With the Easter weekend on the horizon, and the arrival of spring reawakening the world around us, it’s a good time to look at what needs renewing and reviving in our own lives. Our personal long-term goals can often be sidelined by day to day stresses, so it is important to take the time to refocus on the bigger picture of what you aim to achieve this year, and for the years ahead.
Rediscover the joy
Often a reason for moving away from our goals is that it becomes a point of pressure in our psyche, as we wonder where we will find the time or the energy to put into it. This leads to us losing sight of the reasons for pursuing the goal in the first place. Long term goals are ultimately about changing our lives for the better, otherwise why would we do it? Try to find the pleasure in moving towards that goal at every opportunity. Instead of worrying about time dedicated to it, see it as a welcome break from the everyday routine that will ultimately make you more productive in all areas of life. Enjoy the process of learning something new, tell others what you are doing and share in that excitement. Doing this may also be an opportunity to realise what isn’t working – if you cannot find the joy, perhaps you are doing it for the wrong reasons. It may be time to reassess and change course to something else you really love.
Losing track of a goal can also be down to not setting enough firm targets. Use the Easter break to start mapping out a timeline for yourself. Make it realistic, but ensure that you break it down into specific steps to work towards. Most importantly, set it out way that will be most useful to you – if you are someone who responds better to apps and reminders, programme the steps into your devices, or if you prefer an old fashioned chart on a wall, get scribbling! As long as you have them written down and are looking at them regularly it will help you stay on course.
Assess what you have already accomplished
It’s easy to focus too hard on how we have fallen behind on what we hoped to achieve by a certain point. To reignite progress from a slow start, it is important to look at what steps have been taken towards your goal and how you can build on those. Often the steps we take aren’t conscious or obvious; it can be a change in attitude or daily routine that has been adopted as a result of the new focus, so it’s important to realise how far you have come from the moment you started out.
Spend more time with yourself
It is time to start saying no to other people more often. This can be hard for many of us to do, when we have become so used to putting others’ needs before our own. Don’t just make excuses or drop out of agreed plans last minute, be honest and manage your schedule around your personal goals. Tell people ‘Sorry I can’t this week, I really need to focus on this’. Set aside alone time during lull periods where you don’t necessarily have to be present, e.g. Saturday morning at the breakfast table, even if it is just to check in with yourself and what you’ve done recently, or to set out a timeline for the following week.