How to get better at achieving your goals

Happy New Year!

It’s gotten to a point where many people shun new years resolutions (goals, plans, intentions etc.). They assume they won’t last so don’t see the point in bothering.

A common example of a new years resolution is to lose weight.

After indulging in an abundance of rich and unhealthy food over the festive period a large amount of people rush to the gym in January hoping to losing weight. However, I think the reason this tends to fail time and time again is because it actually works a little better when the focus is on the action instead of the outcome.

What if your new years resolution was to create a weekly exercise routine that you enjoy and then stick to it?

As much as it is important to have a clear goal, if you’re more focused on the end result than what is required to achieve it, you’ll probably end up giving up.

We often unknowingly run from doing the work that is required because we’re more focused on thinking about what we want than carrying out the actions to get us there.

Focusing on the action tends to result in habit building. Once these habits are ingrained into your routine they eventually become part of your everyday life which makes reaching the goal much easier.

Reflecting on your 2021 goals

As the year begins comes to a close now is the perfect time to tie up any lose ends so you can start fresh in the new year.

For me that includes going over my goals and reflecting on what I was able to achieve, what I need more time to work on and what I’m no longer interested in doing.

Once that’s done, I’ll move on to thinking about what I’d like to do for the year ahead.

It also important to remember that even if you didn’t manage to do everything on your list, there are plenty of things you did this year that weren’t apart of your goals. To combat this it can also be useful to note down achievements or highlights at the end of each month. That’ll provide a fuller picture of all that you managed to do because it’s easy to forget.

Keep exploring

There’s something quite wonderful about being a beginner, starting something new with fresh eyes, optimism, excitement and curiosity.

There are probably plenty of things that you’ve been doing for a long time to the point that they’re a regular part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It could be old hobbies from childhood or a job that you’re just so familiar with that the joy has been taken out of it.

It could even be what you want thought was your dream job but because you’re doing it all the time and you’re so used to it doesn’t really feel like a dream anymore. Now it’s actually just your reality.

Sometimes, we get the job that we want and maybe we’re even living in our ideal home in our ideal location. We feel settled in life so we stop exploring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you’re putting aside your curiosity and yearning then maybe something needs to change. The feeling of wanting to explore life probably won’t just go without you tending to it.

The reason we don’t tend to it is often because we allow societal standards and ideas to restrict us. We end up feeling like it’s too late to try something new because we’re a certain age or it feels like it’ll be a step back. It’s no use holding on to those ideas if they just make you unhappy.

The desire to explore could be as small as reading a genre of fiction you wouldn’t usually be open to or joining a local volunteering group. It doesn’t have to be about quitting your job to start a business. selling all your belongings and travelling around Asia for 6 months.

Holding yourself back

I think one of the most common things that holds us back and stops us achieving our goals/aspirations is not focusing on the long term.

You’re so focused on every little thing that you have to do right now that you’re missing the bigger picture.

It might seem like it takes a lot of effort to be the type of person that is committed and disciplined, the type of person that you want to be.

But you have to start small. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget the bigger picture.

It’s really just a case of doing things now that you know will benefit you later.

Instead we often end up making excuses because it turns out what we want might actually require more effort than we’re willing to give.

Remembering the dream

Sometimes the life paths we choose end up getting distorted by distractions and we end up making choices to reach goals that we don’t even really aspire to.

You might find that in order to move forwards, you actually need to go back and figure out what you really wanted in the first place.

Many times we end up sacrificing our aspirations because we’re too focused on other peoples opinions. We’re so focused on what everyone else is doing that we fall into thinking our dreams are not enough or it no longer feels possible.

But I think it’s important to remember the dream that you had. When you take the time to think about what you really want, you can start shifting your focus to what actually matters.

Getting what you want

As much as you may say you want certain things, you might not want them as much as you think you do.

For example, wanting a dog but not wanting the extra responsibility required. It could be wanting a promotion but not the mentoring and leadership you’ll be required to give to colleagues once you’re higher up in the company.

It can actually end up being for the best to not get what you want because when you get it you won’t really want it. Sometimes we only realise this in hindsight. However, I like to believe that is the reason why certain things just don’t work out.

It might be frustrating in the moment but you’ll be much better off getting what you want instead of getting what you think you want.

Mid-year goals check-in

Have a look at the goals you set for the year. Go through them one by one and check in to see how things are going. Below are a few ideas to assist with a mid-year goals check-in:

What have you made progress with?

Go through your goals and think about how far you’ve gotten with the plans you made. Perhaps you wanted to try a new recipe each month which you’ve stuck to. Maybe you’ve surpassed that goal and been trying two new recipes a month. When it comes to goals, sometimes you end up overachieving without even realising because it’ something you enjoy or it’s become ingrained in your lifestyle that it now requires less effort.

What no longer resonates?

Maybe in December/January when you were setting your goals you came up with things that simply so longer resonate’. It could be a particular number of countries you wanted to travel to but now you’re focusing on other things. As much as it’s great to achieve you goals, I also think it’s important to know when let them go. If not, you end up holding on too a bunch of things that take time and energy away from what things that still matter to you.

What do you need to start focusing on?

Sometimes there are things that you planned to but have not yet made time for. However, taking the time to reflect means you can make a plan of action on how to begin. Maybe the goal was to read 12 books for the year but half way through 2021 you’ve only managed to read two. You might now decide that in order to reach the goal or at least make better progress you will read a minimum of X pages per day or join a book club.


Doing this reflection allows you to refresh your mind and refocus your energy in order to prioritise what you’re still interested in working towards. You’ll more than likely find that you’ve done more than you thought. However for the things you’re yet to begin, just because you have not yet started doesn’t mean you don’t have enough time. it’s better to start and make a little progress than to do nothing at all

500 and something

It started with 1 then 50, 100, 300 and now 500.

A few weeks ago, I reached 500 followers on this blog.

I consider it an achievement because 500 is quite a lot of people. At the beginning of the year I wrote down that I wanted to grow this site and reach 500 followers, as well as a certain number of monthly views.

Yet, at the same time I’m aware that the numbers are not the most important thing. It matters to me more that you gain something from what I share

That’s something that won’t show up in my WordPress stats but it happens because I know how much of an impact words can have on someone.

I like what I share here, I’m passionate about it and I’ll continue to do it regardless of the numbers.

But at the same time, it’s nice to reach a milestone, so here’s to the next 500!

Knowing when to pivot

There is a popular saying goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.

But what’s worth understanding is that sometimes you need to do the same thing over and over again.

Take meditation for example, it’s very rare that you get it the first time. It could take ten times, that doesnt mean you should stop.

Or, maybe you’re an artist taking your work to galleries, or a writer pitching to publications. Just because things don’t work out the first or 15th time, doesn’t mean you should stop. But, of course if you’re doing something that costs money don’t go broke trying to make things work.

I think it’s good to have the determination to keep going even when things aren’t working out.

But it’s also important to know when to pivot. The end goal doesn’t need to change but maybe your approach should.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

Sometimes you reach a point in life where you need to make a sacrifice.

What are you willing to give up in order to reach your goal?

And are you willing to give up the right things?

Maybe you need more time to work on your book and so you decide to give up your 30 minutes of exercise a day. Yes, you’ve made a sacrifice but perhaps the right thing to give up would be 1.5 out of 2 hours you spend on social media each day.

The exercise positively contributes to your wellbeing but it’s unlikely you can say the same for social media.

And so when it comes to making a sacrifice in order to gain something, think about the things you currently do that benefit you the least.

Those are the things you should be willing to sacrifice.