Goal Setting 101: Executing Your Goals
In my previous two posts, we covered establishing your goal and strategizing. Now it is time to follow through! Executing your goals and following-through is really up to you. It is your responsibility to hold yourself accountable and commit to the work. However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that makes it a lot easier! Head to the bottom of this post to download all my free goal-setting resources & read the other two posts in this series.
1. Hold yourself accountable.
Easier said than done, right? It’s way too easy to get distracted and far too tempting to procrastinate. Some great methods to hold yourself accountable are:
- Write daily to-do lists
- Get a planner/agenda
- Find an accountability buddy or hire an accountability coach
- Write in your workbook (or journaling) regularly
PS: I have ALL these resources available for free download below to help get you started. Go grab em!
2. Positive Mindset & Framework.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Your mind is your greatest asset”? Probably, and as you get older, you discover that it couldn’t be more true! How did Taylor Swift put it? A nightmare dressed like a daydream.
Your mindset affects you more than you think. Without a positive mindset, you’d be rather pessimistic – unable to push through challenges, setbacks, the ups, the downs. You’d be unable to learn and grow. A positive mindset keeps you going. A positive mindset does not mean you are unicorns and rainbows all day, every day. Cultivating a positive mindset means you to look for the positives and learning opportunities in every situation. A positive mindset will ultimately help you visualize and reach your goals!
“It’s better to set a goal on something positive that you do want, rather than something negative that you don’t want,” – Simon Rego, PsyD.
How do you set up a positive framework? Here’s an example, “I want to improve my equitation” rather than saying, “I want to stop looking horrible when riding.” A lot of research has been around approach goals (positive) and avoidance goals (negative). Studies have shown that working towards avoidance goals leads to 1) less satisfaction with progress and more negative feelings around progress with goals, 2) lower self-esteem, 3) less satisfaction with life, and 4) feeling less competent.
3. Set Boundaries.
If you’re like me, it’s super easy to get distracted and bite off more than you can chew. I’m a jack of all trades and love to get my hands dirty. I also love saying “YES”! But, taking on more than I can handle usually gets me in trouble. True, I always meet my goals and get the job done. But, by the end of it, I find myself burnt out, irritated, angry, and exhausted. Setting boundaries is really important to make sure life stays enjoyable for you. You can continue working towards your goal effectively. To help you pinpoint where you may need boundaries, ask yourself these questions:
- What things do I enjoy doing? These are tasks you like to do and enrich your life.
- What are the things I should be doing? These are tasks maybe you already do, or you need to be doing more of.
- What are things I should not be doing? These are things that people come to you for, and they should be asking someone else. Stop being their “yes-man.”
4. Take Breaks & Rest.
If you are feeling emotional, irritated, unmotivated, sad, frustrated, these are signs you need to take a break and rest. Take a break from work, social media, and just rest. Listen to your mind and body, figure out what type of rest you need; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, or creative rest… I know you probably just want to power through and get the job done. Still, it will be a lot easier and better for everyone (including yourself) if you take 30 minutes to go for a walk, watch a show on Netflix, or nap.
5. Set Rewards for Yourself.
Give yourself a reward every time you make a win, hit a checkpoint, and be sure to give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your goal. It not only trains your mind using positive reinforcement, but it makes things much more enjoyable.
Types of rewards: Entertainment (watch Netflix!), food (Starbies!), self-care (face masks, massage, bath), shopping (pick up your fav item from Kerrits!), travel / outdoor rewards (go for a swim, go skating, go explore a nearby forest)…
6. Set Reminders.
Reminders are essential to keep your goals relevant. You want to remind yourself of your goals, the motivation behind them, and re-evaluate your goals regularly. Reflect on your goals once a week, remind yourself of your intentions, and ensure your goals still align with where you want to end up.
Reminders can come in different shapes and forms. They can be notifications you set on your phone, you can change your phone wallpaper to be your vision board, add some motivational quotes that remind you of your intentions, taking time every day or once a week to sit down and re-read all your goals, or giving yourself a mental slap to boss up when you start doubting yourself.
Personally, I really love motivational quotes. With the new iOS 14 update, I made a quote widget at the top of each page on my phone. Every time I am on my phone, I read a different motivational quote (I have over 40 that rotate automatically, so I’m bound to get a new one every time). Mine are equestrian motivational mantras. They are messages that really speak to me, remind me of my goals, and motivate me. I have my motivational mantras pack available for free download on my site (click HERE), along with iOS 14 tutorials available on my IGTV. I highly recommend taking the time to do this. It is so encouraging to read these motivational quotes when I first wake up and throughout the day.
7. Normalize Setbacks.
It’s inevitable for challenges to arise. Sometimes they uproot your whole life (*cough cough* Covid-19), and you need to pivot and shift your goals. Normalize setbacks because they are inevitable and a huge part of life. Pivoting is not easy, and it can be discouraging. In moments like those, you need to sit down and go through the goal-setting strategizing process again. You need to review where you were versus where you are now and ask yourself if this is still a feasible goal. If it is no longer attainable, there is no shame in setting that goal on the back burner. If it is still attainable, audit yourself and pinpoint the changes you need to make to bring you closer to your goal.
8. Train yourself to be Proactive versus Reactive.
The year 2020 was filled with uncertainty. It stirred up a lot of negative emotions for us all because it uprooted our whole world. I am sure many of you set goals for 2020, and they didn’t quite pan out the way you hoped! Now that 2021 is here, many are hesitant to set goals. There is this fear of disappointment – the majority don’t want to get their hopes up for nothing. I am here to reassure you that it’s okay to be upset, angry, disappointed, pissed off when your plans go out the window. What’s important is how you cope. Train yourself to be proactive rather than reactive when you face setbacks. It takes time, and for most, it’s a constant work in progress. Feel your emotions and validate them, but don’t let them be an “out” from your goals.
9. SET MULTIPLE TIME PARAMETERS
This is a goal-setting life hack. When strategizing and setting a timeframe, set THREE time parameters. We’ve all been in a situation where we set a goal, work super hard to get there, and it doesn’t pan out in the time frame we anticipated. You feel pretty disappointed and crappy after, right? It can be discouraging for sure! Setting THREE time parameters prevents that, and pushes you to follow-through. The FIRST parameter is going to be your outrageously awesome timeline (i.e. 6 months). The SECOND is going to be your target parameter (i.e. 1 year). The THIRD is going to be your worst case scenario parameter (i.e. 2 years).
I hope you all enjoyed this three-part series. I know that you are all bosses, and whatever you set your mind to, you will accomplish! Feel free to shoot me any questions or leave a comment below. I have a ton of goal-setting resources & free worksheets available for you guys under “freebies” OR click the button below! Be sure to connect with me on Instagram for more goal-setting goodness. Tally ho!