It’s no secret that staying on track with your goals is hard work. It takes unwavering commitment and determination; things that fluctuate when you’re a, you know, human being.
Ultimately, getting back on track with your goals is part and parcel of having them in the first place; so the first thing to do is to remind yourself that you don’t need to feel guilty for having lost momentum for a while.
In this blog, we dive deep into some tried-and-true tips on how to get back on track with your goals. Whether your goals are career, fitness, study or relationship related; these tricks will help you create an action plan on how to reignite the passion for your cause.
START WHERE YOU ARE
And we mean…wherever you are. Starting in whatever current place you are in means you instantly eliminate some of the stress that surrounds getting back on track with your goals—because you no longer have to think about when you might get back around to starting again.
Sure—starting where you are can be extremely humbling (lookin’ at you, running…), but it’s a surefire way to help you redevelop the habits required to get to where you want to go.
And, it holds scientific clout as well. Newton’s First Law of Motion, also known as inertia (essentially the way a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an outside force) applies to our mental process in terms of momentum and goal setting, too. Basically—once we stop, it’s really hard to get going again, but once you’re going again? It becomes so much easier to maintain.
Get an accountability partner and start scheduling accountability appointments
We know, we know—hardly rocket science. But have you tried it? Research shows that sharing goals and mutual commitments with other people makes you so much more likely to actually do it.
For example, when you tell your manager you’ll have completed a certain task by the end of the week, you are more likely to stick to it and do it. When you tell a client you’ll send them some documents through, you deliver on time. Often, the expectation alone provides enough motivation to get you going and get the task done.
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%. So; verbalise those goals with specific deadlines, set up appointments to check in with your goals and your accountability partner and keep in close contact with them while you’re getting back on track.
Tie intentions to your current behaviour, and get specific
Because not all habits will fit a specific time frame, James Clear suggests establishing triggers around your current behaviour that acts as a reminder to carry out your new habit.
For example, if you want to practice gratitude—use the time it takes to make (or order) your morning coffee and write down, or think of, 3 things you’re grateful for while you wait. Or if you want to establish a good exercise routine, set your workout clothes out the night before you go to bed and make exercise the very first thing you do each morning. When the same trigger instigates the same sequence every time, habits become much easier to form.
…verbalise those goals with specific deadlines, set up appointments to check in with your goals and your accountability partner and keep in close contact with them while you’re getting back on track.
Progress, not perfection
In today’s society, we’re constantly striving to achieve more. While this has its merits of course, it’s important to acknowledge the continued progress along the way. Often, it’s so easy to get bogged down in doing things the ‘right way’, that you end up not doing them at all.
Put it this way; some exercise is better than none. One day of healthy eating each week is better than none. Getting up early three mornings a week to work on your passion project is better than not doing it at all. Cheesy as it sounds; progress is not a destination; it’s a journey.