I love dreaming up new projects and starting to plan long-term goals, it’s lots of fun for me! I like thinking about all the great things that will come from reaching my goal and how I will grow as a person. But what happens when that initial excitement dies out?
It is difficult to stick to long term goals, whether it’s weight loss, learning a new skill, or anything else that takes several months of dedication. I’m pretty good about starting my goals and sticking to them for a few weeks or months, but many things seem to die out becuase I loose interest or forget about them. My goal-reaching stamina was really put to the test over the summer when I kept raising my cookie selling goal. I kept thinking that I would only sell for one more week, but soon that turned into one more month, and then another and another! Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tips for sticking to long term goals from the many projects that I have dedicated myself to for many months, like writing a book!
- Create a routine and stick to it
- Hold yourself accountable
- Take breaks
- Motivate yourself with daily reminders
- Make it enjoyable
First of all; create a routine and stick to it. This is what I was talking about last week with creating a motivating environment for yourself. Plan out your schedule of when you are going to be working on that project, and by doing that, you are creating deadlines. Those deadlines can create pressure you need in order to stop procrastinating.
Now that you’ve created a schedule and routine for yourself, stick to it! Right? Sometimes, it’s not that simple. It’s easy to ignore the deadlines that we create for ourselves, so ask a friend to check in on your progress regularly. This was one of the best things for me when I was working on my Gold Award project.
Doing something for months on end-depending on the project-can be draining. Remember to take breaks every now and then so you don’t get burnt out. Many students create study breaks in their schedule so they don’t get exhausted. The same rule applies on a larger scale project!
Whether it’s sticky notes on your mirror or something else, creating little reminders for yourself that you see every day can be the boost that you need to reenergize yourself to work on your goals!
And finally, make it enjoyable! I talked about intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation in my blog a couple of weeks ago, and this is where is applies! Basically, if someone is intrinsically motivated, they are doing something becuase they enjoy the process of doing it. People are far more likely to be successful in a goal that they are intrinsically motivated to achieve.
These are just a few of the many suggestions for achieving long-term goals; I could go on all day! But no matter how many suggestions I give, we can’t reach our goals until we start working on them. In the end, find what works best for you and then DO IT!