Was 2022 supposed to be the year of the new you? Maybe you were going to read more books, or learn how to sew, or start exercising more, or any number of other things. Or maybe you’re not the kind of person who believes in New Year’s Resolutions at all, and that’s okay too! New Year’s Resolutions are just a seasonal form of goal setting and everyone can agree that it’s good to have goals.
Setting a goal, however, is very different from actually making progress toward achieving it. It’s easy to write down a list of things we’d like to accomplish. The hard part is doing the work and accomplishing them, and that doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on how big your goal is, accomplishing it could take days, weeks, months, even years. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a step back every once in a while to take stock of what is working and what isn’t so that you can determine whether you need to shift your strategies. Here are some simple tips to help you reevaluate your goals, assess your progress, and take the next step towards achieving them:
Carve Out 30 Minutes To Reflect on the Goals You Made at the Beginning of the Year
If you’re a procrastinator like me, then just getting started might be the hardest step, but don’t stress. All you need is 30 minutes to yourself so you can check in with your goals. It shouldn’t be torture, either, so try to make it fun! Pour yourself a nice cup of tea (or wine, depending on what time it is), put on your favorite playlist, go sit outside, and enjoy the process.
Evaluate Where You Are in Accomplishing Your Goals
The idea of “evaluating yourself” can feel overwhelming, but don’t think of it like your quarterly evaluation at work. It doesn’t need to be quite that dramatic. Instead, think of this as self-reflection time as opposed to an “evaluation.” You’re not crunching numbers so much as taking stock of how far you’ve come and/or how far you still have to go. If there are some things you’ve already accomplished, then check those suckers off the list! Maybe it’s the Type A in me, but I think there are few things more satisfying in life than crossing completed items off a to-do list.
Setting a goal is very different from actually achieving it.
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Before you give yourself a hard time for the things you haven’t yet accomplished, give yourself a pat on the back for the things you have done. Even if it’s something small, it’s still a goal that you set out for yourself and then achieved, and you deserve some credit.
If You Gave Up on Any Goals, Refocus on the Reasons Why You Wrote Them Down in the First Place
Are there goals on your list that you gave up on or even forgot about? If so, then think back on exactly why you chose those goals for yourself. How were you feeling at the beginning of the year? What was making you want to run a 5k or learn a new language? Focusing on the why behind your goals instead of the goals themselves can be helpful in finding the motivation to achieve them.
Determine Whether They’re Still Your Goals
Let’s say you decided you wanted to learn how to play the piano. Why did you set that goal for yourself? Is playing piano something that really interests you or was it a fleeting desire that was sparked after watching a friend's Instagram story? If it’s still a genuine goal that you intend to pursue, then leave it on the list. But if it’s something you’re simply not interested in doing anymore or if you can’t even remember why you wrote it down in the first place, then perhaps it’s best to…
Remove Goals That No Longer Serve You
We all give up on goals sometimes, and while it’s not necessarily admirable, it’s not always a bad thing. It’s better to be honest with yourself about what you want (and don’t want) so you can focus your energy on the things that are most important. That way, you’re more likely to actually achieve something as opposed to half-heartedly making headway on goals that you don’t really care about anymore.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream.”
Make a Plan To Accomplish Your Remaining Goals
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list to a set of goals you actually do want to accomplish, it’s time to make a plan. After all, “a goal without a plan is just a dream.” If you decided to keep that goal of running a 5k, then start planning your training runs for the coming week. Don’t be afraid to start slow, either. Maybe your first training run is actually just a walk. That’s okay! The year might be halfway over, but there are still six months left for you to accomplish the things on your list, so focus on just taking the first step.
Update Your Calendar with Any Remaining Milestones
So you’ve evaluated all the things on your list, and that’s great, but you’re not done yet. Update your calendar for another check-in in a few weeks so that you can hold yourself accountable long-term.
Don’t Be Afraid To Think Smaller
We often think of goals as these big, grand things we need to accomplish. But the truth is, a goal can be as small and simple as meditating for one minute per day or eating an extra serving of veggies or making your bed. It’s all well and good to set big goals, but it’s important to make sure that goals are actually achievable as well. That’s why it’s often better to carve up your bigger goals into smaller, more immediately actionable steps.
So what goals do you have left on your list for the rest of 2022? Maybe you want to learn a new skill or take better care of your skin or finally stick to a budget. No goal is too small, and it’s never too late to set a new one.
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