achieving your goals.
Start by Setting Small Goals
You’ve heard it before - to achieve one big goal, you need to work towards smaller ones along the way.
Although it may seem cliche, this is often the most effective method. Achieving small goals in pursuit of a larger one will make the whole thing seem less daunting, and it will give you the sense of accomplishment you need to keep on pushing!
For example, let’s say your 2022 goal is to increase your online following by 1000. If you want high-quality followers who will turn these numbers into actual engagement, you’re not going to find them overnight.
A good first goal to set would be to start small with 50 followers over the next month. Once you achieve that, you can repeat the process and watch your following grow exponentially throughout the year! Think about writing engaging comments on other accounts. Social media is meant to be SOCIAL! Use it as a communication tool and get to know new people in your area by looking up accounts of local places, stores, and restaurants to follow. See what accounts follow them and who you may be able to connect with by writing a genuine comment on their post.
These small goals will show you that, with enough work and drive, you can get to where you want to be. Plus, seeing everything fall into place over time will excite and motivate you to continue.
Do One Thing Every Day to Further Your Goals
Balancing the steps towards your resolution, along with all your other work and personal life obligations, can get tough. You might feel like you have to spend hours each day working towards your objectives, but this often makes the whole process seem overwhelming and unachievable.
The best solution? Focus on one small thing each day.
Going with the example of increasing your following, you might want to begin by engaging with your current followers. There are quite a few ways to do this, but some of the best (and easiest!) include:
● Replying to comments and messages
● Commenting on your followers’ posts
● Following back current customers or clients
Aim to spend about 30 minutes to one hour each day taking small steps like these. It might not feel like you’re making much progress at first, but you’d be surprised at just how much the little things add up over time!
Look to Others for Advice
You probably know what you want to achieve, but might not be quite sure of the best steps to take to get there. In this case, you should try looking to others who have achieved similar goals.
There are tons of success stories online, and many individuals are willing to share the steps they took to accomplish their lifelong goals.
Whether you’re looking to achieve a personal or professional goal, you’ll find another person who was once in your shoes. There are lots of resources available on the Internet and in the community, including:
● TED Talks
● Blog posts
● YouTube videos
You might feel alone and lost at first, but with a little bit of research, you’ll be shocked at just how many people started right where you are.
Not only will this give you some valuable advice, but it’ll also encourage you to keep going - if others can accomplish these things, you can too!
Forming Habits and Making Changes
Whether it’s due to a lack of time, little motivation, or simply forgetting a day or two here and there, a lot of people find it difficult to take the small steps that will help them achieve their goals over time.
At its core, achieving goals is all about forming habits that will lead to a lifestyle change.
21 Days to Form Habits
Did you know that research suggests it takes just 21 days, or three weeks, for a repeated action to become a habit?!
That means, if you follow the advice listed above, like setting and working towards small goals every day, you’ll start doing it automatically after just three weeks.
As we’ve discussed, these don’t have to be big, time-consuming tasks. It could be as simple as remembering to go to the gym every day after work or replying to customers’ comments on Instagram before you go to bed.
The first couple of weeks will probably be tough. However, the important thing is to keep pushing through. After a while, it’ll be harder to stop than it was to start!
Keep going after these three weeks, and eventually, it will become something you do every single day without even thinking about it.
A New Year is the perfect opportunity to start working towards the goals you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s personal or professional, your goal is achievable and progress will come quicker than you had expected.
When working towards your objectives, keep the following things in mind:
● Stay positive
● Don’t give up
● Focus on one thing at a time
At the end of the day, know that you have the drive, skills, and knowledge to get where you want to be. Other people just like you have done it in the past - the only thing standing between you and your goals is finding the motivation to start!