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How to reach long-term goals realistically

Girl daydreaming about goals

You are a mover and a shaker. You have goals and aspirations, big and small. Making up your mind to follow your heart and turn your dreams into a reality is the easy part. The dedication, commitment and motivation that need to follow are usually where we tend to struggle. No need to fear, our goal-setting suggestions are here!

A goal is a product of your ambition and drive. It is an end point, a completed objective. Goals are exciting things to have. They give us direction, purpose. Generally when we set a goal, we are looking at the big picture, which can be sort of overwhelming when you think about it. If you set a goal, to lose a significant amount weight for example, you can cause yourself to lose motivation and lose sight of your goal because it is so big. This is why we suggest mini goals.

The first step in goal-setting is to define your goal, be it big or small. Give it a name, a face, but most importantly, make sure that it is actually achievable. Ask yourself if you can actually make it happen. What steps will you need to do so? Is the timing right? You do not want to set yourself up for failure. Keep it realistic. From here, create mini goals by breaking your end goal into smaller, easier, more doable tasks. For example, if you would like to lose weight, instead of telling yourself you want to lose thirty pounds and using this as your starting point, create smaller objectives that include things like eating at least one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables each day. This will make your goal feel easier to reach and keep you motivated.

Okay, so you have decided on your goal and broken it down. How in the world do you keep yourself on track?

Establish a timeline. Let’s face it, if you do not give yourself some sort of deadline, you run the risk of your dream staying just a dream, forever. Put a little pep in your step! Giving yourself deadlines gives your goal purpose and keeps it relevant.

Help yourself out. Make sure that your environment is conducive to you accomplishing your goal. If you are trying to lose weight, you probably should not stock up your fridge and cupboards with fatty and processed foods. If it’s not there, you won’t be tempted to eat it.

Phrase your goals in a positive way. Why not make your goals sound positive? Instead of telling yourself what you do not want to be, tell yourself what you do want to be. It sounds much nicer.

Expect setbacks. You are human. You are also, probably attempting something that you have never done before or maybe have not in a while. Expect that there will be setbacks or delays. This is normal. Do not let it stop you.

Keep track. Write it down, make a vision board, record it on an app, do what you need to do but make sure you are monitoring your own progress. It feels good to cross of one mini goal at a time and keeps you excited about working toward your goal. You can also use this as an opportunity to pat yourself on the back, encourage yourself and maybe even give yourself a small reward. You can do it!

We know this is all easier said than, done, but hopefully this can at least help put you on your way to achieving what you want to!

What are your goals for the next year? Let us know below!



About the Author

Geralyn Dexter

Geralyn holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and a MS in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently working on a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She enjoys reading, yoga and art. Within the next three years, she hopes to complete her doctorate and transition from practicing therapy in a community setting to having her own private practice.


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