Practicing Seeking

Setting Realistic Goals — And How To Reach Them

It’s finally 2021, time for a fresh start and a new focus.

Setting a goal for a new year is a great motivator. But with goals comes a lot of pressure. And as we start to see the tail-end of January, those initial goals may have gotten a little wobbly. So let’s regroup (but frankly, this advice is good for any time of year).

Throughout the pandemic, many people created goals to keep themselves busy, whether it was learning a new skill, creating an artistic masterpiece, or renovating their living space. On the other hand, a lot of people dealt with blockages due to the mental health issues that spread as fast as COVID.

It’s important to be gentle with yourself when it comes to goal-setting. Not everyone has the capacity to master the guitar or write a novel during this time. But, that doesn’t mean you should shy away from goal-setting. The trick is to create attainable goals that actually fit your lifestyle. Here are some tips and tricks to set a goal that’ll work for you.

Create A Specific Vision

The first step with any goal is to create a vision. That could range from wanting to drink more water to starting a new business. Whatever your vision is, make it as specific as possible. This will allow you to really know when you’ve made it to your goal.

Draw Up A Plan

Every goal needs a plan. Without one, you may find yourself frustrated and reaching for something with no direction. Make a list of what you need to complete your goal — and the accompanying actions you must take.

Make A Timeline

Once you know what you need for your goal and the steps to take to get there, make a timeline. It’s a great tool to keep yourself on track with your vision and keep it moving forward. Make sure your timeline is realistic so that you won’t be let down if things don’t work out exactly the way you planned.

Celebrate the Small Victories

The journey is just as important as the accomplishment of the goal. To keep yourself motivated, celebrate the small victories along the way. Not only will this keep your focus intact, but it will make the journey more enjoyable. Feel proud of your mini-accomplishments!

Stay Flexible

It’s important to stay flexible. If your plan or timeline isn’t working, change it up. Remember, being gentle with yourself is key, so don’t get discouraged if you have to tailor your plan. What matters is staying accountable to your vision and pushing through the obstacles that get in your way.

-Laurie Riihimaki

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

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Laurie Riihimaki is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and busy-bee covering topics such as sex and relationships, holistic medicine and self-care, and career and personal development. Laurie's background and studies with theatre in Boston, London, and New York City have helped her to create a fun, comical voice that she utilizes in her writing. When she is not writing for work, Laurie puts time into developing novels, poetry, and personal essays. And when she isn't writing she is spending time directing, acting, painting, exploring nature, reading, or spending time with family and her dog, of course.

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