Feature Image by Marten Bjork on Unsplash
Happy New Year to any of my dedicated readers and for those of you just jumping on the Sharp Student bandwagon. December was a busy month…for everything but the blog.
This year I want to expand my efforts and grow the brand to help more people. I also want to experiment with some other mediums (podcasts, vlogs…etc.). The only way to turn these good intentions into a reality is to set concrete goals and develop an action plan to carry them out. Last year, I wrote an article about learning to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). To piggyback on that article, I thought it may be important to focus carrying out the goals that you have set. With a new year, many people set goals with those good intentions, but fail to create a habit and resolutions are not kept.
Let’s take a minute together and set some goals for 2018. I plan to follow up with this article and indicate my personal progress on the goals that I set.
Goals for 2018:
- Write at least one article a week.
- Record at least three podcasts.
- Have 1000 followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
These may not seem lofty, but trying to accomplish these goals while being a full-time student and balancing work life and my personal life, will be a stretch. Once you have set your goals, it’s important to develop an action plan to make things happen. After doing some searching, I found some common themes online that outline the first few steps you should take to keeping your resolutions.
WRITE GOALS DOWN
This seems to go unsaid, but the value of taking a few minutes to write your goals down is critical. It makes the goal concrete and unwavering. That isn’t to say that you can’t make adjustments, but it is important that you put real words to what you want to accomplish. Taking this further, it’s important to display your goal somewhere you can see them. A gentle reminder that you are working towards something will help you keep trying. I have had many great ideas go by the wayside, because I did not write it down.
BREAK GOALS UP INTO SMALLER, SHORT-TERM SEGMENTS
When I turned 25, I decided that in the next 10 years, I wanted to compete in an IronMan. For those of you unfamiliar, an IronMan is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. This lofty goal is something I still want to do, but in the year and a half since I set the goal, I haven’t made much progress.
By taking time to break up your goals into smaller, short-term segments you can take effective steps towards something bigger. Maybe that means setting monthly markers for progress or completing a task that will help prepare you. In my example, I could join a cycling club or train for a half marathon this year. Once you accomplish the smaller goals, that sense of achievement will fuel your drive to reach loftier heights.
TALK ABOUT GOALS WITH OTHER PEOPLE
The last major step that is often forgotten is creating a system of accountability. Bodybuilders have personal trainers that constantly provide motivation and direction. Interns have trainers to answer questions and assign tasks. I have a supportive wife that isn’t afraid to crack the whip if necessary. Find someone in your life that will help you make progress. Depending on the goals you set, it may be helpful to find someone to work on the same goal together with. If you are accountable to someone for reaching your goals, you will have greater success in achieving them.
Our lives are like roller coasters–constantly changing direction or heading up/downhill. We wake up on January 1st, determined that this year is when everything will be different. While you can’t predict what life will throw at you, it is important to be constantly progressing towards where you want to be. Take some time this week to evaluate yourself and set meaningful goals. Then in four weeks, re-evaluate and see where you are.
What are some of your goals for 2018? Comment below and share them so we can work together on achieving your goals.