I think we can all relate to struggling when it comes to achieving our goals. I have fallen victim to the vicious cycle of setting a goal, failing, and beating myself up before starting over. Sound familiar? It is easy to dream big about what we want to achieve and set goals that align with those dreams. But it is even easier to give up on those dreams as soon as things get hard. So I wanted to share a few tips on how you can achieve your goals a little easier as a college student.
Whether you are struggling to achieve your goals in health, school, or professional areas of your life, there are a few things you can do to better your chances of reaching them.
1. Get Real with Yourself
The first step to achieve your goals is to get real with yourself. I am alllll about dreaming big and wanting to achieve things that may not seem realistic in the moment. However, when it comes to setting goals, you need to be realistic in order to achieve them. This might mean breaking down the huge goals into more attainable ones that act as building blocks to bring you closer to the BIG goal.
For example, if you wanted to get a 4.0 this semester but you are a B or C average student, you can’t expect to set and achieve such a drastic change. So, getting real with yourself, you might realize that getting a 4.0 would require a change in your study habits, organizational techniques, or social patterns. The first step to your greater goal (the 4.0) could be to implement 3 additional studying time blocks each week for the semester. These time blocks for studying could help you to earn an A on a test or in a specific class, bringing you closer to your 4.0 BIG goal.
The bottom line is that until you get real with yourself about your current skills and abilities, you will continue to fall into the vicious cycle of failing at your goals. Once you do get real, you will have a better understanding of where you are at, where you want to be, and how you can set goals to get there.
2. Build Trust in Yourself
If you are anything like me, you have set many goals and let yourself down in achieving them. Or maybe you have even told yourself you want to create a new habit that will help you achieve your goals, then you never get started. Each time you do this, you lose trust in yourself.
In order to best achieve your goals, you need to rebuild trust in yourself. I always recommend starting off easy by promising yourself things you KNOW you will do anyways. For example, you can start by telling yourself you are going to get some water as you are walking to the fridge to get it. Or you could promise yourself that you are going to brush your teeth, as you are getting ready for bed. This will feel silly at first, but if you have let yourself down enough, you subconsciously believe that you won’t do what you are telling yourself. By implementing the habit of telling yourself you will do the things you know you already do, your subconscious will start to believe that you actually do the things you say you will.
It is very similar to having trust in a friend or family member. If they tell you they will do something, you will probably trust that they will. This belief comes from the fact that they continue to do things they tell you they will. If they didn’t, you would lose trust in them. The same is true for trusting yourself.
3. Write Down Your Goals
I can’t tell you how many times I have set a goal only to forget about it a few weeks later because I did not write it down. A key factor for you to achieve your goals is to have them written down. Especially if it is a long-term goal. This also solidifies them as a goal and not just a dream. I keep my goals in my notebook or bullet journal so they are always in the same place for reference.
Writing down your goals also allows you to create an actionable plan for how you can achieve these goals. I like to do this in the form of bullet points. This would look like steps you need to take daily, weekly, or monthly to achieve your goals. If you like to check things off a list, I recommend making the bullet points into boxes!
4. Visualize Your Success
Setting your goals is only the beginning. In order to achieve your goals, you need to fully believe it is possible. I have recently found visualization to be a powerful to in reaching for my goals. It allows me to experience the emotions of achieving the goals even before the success actually happens. Visualization may seem kind of woo woo at first, but I promise it is a game changer.
I like to do my visualization in the form of writing in my journal. I write out what the success looks like, what steps I took to achieve it, and how I feel when success happens. This will give you something to look forward to while you are working to achieve your goals. It also makes the outcome feel real/attainable for you. Once you visualize what it takes to achieve your goals, you can show up as the version of yourself you need to be daily to get there.
How do you consistently achieve your goals?
I did not start to consistently achieve my goals until I shifted my focus to my mindset. Once I started to believe I could actually do the things I was planning for myself, everything changed. It doesn’t matter how “S.M.A.R.T” the goals are that you set, if you don’t have the right mindset on the road to achieving them.
I know how hard it can be to change your mindset and achieve your goals. As a wellness coach, I help my clients identify their dreams and create a plan that helps them to achieve their goals. If you have been struggling on the path to becoming your best self and you would like some accountability to kickstart your health and wellness journey, you can apply to work with me one on one. We work on addressing mindset blocks, managing your time for optimal productivity, and how to up level your life to show up as the best version of yourself.