Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Sticking to your plans is not as straightforward as most people think. It’s finding out what you need to do, stay focused, and doing what needs to be done. Whether it’s a business or personal plan, staying the course has proven more challenging than setting up the plan.
If you’re looking for tips to help you stick to your plan and see it through, you’ve come to the right place. First, let’s understand why planning and setting goals are essential.
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Why Do We Set Plans and Goals?
Have you ever felt adrift in life? You work hard but don’t really see the fruits of your labor. A good reason for such circumstances is that you haven’t spent a reasonable amount of time thinking about what you want out of life or even set up goals for the life you envision. Would you embark on a significant journey without knowing your destination? Probably not!
Setting plans and goals gives you a long-term vision and short-term motivation.
You’ll focus on acquiring knowledge, which helps you to organize your resources and time to get the best out of life. After you’ve set your desired goals, you can take pride in its achievements plus measure them. Now, you can clearly see forward progress in what previously seemed like a pointless grind.
The set plans and goals can raise your self-confidence as you identify your ability and competence in achieving the goals you’ve already set. However, sticking to those set goals is not a walk in the park.
Why Is It So Hard to Follow Through with Our Goals?
You’ve set up effective goals for your life, but when the time comes to make the decision, you’re missing in action.
Call it the Akrasia Effect– the behavior of going against your better judgment. A lot of women struggle with it. This is because the human brain always thinks of the present self, and this present self is always looking for instant fulfillment rather than future rewards.
When setting goals for your future self, you envision your life; the brain sees the importance of taking action to offset long-term benefits. However, during the decision-making process, your brain reverts to present self- instant gratification, not long-term payoff. A good reason why delaying instant gratification is an excellent predator to success.
Understanding how to fight back instant gratification, occasionally if not consistently, can go a long way in bridging the gap of where you are and where you’d like to be. Here are tips that can help you be in a position to see through your goals.
Tips to Help You to Stick to Your Plan
You’ve already set your goals that will affect positive changes in your life. The pressure is on, and you’re feeling the doom of the first slip up looming near. With these tips, you’re better able to stick through with your plans. Let’s delve in!
1. Be Specific about the End Goal
It’s important to know what you want. This is the first step of the process. Establish what you wish to achieve while laying down your goal. The end goal should be specific so that you can visualize the fruits at the end.
Knowing the benefits of your goals beforehand can be a source of motivation. Plus, when you’re sure of where you’re going, you can figure out what steps to take to get you there. It is critical to have a solid plan.
2. Be Realistic with the Time You Have to Accomplish the Goal
Don’t set yourself up for failure. While it must be nice to think about how you can be a millionaire in one week, the probability of achieving such a goal is pretty low. So, strive to make sure that you’re setting achievable goals in a realistic timeframe.
Because, real life doesn’t always work on a perfect schedule, does it? And what happens when those cool-looking but unrealistic goals don’t get met? You walk away feeling disappointed.
You can always benefit from considering creative ways to utilize the time and resources you have toward accomplishing your goals. For example, if you know that you’re most productive in the morning, set aside a portion of time to work on one of your most challenging goals. Don’t wait until you’re ready to drop at 3 p.m. to start a tough portion of the goal.
As such, circumstances will give you something to work with, plus you’ll see progress as it’s made.
3. Break it Down into Small Manageable Parts
After you have a clear goal and timeframe, you need to achieve the goal. One manageable way is to make a plan and break it down into smaller goals, mini goals if you will.
This will relieve the pressure so that it wouldn’t be as overwhelming as having a huge heap of goals. It’s equally important to keep your goals simple to achieve them quickly while breaking down your goals.
Additionally, please don’t rush into it. Start slow, steady, but be sure. It’s not a competition. No gun is held at the back of your head to make you rush headlong into the process quickly.
Yes, you want to beat the deadlines of these small goals, but rushing in too quickly can leave you disappointed and frustrated, especially when things don’t work out.
4. Keep Lists
Making a list of small highlights of your goals you can cross off can give you a visual cue to reaching your goals. While the process is mentally satisfying, it also gives you a glimpse of what is done and what you still need to get done. Keeping a list or recording in a journal will improve your overall planning.
You can keep it by the fridge door to constantly remind you of the things you must get done. Try giving your list a timeframe like a Monday to-do list.
5. Be Accountable to Yourself
When you’re the only one trying to realize your plan, you can easily put things aside. “I’ll take up dancing classes this next week or Monday.” It’s therefore essential to have a friend or family member who can hold you accountable when things are not getting done on time. They will be your accountability partner in your endeavors.
The loved one should have an overview of your goals. When they see things not going as planned, they can easily bring you in check. Knowing that someone else knows the things you must accomplish at the back of your corner is enough motivation to do them.
You suddenly have a sense of urgency and responsibility for your goals. Make sure your friend is firm and must be demanding of you.
6. Allow Yourself to Step Away Periodically
Giving yourself a break is an integral part of a successful plan and will help you stay motivated to keep at it. Whether you want to have a pizza night or go for a mini-vacation, allowing yourself to step away from your plan periodically will help you avoid burnout. You don’t want a situation where you’re too burned out to stay the course.
Taking breaks will rejuvenate you mentally and make you be in a position to enjoy your success when you finally reach it. The breaks are worthwhile as they are restorative, plus, they will give you the much-needed boost to break a leg as far as your plans are concerned.
7. Look Back at Your Progress
Looking back to how far you’ve come is an effective way to stick to your plan. You’ve made significant changes in your life, and now, they’re like second nature that you forget these changes were not always part of you. Take a step back and separate yourself from the plan; you’ll see how you’ve made drastic changes in your life.
There are times when you’ll feel like you’re not going anywhere and may even start to lose interest. These are the times you need to look back and see your progress. Seeing your success will motivate you to strive for more success in the days to come.
8. Believe in Yourself
You’ve laid out your plan, and you intend to follow it. What’s left is believing you can accomplish everything you’ve planned. Believing in yourself is a step closer to achieving your goals as you’ll position yourself for success.
A negative attitude can drastically affect the plan you set out to achieve. When you feel like you’re going to fail, you’ll not bother trying. Therefore, it’s essential to keep yourself happy and positive that you’ll be able to achieve your goals. This way, you’ll realize your plans long before you know them.
9. Surround Yourself with the Right People
Having the right people around you can help you achieve your goals. You can go as far as telling them the plans you’ve made, and they can help support you to achieve them. Don’t give in to failure by surrounding yourself with negative attitude people.
As they say, a bad company corrupts good morals. Surround yourself with positive and like-minded people, and you’ll see setting plans and sticking to them becomes easy. They’ll motivate and help you to keep going and remain focused on the set goals.
When You Feel Like You’re Going Nowhere
Find out what’s holding you back
Almost everyone has an aversion for success. It is certainly counterintuitive.
Aim to face your worries and difficulties straight on, and even welcome the challenge. Find out what obstacles are preventing you from getting out there and look for ways to overcome them.
You could feel fear, there could be an unreliable support system, or perhaps the reason is not known at all. Don’t let those fears keep you from moving forward.
Just by being willing to bring awareness to the issues, you’re already making forward progress.
Remember it’s not all or nothing
You may have been making plans and setting goals, and things just aren’t moving forward as you’d hoped. Or you feel like you’ve got a good plan but you’re stuck at a particular point.
You don’t have to scrap the entire project, goal, or plan, my friend. Put the tips detailed above into practice, going over what successes you’ve had so far, making sure you’ve got some tiny goals that are realistic and achievable, and realizing that you are an individual who is evolving and growing along with your plan.
Let your goal evolve
What should your goals become as they, and you, evolve? Changes in your life can be small or very dramatic. Your plans and goals will change and adjust with these dramatic changes in your life.
You don’t fail to achieve your goals, but rath you are expanding your potential to become successful by letting the goals evolve along with you.
The key to achieving your goals and dreams is to embrace the changes and not just check the lists.
The tips above will help you remain focused on what’s important and stick to your plan. They effectively ensure you make serious strides as far as your end goals are concerned. Positivity and determination are key as they act as the driving forces to achieving anything you plan to do.
What do you want to achieve? Setting plans and achieving goals takes time, dedication, perseverance, and actual hard work. But at the end of it all, you’ll start seeing greater results than you ever imagined.