How to achieve your goals faster

By December 31, 2018goals

It’s that time of year, when there’s all kinds of buzz about setting some plans for the upcoming year. 

You might be thinking about setting goals, a theme word (check out our post on this a few years ago), or a resolution to work on living a happier, healthier life.

I’m so all for this and I’ve already decided on my theme for next year (it’s “Intentional” if you’re curious). I’ve made a goal list and a timeline for when I want to accomplish those goals throughout the upcoming year.  Honestly, this is one of my favorite things to do!

I just checked out one of my older goal lists on my computer (from 5 years ago) and I discovered I have accomplished almost everything. What a powerful reminder of the importance of setting goals!

But that’s not my focus for today. Today, I want to talk to you about a different strategy for setting the next year up for success. 

A “not to-do” list. 

Because research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are out the window by February. This is due, in part, to not delving deeply enough into what is truly blocking you from achieving your goals and then setting up a plan to deal with that. 

For example, you might want to set a New Year’s resolution to go for a walk daily. But you don’t acknowledge or deal with the fact that you’re not exercising because:

  1. You’re dealing with disagreements with your partner by isolating yourself at home. 
  2. You’re sabotaging your plans to walk in the morning in the morning by choosing to stay up late binge watching TV.

So in this situation, the “not to-do” list could be:

  1. No more staying quiet when I want to say how I feel.
  2. No more staying up past 10:00 pm on weeknights.

This strategy will help you to dig in to what is really going on in your life and what is stopping you from achieving your goals. 

One of the most helpful parts of this exercise is reflecting on the question, “what is truly blocking me here?”  This is such a powerful question when you feel stuck around an issue. You’d be surprised at the answers that come pouring out when you ask this. 

Do you want to know what’s on my “not to do” list for the upcoming year? 

  1. Checking social media in the first hour of the day.
  2. Focusing too much on work and not enough on my personal life. 
  3. Rushing instead of taking my time.

To get you started, here are some common activities you might want to consider adding to your “not to-do” list:

  1. Checking my phone when I’m talking to someone else.
  2. Caring too much about what others think.
  3. Coping with stress by having too much (sugar, alcohol, coffee).
  4. Avoiding my problems.
  5. Taking on too much and then being resentful about it.

Ok, now I’m putting it over to you! What is going to be on your “not to-do” list for the upcoming year? Can you give me two items? 

Write them in the comments below and remember, I read every one!

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2 Comments

  • Diana says:

    1. I’m not going to over schedule my weeks
    2. I’m not going to buy an bunch of extra things (ie craft supplies) until I run out

    • Dr. Jennie Ward says:

      Love these ideas Diana! #1 is on my list too! I love looking at my calendar and seeing some evenings off or some white space in there.

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