How to Stay Committed to Yourself & Achieve Your Goals
If you're a goal-getter, big dreamer, and visionary, this one is for you!
At some point in my early twenties, I realized just how much of a goal setter I am. Before this realization, I had only focused on achieving goals that others had set for me--related to school, work, and other typical responsibilities. So when I decided to start honing in on my personal goals, I found myself continually dreaming but unsure how to carry out these goals successfully. I didn't know how to protect my time, vocalize the importance of my plans to those around me, or move the needle forward.
And I asked myself why it was so challenging to work on my own goals and dreams when I never struggled to achieve goals that others had set for me before. That's when the lightbulb went off. I had no problem setting boundaries and working tirelessly when someone else expected that of me, but I didn't have enough respect for myself to stay committed to the things I wanted to do. At that point, I quickly learned that if I ever wanted to achieve my own goals, I had to hold myself accountable and stay committed to myself. It's no easy feat, but I firmly believe anyone can do it with the right tools, resources, and mindset.
Here are seven actionable tips I've learned over the years to help me stay committed to myself and achieve my goals:
- Get crystal clear about what your goals are and why you want to accomplish them. You can't commit to yourself if you aren't clear on what you're committing to and why you want to do it. For a long time, I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish but wasn't clear about which of the goals on the list I should chase first or why they were important to me. This lack of clarity led me to a constant state of overwhelm, and I realized I wasn't achieving anything. One of the hardest parts of this process is that no one else can tell you what your personal goals should be. You have to decide for yourself what matters most, which may require some soul-searching and vision casting to allow you to get to where you want to go.
- Map out the steps involved in achieving each of your goals. A broad plan will work for now. You can fill in all of the details later! Once you've identified your goals and why they matter to you, start mapping out a plan. Identify the steps you'll need to take to help you get from the start line to the finish line. Even if it's just a messy dump of steps, determine what they are, and you can worry about organizing them later. Will you need specific resources? How about training? Are there educational components you'll need? Write down every single step you think you might need and what that could look like for you. Over time, you can add details to your goal plan (e.g., take specific training on a particular date).
- Start adding time for your goals to your daily schedule. Consider this time non-negotiable, and stick to it! With an overall plan of what you're going to do, start building time into your schedule to get to work. You're never going to find the time, so you have to make time for your personal goals, just like making time for all of your other responsibilities and commitments. This commitment is no different from the others, so treat it as such. Perhaps you can commit to waking up one hour earlier every day to work on your goals, or maybe you're more of a late-night person who will swap an hour of Netflix for an hour of goal work. Whatever the case may be for you, make the time, pencil it in, and hold yourself accountable for showing up at that designated timeframe.
- Set up systems to ensure you can and will hold yourself accountable. For the last couple of years, I've leaned into the personal mantra, "I do not break promises to myself." When I make a promise to myself and commit to a goal that I want to achieve solely for me, I remind myself when times get hard that I value promises I make to myself just as much as any other. Revisiting this mantra is a system I've set up that allows me to remember my why or reprioritize tasks on my to-do list when I don't make time to work on my goals. It doesn't have to be a mantra; it could be an accountability partner you trust or a reward system of some sort--choose a method that will motivate you along the way and help keep you accountable.
- Surround yourself with a supportive circle, and better yet, with others whose values align with yours. Have you ever heard the saying, "You become who you surround yourself with"? Whether or not you believe this to be true, the reality is that if you surround yourself with a circle that doesn't understand how important your goals are to you or is always trying to throw you off schedule and drag you out for the night, you'll struggle to get to where you want to go. Finding individuals whose values align with my own (e.g., being growth-oriented) is one of the most helpful ways I've been able to create more time for the visions I want to carry out.
- Learn how to say "no" to situations and opportunities that do not serve you. Setting boundaries will only benefit you in the long run. When you first start to identify your personal goals and how important they are to you, you'll have to learn how to set boundaries. You might have to turn down a get-together with friends if you had already planned to spend that time working on your goals, for example. You don't have to flip your life upside down and turn down every invitation that comes your way, but it's crucial to find balance and understand that you also have to prioritize yourself.
- Celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Every win is worth celebrating! It's not easy to think openly about the goals you want to achieve without someone asking you to do them and start to carry them out successfully. Keep track of your progress, and schedule a time to celebrate your wins just as you would to work on your goals. Treat yourself and pat yourself on the back every step of the way! Remember, if someone else isn't setting the destination for you, no one else will likely celebrate your progress either. Choose to be your biggest fan.
Are you ready to get out there and crush your goals? Download my FREE Personal Goal Planning Workbook to help you get started and track your progress!