Guest Post By Leila Kalmbach

reach your goals

The Key To Success is Setting Goals, But What if You Haven’t Even Made Any Yet?

If you’ve stepped outside recently, chances are good you couldn’t forget it’s July. It’s hot. It’s bright. Summer is undeniably here.

And you know what else is here? The midway point of 2019. We’re now officially in the second half of the year. 

This is not the time of year most people are thinking about their goals for the year. 

But it should be. Because right now, this month? This is a crucial moment. This is the point in the year when you have a decision to make. Either you decide to recommit yourself to making this your best year yet, or you let those goals go, maybe forever. 

And here’s the good news: If your 2019 goals are still tucked away in the back of your closet along with the coat you haven’t worn since January (yes, the one with a handful of New Year’s glitter in the pocket), it’s not too late. Click To Tweet

Those goals are still achievable. There’s plenty of time to get back on track — and you don’t even have to miss out on summer pool parties in the process.

But you have to start now. 

Need a boost? Read on!

Step 1: Re-evaluate your goals. 

If you’ve lost motivation for the goals you set in January, one reason may be that those goals are no longer a good fit for you. So before you do anything else to get back on track, make sure you still want to be working toward the same stuff. 

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Just because you set a goal for the year doesn’t mean you’re locked into that goal. There’s always time to shift and reprioritize. 

If you did any recorded goal work at the start of the year — worksheets, journaling, or even just some notes typed hastily into your phone — pull it back out.

Get quiet and still through whatever centering method works for you: meditate, go for a walk, put on some binaural beats, or just take a few deep breaths. Make sure you feel open to whatever may come up — surprises are common, and they’re not a bad thing!

Now read through what you wrote. Do you still feel the excitement you felt at the time? Can you remember what invigorated you about those goals? 

If you can still feel a visceral thrill re-reading your words, you know you’re on the right path. 

On the other hand, maybe you feel some excitement about aspects of the goal, but have lost your enthusiasm for the overall aim. This is also common. If this is the case, it’s time to pick apart what still works for you and what doesn’t, then find a new goal that incorporates the best of your old goal with where you are NOW.

And if you no longer feel any connection with your start-of-year goal — or never set one in the first place — that’s fine too. Don’t keep yourself trapped in a goal that you’re not truly passionate about just because you don’t want to seem flighty, feel like it’s too late to change, or have any other excuse for not updating your goal. If you find yourself using the word “should,” you’re probably not heading in the direction you truly want to go.

Imagine yourself in December. The year is wrapping up, and 2020 is about to begin. What do you want to have accomplished? What would you feel fine saying you dropped?

Recommit to your goal, or set a new one that sparks something so deep within you that you can feel it all the way through your body.

Step 2: Jumpstart your motivation.

Reconnecting to your goal can be motivating in itself, but progress begets progress and vice versa. In other words, if your progress has ground to a halt, getting going again (or for the first time) is so much harder than simply maintaining your momentum.

This is important to remember because often it feels like whatever we’re struggling with right now is what we’ll be struggling with forever. And that’s simply not true. 

Staying motivated is easier than getting motivated after a period of inaction. Just get over the hump now and things will be easier on the other side. 

So how do you jumpstart your motivation? First, take your excitement about your goal and find ways to put it into physical objects. Put those objects where you will see them frequently. 

  • You might buy a pretty new notebook that makes you look forward to working on your goal. 
  • You might choose a motivational phrase related to your goal and write it on a page that you display next to your desk. 
  • You might change your computer screensaver to a photo that reminds you of what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • You might buy a candle with a scent you love, which you burn only while working on your goal.
  • You might just put up some art around your desk so that your desk is a more enjoyable place to spend time.

However you choose to do it, surround yourself with reminders of your goal. 

Then break your goal into the smallest possible chunks you can so that it feels completely doable. Make each chunk concrete, and make sure you know how to tell whether or not you’ve completed it.

Remember, you don’t have to eat the whole elephant today. Just take the first bite.

reach your goals

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Step 3: Find accountability for the rest of the year.

Once you’re motivated and ready to go, make sure that momentum doesn’t die — and while you’re at it, don’t overdo it and burn yourself out.

Finding that happy medium can be tough, and it’s also absolutely crucial to achieving your goals. The fact is, most people either work too hard on their goals without enough breaks or they don’t put enough time toward them — and either way is a recipe for disaster. 

(Check out my goal-tracking template if you’re having a hard time finding the right balance between work and everything else that’s important to you; the free version is available for download here.)

Here are some ways to stay accountable:

  • Write down subgoals on your calendar to help you stay on track (and be sure to reward yourself when you meet those subgoals).
  • Find an accountability partner to check in with regularly.
  • If you’re self-employed, join a co-working space or meet up with friends regularly to work together.
  • Give yourself a performance evaluation to figure out what you could improve.
  • Read books or listen to podcasts that keep you motivated and energized.
  • Hire an accountability coach.

Often, accountability comes from outside of us — it’s the people around us who hold us to what we say we want. But it’s also about how you organize your life. Do everything you can to make it easier for you to keep prioritizing your goals. 

Do meal prep in advance (or buy meal kits- get $40 off your first one here!). Lay out your workout clothes the night before so it’s easy to slip them on and get moving. Make plans regularly to see friends. Keep your tank full in other areas of your life so that you have the energy to spare when it’s time to get to work.

Go get ’em!

Sure, the year is halfway over, but the second half has just begun. The choices you make now will determine whether you look back at the year in December with pride or with regret. 

So re-evaluate whether your 2019 goals are still a good fit for you, or if they need some tweaking. Find ways to get motivated again, especially through the use of your physical space. And then set yourself up for success by finding accountability for the rest of the year. 

You don’t have to sacrifice what’s important to you to reach your goals — but you do have to start. And right now is the best opportunity you’ll ever have.

Like this post? Check out these posts on productivity and time-management!

Leila Kalmbach is an accountability coach and success mentor who helps women transform their lives to get happier, meet their goals, and create more ease day-to-day in a way that works uniquely for them. Grab her goal-tracking template and top five tips for improving productivity here

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