Working toward long-term achievements can be grueling and mentally exhausting. It can be extremely difficult to keep working toward a result you may not see for months, or even years. It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough. But when you work smart, achieving your goals is possible!
Whether your goals include building up your career, recovering from illness (mental or physical), or bettering yourself, here are Psych2Go’s 7 tips on how to help you achieve your long-term goals.
1. Write your goals down
“But I already know what I want!” Well, It’s been proven that people who write their goals down are more prone to accomplishing them. Write down what you want to achieve, and the steps you are going to take to make that achievement.
Make sure that what you write will be visible, so that you’ll have a daily reminder of what you’ve set out to achieve. Put your goals up on a bulletin board, up on your bedroom wall, or even your bathroom mirror. When you’ve accomplished a step on that list, cross it off!
2. Rome wasn’t built in a day
Be patient! It can be frustrating to know your goals and not have them achieved yet. But the best things in life take time. Most major goals that people wish to complete in life – whether that’s finishing school or finding your way into the career field of your choice – take hours and hours of effort.
Let’s say for example, that you want to get a book published. It’s an admirable goal, but it’s one that requires many steps. Sure, you might be a talented writer and maybe writing the book was fun. But writing was only step one. Then comes editing, and testing your work on willing readers, and perhaps finding a literary agent to help you sell our novel to a publisher. This can take time. Yes, it all sounds tedious.
Why can’t you just get the damn thing out there for people to buy and read (yes, you can always self-publish and sell online, but just go with the example here)? Just know that it’s still possible, despite the long and grueling steps. If those steps are for something that you’re passionate about, aren’t they worth climbing?
3. Make time in the week for your goals
It’s important to make sure you’re allowing yourself the time necessary to work on your goals, little by little. Allow yourself an hour a day – or a day a week – to work on small sub-goals that will contribute to your overall vision.
Let’s stick to this book analogy. Take a few hours every Monday (or whatever day works for you) to work on a chapter. Done writing? Take that same time to do research on publishing or start reaching out to some literary agents. Doing this weekly will help prevent you from feeling stagnant and frustrated in your attempt to achieve your goal.
4. Always celebrate achieving the baby steps
It’s very easy to get obsessive about our long-term achievements. Sometimes it feels like what we want is miles from reach and nothing we’ve been doing to achieve it has moved us any closer. But as long as you’re working at it, that’s just not true! It’s important to remember that these goals are called long-term goals for a reason, and it’s important to congratulate ourselves for our smaller victories.
Book analogy again. Figure out a way to reward yourself every time you finish writing a chapter! Allow yourself a candy or favorite food of choice, or take the next day to do something fun with a friend. You earned it!
5. Roadblocks aren’t failures
We all know the phrase “when one door closes another one opens.” It’s not just inspiring – it’s factual. Yes, it’s important to set steps to achieve your goals, but sometimes life has different plans for how we make our achievements.
Did you hear a no from the book publisher of your dreams? Did you not get into the school of your choice? Those aren’t signs that your book sucks, or that you aren’t destined for post-secondary education. It just means that you need to find another way to reach your goals! Maybe there’s another school you’re meant to study at. Maybe there’s a publisher out there that would adore your novel.
6. Listen to criticism
People’s criticisms are not personal attacks on your work. They are not excuses for you to get defensive and possessive of your work and goals. Take criticism, no matter how harsh, and use it to refine and improve upon your goal, and the methods of getting there.
Does someone have some constructive notes about your work? It might be a sign for you recheck your work and get a few other opinions. Is your story truly cohesive? Are you making the best moves you can to achieve your goal? These questions are important to ask! They allow us to double-check our work and make it amazing!
7. Work with likeminded people
This is an especially important tip. It’s easy for us to feel alone in what sometimes feels like an impossible endeavor. There are other times we may feel frustrated or halted in our efforts to figure out solutions to the hurdles that sit between us and our achievements.
Talking and collaborating with like-minded people who share similar goals to us is a great way to inspire solutions and ideas we may not have thought of alone. It is also a way to help us maintain our drive and inspiration. Climbing the mountain to success is always easier when you work together and help each other!
What do you think? Do you have any goal-achieving tips to give to your fellow Psych2Goers? Write it in the comments section below!