When it comes to the world of goal setting, no month has reigned more supreme than the month of January! (go new year!)
Many people think that New Year's resolutions are a great way to transform your life. More career, personal, and financial goals are set in January than in any other month. Everyone loves a fresh start, and what better fresh start is there then the start of a new month and a new year?
Sadly, the reality is that only 20% of people are still on track to hit their New Year's resolution by mid February, that means that 80% drop off their plan only days or a couple weeks after getting started.
Want to know some interesting news...studies show that while goal setting in January is popular, you may be more likely to achieve your goals if you begin focusing on them at other times of the year. Maybe we make those New Year’s goals too big and bold? Maybe we are unrealistic about what our motivation levels will be immediately following the holidays. Maybe we just can’t bring ourselves to be extra excited about new things, when we’re still smack in the middle of the winter season?
Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that NOW is a great time to set some goals for yourself! Goals that you’ll be more likely to achieve in the month of September than at any other time of the year.
Ahhhh September, the change of a season, welcoming fall, a time. when we more naturally want to focus on getting things in order. Kids are back in school, and that leaves a little more breathing space and time for us busy mamas to focus on ourselves. Plenty of time before the busy (and sometimes draining) holiday season. All of this makes for great goal setting conditions!
So what goal might you be ready to ramp up? Why not focus on achieving something you’ve been meaning to do right now? Whether it’s a big or small things, you can make September your time to turn that goal into a reality. To quote the Hunger Games, may the odds be forever in your favor. Well in September they will be!
Here are some simple, yet powerful steps you can take to stick to your September goal, and good news, it will take 5 minutes to get started…
1 - Decide what your goal is.
This sounds obvious, but the more clear you can become about what you are trying to achieve the easier it will be to get there!
Think about what you want, and more importantly why it’s important. Really spend time deciding what you are going after and make sure it’s meaningful enough to keep you focused on the end result.
2 - Write it down.
I can not stress enough how important it is to write your goals down on paper. Real paper. Pen to paper, could be the single most important step in achieving your goals. Here’s why…
The simple act of writing your goals down on paper makes you twice as likely to achieve them. Revisiting your written goals to read them or re-writing them daily will further increase your odds of achieving them by 42%. I will take those odds any day!
3 - Share it!
I know not everyone is comfortable shouting their goals from the rooftop for the whole world to hear, but I can promise you that speaking your intentions to the world will increase the likelihood of you seeing them through.
When we share our goals and dreams with others they start to take on a completely different type of reality. You immediately find yourself an accountability partner, someone to help you get where you want to go, or check in on your progress. This can be extremely motivating!
If you aren’t ready to post your plans to get out of debt or write the great American novel all over your social media pages yet, then I encourage you to at least find one trusted friend or family member to share your plans with. If you pick the right person, you’ll walk away feeling encouraged and motivated to do more to reach your goal.
4 - Turn it into tiny steps.
I remember when Adam and I were working on the major goal of paying off all our debt and buying a house for cash. This was a daunting task, and it ultimately took 4 years of hard work and many, many milestones along the way to see this goal become a reality.
The things that kept it attainable and feeling like it was do-able were taking small steps along the way. Mini goals that were easy and rewarding to check off the list!
First we paid off a small debt, that was easy, then a little bigger one, and so on, then we attempted to save a hundred dollars a week, then several hundred, and as our debt cleared and more money was ours to keep, thousands. Before I knew it we were debt free and had money in the bank, it seems hard to imagine at the start of this big dream of ours, but breaking it down into tiny bite size pieces along the way made it easy. Really.
However simple your goal seems, I challenge you to find a way to break it down into even smaller pieces. The smaller the better! If you can feel accomplished on a daily or weekly basis as you work toward your goal, you will have more motivation to keep going!
5 - Make a plan and set a deadline.
So you know what you want, you know why you want it, you’ve written it down and created some bite sized milestone or baby steps along the way. Time to create a plan and set a deadline.
This is where you get in more detail on each of those tiny steps we talked about.
Want to get a new job, you know that you have to rework your resume, connect with some old colleagues, apply to postings, and update your interview wardrobe to start. What’s the plan to make it all happen?
Write it down. Each step along the way, detail what you’ll have to do to achieve that mini goal, which ultimately is a stop along the way to the new career you desire.
If we’re talking about reworking the resume, maybe you need to:
Take out the old resume.
Add your new work experiences.
Edit to bring the language and format to more modern times.
Send to your savvy friend or career coach for suggestions and revisions.
Make suggested edits.
Download as a PDF and be ready to distribute!
But by when? Yup, set a date that you want to accomplish each task. It REALLY helps to have things written down in detail, each day and add it to your calendar so you know when you plan to accomplish each of these baby steps in your mini goal, on your way to a new and exciting career! (Or whatever it is that you are going after!)
6 - Celebrate!
So you’ve gotten the resume all tidied up - YAY! Why not celebrate that accomplishment and reflect on the fact that you set a plan for yourself and you made it happen.
Celebrating your success along the way is a great way to stay motivated and will increase your likelihood of achieving the next milestone along the path to your big goal.
7 - Keep going and Repeat.
Now you have the formula. You’re hitting the baby steps and mini goals along the way, you’re feeling proud of yourself and taking the time to celebrate your wins. Keep at it.
There is nothing more motivating than momentum!
We all know Newton’s first law. A body in motion will stay in motion. And likewise, a body at rest will stay at rest. This applies to all areas of life. If you get a little momentum going, it’s going to be so much easier to keep it going. So don’t stop. Do a little something everyday toward your ultimate goal and repeat, then repeat again. Before you know it you’ll see the finish line ahead and your goal will be met!
So how about you!? Are you planning on tackling a particular goal in the near future? Do you think September might be the perfect time to get started? Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re thinking of accomplishing so I can cheer you on!
Thanks for reading!