In February, there was a popular joke on Twitter about how January was the trial run of the year and the year of accomplishing 2019 goals really starts in February. This same joke became popular again at the beginning of April in the context of the first quarter of the year (Q1) being the trial run and accomplishing 2019 goals really starts in quarter 2 (Q2). Judging from the current trend and previous years, it’s easy to see how that same joke could go viral again at the beginning of July, with the context of the first half of the year being the trial run of the year and so on.
At the beginning of every year, there’s always a huge fuss about setting goals and making New Year resolutions but we very quickly abandon these goals, only to be filled with regret as the months go by. Are you guilty of setting the same goals year after year? To ensure that your 2019 goals don’t follow the same old pattern, I’ve found 6 simple steps to combat this.
Be clear on your goals for 2019
If you haven’t already, this is the time to set some goals. Vaguely memorised goals are the easiest to get derailed from, simply because you don’t remember what the goals are. Write your goals down on paper, in a notebook or on a board. Writing commits to memory. This process in itself would start to bring some clarity to these goals as your mind chews on it and begins to conspire ways to make it happen.
Break down these goals
It’s easy to get discouraged when goals seem lofty and out of reach. Breaking down yearly goals into quarterly measurements, then monthly targets and weekly to-do lists will set you up on the path to success. This will help you track your goals and support your mind in focusing on the smaller pieces of the puzzle.
If one of your goals is to write 100 blog posts in 2019, to accomplish this goal you will need to write two blog posts every week. Targeting two blog posts per week is much easier than thinking of 100 per year, which is much less of a scary number. If you focus on and stick to writing two per week, by the end of the year you would have written 104 posts, exceeding your big goal.
Assess your starting point.
Figure out where you need to begin with regards to each goal. Some of goals are left unaccomplished simply because your subconscious is discouraged and you’re not sure where to start. Admitting what you know and don’t know to yourself is the first step to tackling such goals. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you will not be able to request help from others.
Edit your goals
Thankfully the year is 2019 and writing something does not mean setting it in stone. Editing your goals should to be an ongoing process as you gather more information and move forward in the process. But don’t be mistaken and start editing your goals from a place of fear.
There’s an Igbo (Nigerian) proverb that translates to “Whenever you wake up, that is your morning. What matters is that you wake up.” If you had set your goals in January and simply forgotten about them or never got the courage to start, editing those goals now might be necessary. Using the instance of setting a goal to write 100 blog posts in 2019, it is perfectly okay to realise that you started working on this goal in April. This goal can be edited to writing two posts per week for the rest of the year, instead of bending over backwards to accomplish the goal of 100. It’s also fine to leave your goals as they are but moving the completion to April 2020, giving yourself a full year.
Stop waiting for Inspiration.
Most creatives suffer from the “waiting for inspiration” syndrome, without realising that inspiration is found in the midst of working. You can only notice a light bulb flickering if the bulb was on to begin with. If there is one reason why creatives are not getting ahead, it’s because we spend an obscene amount of time waiting around, doing nothing. Start small. Simplify the process, it’s only hard if you make it hard. If you’re looking to write a book and you don’t know where to begin, start by writing about an interesting event in your life. Just by writing a simple story, you’re preparing yourself for the moment when inspiration strikes.
Ride the wave of your creativity
This is another way to reiterate editing your goals. You might have set a goal without realising that you’re not interested in following it through. You might have set a goal to read 12 self-help books by the end of 2019, based on the pressure to constantly improve oneself. It’s okay to change this goal to read 12 books if you find that you’re struggling to read at all because you don’t actually like self-help books. By changing this goal to reading books on topics you’re actually interested in, you’ll first create the habit of reading, then be able to branch out from there.
Your goals are yours to set, edit and accomplish. You owe yourself a fighting chance to succeed. It’s better to get to the end of the year knowing that you gave your best to every goal you set than to give up because it is already April.
Words by Deola Bee