Hi guys! You may have noticed it’s been a while since I posted. Between London Fashion Week, adapting to a new routine, and some exciting writing commissions I’ve been really busy the past month and it’s just flown by.
I’m back, and I can promise you there are some exciting things to come. Over the next month or so there’ll be some big changes to Twenty-Something City, so remember to check back soon!
But for now – let’s chat about goal setting and motivation. It’s something I know a lot of you (heck, probably everyone) wants to improve on to make 2019 their year. I intentionally avoided a ‘new year resolutions’ or ‘what I’m going to achieve in 2019’-type post, because honestly I think setting specific goals in January is unhelpful. After a crazy December and all the festive celebrations it’s natural to want to get back to it, but who really knows exactly what they should be doing with their life for the next twelve months by 1 January?
Personally, it’s taken me a few months of me-time to figure out where I want to be this time next year. If you are like me and hoping to make some big changes for 2019, then I hope this post is helpful to you!
What’s the best approach to setting goals?
A quick Google search of ‘goal-setting’ and you’ll probably be inundated with variations of the SMART method i.e. creating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. If you are a very methodical person then this approach might well be useful to you, but I find the SMART goal setting approach puts the wrong kind of pressure on me.
Personally, I try to start with the little things, and if you’re serious about making changes but you’ve struggled to achieve your goals in the past this should help you too. It’s all very well and good to say, ‘I’m going to reach 10k Instagram followers this year’ or ‘I’m going to quit my job and travel’, but how are you going to do this? I love a check list, and I personally will have lists of lists to help me break things down. For example. quitting your job might include signing up for extra shifts for some travel cash, or creating a monthly budget to save money as well as the obvious such as booking your trip.
Decide what is really important to you. Yes, we’d all love to be millionaires, but is that really your main driver? In the past I’ve been guilty of losing myself trying to achieve other people’s goals, instead of what makes me happy. If you are struggling to set goals and find yourself stuck in a rut, start by deciding what would make your life better (e.g. ‘I want more flexibility’, ‘I want to be able to afford several holidays a year’, ‘I want to feel healthier in myself’) and work from there. You might be surprised to find that instead of making a massive life change, small alterations to your current circumstance make you feel much happier.
Focus on your fears. Yes, really! Sometimes we are so caught up in wanting to achieve something that we neglect to consider what is holding us back. My anxiety has led to a lot of trepidation in the past, and I’ve been scared to really go for it. I’ve since worked on identifying what I personally find a good or bad stress, and focused on moving my career to one full of positive pressure.
How to find the motivation to achieve your goals
So you’ve figured out what you want out of the next six months/ year/ five years. Great! But what comes next and how can you keep that fire under your belly alight?
This might surprise you, but one of my top tips don’t over-plan and just do it. Yes, do your research; yes, think things through. But sometimes we spend so long planning how to best step off the diving board that we never take the plunge. Life is about learning as you go along, so as long as working towards your goal right now won’t ruin your life (e.g. land you in massive debt or put your health at risk) just give it a go!
You’ve focused on your ‘how’, but now you need to understand your ‘why’. When I first went freelance, my self-employment journey was thrown upon me rather than planned. It’s been one of the best things that ever happened to me, but since I started I’ve been more muddling through than attacking my business with some oomph. I’ve been having a real think lately about what my priorities are when it comes to my career, and since establishing what I want from life I instantly feel more motivated and less stressed.
Be realistic. While yes, in theory you can do anything if you put your mind to it, you will feel much happier and successful if you focus on goals that embrace your natural talents. We’ve all watched the cringe-worthy auditions on talent shows – don’t be that guy! Remain humble in your goal-chasing and take on the advice of others who have been where you are and life will provide you with the right opportunities sooner or later.
Slow down. We’ve all been there: after deciding we want to change something in life, we work flat out in a manic frenzy for a short time yet still we don’t achieve our goals. I’ve been guilty in the past of giving up when I didn’t see instant results (especially when it comes to dieting – who isn’t?!) but few things in life happen quickly. I love the saying: “overnight success takes years”. Give yourself time to achieve the big things, and accept that life has a funny way of changing everyone’s plans.
What goals are you hoping to achieve right now? I’d love to read about them in the comments section.
Make your dreams happen,
This post contains gifted items. However, all thoughts are my own.