4 Things I've Learned About Setting Goals and Sticking to Them

In the recent months I’ve become more focused on setting goals for myself and best practices to make sure I reach them. I love that feeling at the end of the month when I can look back and find just how much I accomplished and how far I’ve come since I set my goals. It’s hard to even think about goals when we’ve got so much going on around us. Brainstorming takes time that we don’t often have. Through my own practice, I’ve found a few ways to make setting goals and reaching them more fun and realistic. By following these tips below, I think you will too.

1. Don’t Make Anything Outrageous

We’ve all been there when it comes to things like New Year’s resolutions, promising ourselves to go to the gym every day when we don’t currently go at all or putting more stress on eating “right.” Let me tell you something: in my experience, as well as observing my friends’ experiences, setting a huge quota for yourself to achieve something you don’t even enjoy doing is not going to end well. It’s okay to start small, honestly, if you want to create a habit or set a goal for something that you aren't passionate about but requires a lot of mental dedication. Create building blocks that help you get used to the habit, because sometimes the best idea isn’t just trying to jump in head first.

2. Find Your Balance

When thinking about what goals you want to set, remind yourself that this is about enhancing your personal growth, and it’s a lot easier to do that when you don’t establish goals based on what you think is going to be impressive to other people. If it’s important to you, you’re going to feel more inclined to make it happen for yourself. Though it might be something you care about, not all of your goals will be things that are enjoyable to work towards. The key here is to make sure you’re giving yourself a balance as some may require a little more effort than others. One of my goals for the month of February was to write in my journal at least two times a week. Though I know it benefits me a lot, it’s tough for me at times to sit down and dedicate 20-30 minutes to writing about myself or my thoughts, so I had to work at it more. Another one of my goals was to try three new recipes. I absolutely loved the feeling of knowing I made food that tasted so good, so it was easier to accomplish. Again, it’s all about that balance.

3. Use a Tracker

Now, this is just a small thing that isn’t totally necessary but it helps me a lot. Tracking your progress in a notebook or your phone can give you the motivation to keep going when you’re not really feeling it. Whenever I can check a box signifying that I’m one step closer to reaching my goal, I’m instantly more excited to keep at it. I don’t really know if there’s any psychology behind it but it works for me and it could very well work for you too.

4. Focus on growth and getting out of your comfort zone

One day my friend told me, “if you keep wearing your hair pulled back like that, you gon’ lose your edges.” I cringed. I love my curls, they make me insanely happy. If that didn’t kickstart me trying to find other ways to wear my hair, I don’t know what would’ve. So I set a goal: try three new hairstyles in the month of March. This kind of goal intimidated me at first, because I always felt that since I didn’t have much experience, I wouldn’t be able to do with my hair what others did with theirs. All fears aside, I know it’s something I have to do. I’m stepping away from my normal ponytail and trying something different, and so far I love it. Though it might make me to go to sleep on time so I can be coherent enough to do my hair at 6:45 in the morning, it also pushes me to get on Youtube and look at what more experienced people are doing with their hair. I might be out of my comfort zone, but it gives me a sense that I’m doing something for me. I’m growing and, most importantly, learning to love my hair more and more each day.