Okay, listen, I know there are posts and videos and podcasts all over the place about setting goals and all that. Some great stuff, too. But honestly? I ignore a lot of it. Because I know how to set goals. My problem isn’t that – I love planning new goals. It’s the STICKING to goals I struggle with.
How about you?
Are you also an ambitious goal-getter, but you find it hard to stay with them after 2-3 weeks? Then grab a cuppa my friend, because I’m about to share something that’s going to help!
The easiest way to achieve your goals… for real
So, if you’re anything like me, you probably daydream about all sorts of things you want to achieve. Then you map them out in your pretty notebook with the BEST of intentions. You’re inspired, positive that it’s all going to work out just the way you’ve planned (aaah, imagine that!)
Only… a few weeks into it, maybe you start feeling a little less excited about the whole thing. In fact, it might even start to feel like too much effort. The dreaded “Q” word rears its ugly head (sssshhhh don’t say that; rather – take a “hiatus” or an extended break; that sounds better, right?)
Don’t you just hate it when that happens?
All ready to change the world with your big ideas and then *bam* – you’re ready to throw the towel in.
Urg. It’s happened to me so many times over the last few years. I always thought I was doing something wrong. Like I was missing out on some big secret on how you plan goals properly or something.
Well, guess what?
I finally realised where things were going pear shaped…
I was being TOO ambitious with my goal setting.
So, maybe you’re reading this wondering if that’s actually a bad thing? Well, let me tell you, I used to think being super ambitious was the BEST thing ever! You know what the price of that is, though?
A ton of stress, anxiety and burnout.
Ya, not so much fun.
Especially if you have a perfectionist or people pleasing personality.
Gosh, then nothing’s every good enough and you’re constantly trying to be better. all. the. time.
Here’s the thing though…
In order to reach those big goals we’re after, we’ve got to take baby steps to get there EVERY day. Think about it: when you make something a daily habit, you’re way more likely to stick to it. Kind of like brushing your teeth (lame example, but you get the point).
Okay, that’s cool – but HOW do we do this?
Break those crazy ambitious goals DOWN
I’ll use my crazy big goal for this year as an example: I want to be super fit by the end of the year. I’m so unfit right now it’s not even funny. But I’m determined to make this big goal happen.
So how is this going to work? Not by entering a 25km running race. Hell, no. Reeeealitic is the key, starting small. Making fitness part of my day. Making it fun. Maybe that’s not a full-on Zumba class every day or even a jog outside. Maybe that’s just a quick 10-minute indoor walking workout.
The idea is to start really small and work it into your day, so that it becomes part of your everyday life.
Think of your big goals and how you can break them down to fit into your day. Can you get up a few minutes earlier to do them? Can you switch something up so that your goal (now, daily habit) feels like part of your routine – and not one big extra schlep?
Coz, let’s be honest… if it feels like a mission, it’s just not going to happen!
How to make your goals part of your everyday routine
How? Good question, HOW do we DO this?
Simple: start using a daily habits tracker.
Um, a whhaaaaat?
I know, I didn’t even know about this until a few months ago when I discovered bullet journaling (which, I can’t seem to get into properly btw), and I swear, it’s changed everything. I’m not going to lie, though, it’s still a bit of work in progress for me – because, it’s new and everything.
BUT, from one ambitious dreamer to another, let me tell you – THIS is what we need!
Okay, so what exactly IS a daily habits tracker?
Basically, it’s just a one-pager (or you can use an Excel sheet) where you keep track of your goals every day.
It’s best I think, to have one sheet with days mapped out for a month at a time.
Here are some of the things I’m tracking right now:
- Sticking to ONE coffee (yup, that’s not happening)
- Daily workout
- Plank every day
- Run / jog
- 2L Water
- Write content
TIP: You can really add whatever you like… they call it “uplevelling your life” in bullet journaling. So think of areas in your life you want to improve on and merge that with your goals.
5 Benefits of using a daily habits tracker
I love the simplicity of using a tracking system like this. It’s uncomplicated and you can literally start doing it today if you wanted to. Simplify the stuff that’s making you stuck.
Here are five of my favourite reasons to have your own habits tracker:
1. It holds you accountable to YOURSELF
This is a HUGE one for me. Working from home, it’s so easy to talk myself out of not doing something. But, when I know I have this sheet waiting for me every morning, it helps me stay on my goals game.
Even though it’s just a sheet, I don’t like seeing empty spaces where I haven’t done something the day before… call it the perfectionist in me. It’s kind of like someone asking me how far I’ve gotten with a project.
Huge accountability “buddy”, this little tracker!
2. You feel more motivated
Only doing things when you “feel” like it, without any real set plans (like writing down a big goal without actionable steps or breaking it down) – makes it SO easy to get discouraged on the bad days. It’s easy to want to give up or not put in your best effort.
But now, with this daily habits tracker, I feel motivated to do things because they’re SMALL, realistic things I can do throughout my day. It’s not overwhelming, which I think is the key for setting goals.
Keep them small and simple!
3. It gives you a reason to celebrate the small wins, often
This one kind of ties in with #2 above. You know when you’re working on a big project and it feels like it’s never going to end – or like you’re not getting anywhere?
It’s tough to stay inspired and on your A-game sometimes.
Working on the back-end of my website for the past 2 months has felt a bit like that some days, and it’s been really frustrating. But you know what’s helped keep me motivated overall?
Celebrating the small wins.
When you see how much you’ve actually done every day over a month, it’s such a GREAT feeling of accomplishment! You’ll look at a row of (mostly) full dots or ticks or blocks of colour and be like…
“Hello?! I did ALL that? WOW!”
4. You get closer to your goal(s) every day
I’ve read so many quotes lately on how making things part of your day helps you reach your goals. One of the things I struggle with a lot is staying consistent with what I’m busy with. It’s easy for me to start new things or leap into the unknown and figure it out along the way (like my podcast).
What’s not so easy?
Sticking to things when they get uncomfortable or don’t go according to plan. With a daily habits tracker, I’m MUCH more likely to keep at it (and I have been!) – because, again… seeing those empty blocks? Nope! Not a fan.
5. And finally… It’s fun to use!
Obviously, the more fun something is, the more likely you are to do it. I have my tracker on a bright yellow piece of paper, because it’s easy to find and it’s kind of happy, I guess. You can really map out your daily tracker in a way that makes you excited to check off your mini goals/habits every day.
On that note…
Because I love the whole idea of celebrating daily wins and starting small, I created a simple daily habits tracker you can use, too. Download it by clicking the link below, just above my signature!
A Free daily habits tracker you can start with
Also, I get that not everyone enjoys creating things from scratch like I do.
(Actually, I’m too lazy to draw pen lines on paper so I think I’m going to use this tracker from next month, too!)
How to use it: Just print it out, pop some colour on, list a few habits you want to get into that will help you reach your goals – and most importantly, have fun with it!