When we approach the start of a new quarter, thinking about the status of our goals for the year is only natural. And it’s completely normal for motivation to come in spurts. It can be hard to stay motivated throughout the calendar year.
But if we allow ourselves to get knocked off track, there’s no hope we’ll ever establish a pattern of setting goals and crushing them. So how do I do it? With five easy steps.
We’ve discussed all the components of this system before, so hopefully, you’re familiar with the building blocks in play here. But it’s the combination of these tactics that is the real magic. When I commit to doing each of these steps, I’m able to keep my motivation consistent throughout the year.
1. Improve Your Self-Talk
When you fall short of reaching a goal, how do you treat yourself and speak to yourself about it? Do you find yourself thinking things like, “See, I knew I couldn’t do it!” or “Why did I even try in the first place?” If so, plug your own ears!
No, really—you can’t talk to yourself that way and expect to be a top performer. Positive self-talk is powerful, but so is negative self-talk. You can doom your efforts if you allow yourself to get mired in thoughts about everything you haven’t accomplished or why you can’t do something.
When you find yourself struggling with the urge to beat yourself up over a perceived failure, try instead to remember why you set out to do this thing in the first place. What was the point of all this? And if you can pull yourself up and get it done, what will the end result be?
Get back into that motivated and excited headspace, and stop telling yourself you’re not good enough. We are what we tell ourselves.
2. Write Down Your Goals and Share Them
Did you know that you’re seven times more likely to hit your goal when you write it down and share it with someone? It makes sense if you think about it: Writing down your goals adds a tangible level of accountability to the process.
For example, if I tell you I’m going to run a marathon, and the next time you see me, you ask how training is going, I have to be honest with you, right? If I haven’t started yet, I have to own up to that (or tell a big lie). Sharing your goals keeps you honest and motivated, and it also means you’re going to need a very good excuse if you decide to abandon your plan.
3. Evaluate Your Goals Often
I have reminders in my calendar set every single year for January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st. On those days, I review my goals. At a minimum, you should be reviewing your goals quarterly.
The start of a new quarter is the perfect opportunity to evaluate your progress and determine if you need to make any adjustments or changes. Not only does this help you regularly assess where you’re at, but it also helps you stay motivated and out in front of your goals all year long.
Remember that these evaluations are not a time to punish yourself if you’ve fallen behind, but rather an opportunity to realign and find a renewed sense of purpose. Even if you’re not where you want to be, don’t throw the goal out of the window; staying motivated takes work!
4. Keep Your Goals in Front of You
Laminate a list and stick it in your shower. Make it the background picture on your phone. Print it and frame it on your wall. Heck, put it on a sticky note and slap it on your monitor.
Do whatever works for you! But it’s so important that you be able to see your goals every day when you’re going about your work.
Keeping them displayed in a prominent place helps you stay motivated by keeping them top-of-mind. It ensures that every day, with everything you undertake, you’re working towards meeting them. Don’t put the work into setting your goals and intentions for the next year in December and then never look at them until the following December. That’s a recipe for disappointment.
5. Don’t Quit!
Things will not always be easy. Goals are goals not because they’re automatic, but because they require effort and dedication. But the most important part of this process is this: Do not quit. Even if you fall behind, don’t give up.
Sure, you might have to tweak your goal a little bit. But just because you can’t do every single thing you set out to do doesn’t mean you can’t still achieve something.
If you set out to lose 20 pounds next year, and by October, you’ve only lost one, chances aren’t likely you’re losing the other 19. But isn’t losing two pounds better than losing zero? Just because you’ve adjusted your goal does not mean you’ve failed.
It’s important to give yourself grace because you’re a person, not a robot. If you find yourself tempted to quit, go back to number one on this list. Improve that self-talk, and recapture that motivation and energy. Before you know it, you’ll have no trouble staying motivated all year long
Until next time—go sell some stuff!