We’re two months into the new year and some of us might have already crafted the ‘perfect’ plan of success…but guess what? It’s very likely that months will pass, life experiences will get the best of us, and we’ll forget the long-term goals that we’ve set for ourselves. Studies have shown that approximately 8 percent of individuals who set New Year’s goals actually achieve them.
That means that approximately 92 percent of us set goals and never reach them. Perhaps we never reach them because we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.
When we create and set long-term goals, it is important to remember that we must also include short-term action steps that represent small victories toward our ultimate goals. If you’re the type of person who is easily overwhelmed with long-term planning, here’s how you can break down your long-term goals into manageable, short-terms wins.
Identify Purpose and Set an Intention
An intention, at its core, is a vision statement that points to your end goal. In this case, you want to create an intention that allows you to see the purpose in your long-term goal. For example, if you’ve ordered delivery every night for the past two weeks and you want to make a shift and cook every day this week, then you may set an intention that says, “This week, I want to save money by cooking homemade meals for myself and my family.” The intention, now, creates purpose, saves money, gets you closer to family, and clears a path for the creation of action steps.
Now, this may seem like an unattainable goal, but with action steps––small achievables––anything is possible. Some reasonable action steps might include:
- Making a categorized grocery list (i.e., Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Grains, etc)
- Cleaning the kitchen to prepare for meal preparation
- Preparing/cooking the meals
- Using portioned containers to store meals
Hold Yourself Accountable With Clear Action Steps
After setting our intentions, we should start thinking of how the intentions will be accomplished by planning our actions. Let’s be honest –– we can set intentions all day long, but if we don’t act on them, we’ll never accomplish them. Acting on our intentions keeps us accountable to our coworkers, supervisors, friends, and most importantly, our families. A successful action plan should include the following but can be revised, depending on the situation:
- A clear definition of the goal
- Required steps to complete the goal
- All accountable parties
- A timeline for completion
- Tangible items needed for success
- Metrics that validate the effectiveness of the action plan
Now, you also might be familiar with SMART goals. If you’ve never heard of SMART goals before, here’s a breakdown of how they work:
- S – specific
- M – measurable
- A – attainable
- R – relevant
- T – timely
Celebrate Your Short-Term Wins
You owe it to yourself to celebrate even the smallest of wins. It not only keeps you motivated, but also shows that you find value in every accomplishment. Even if the short-term win was a fraction of the goal, you’re still one fraction closer to the end!
Connect with Alpha Kappa Psi for Goal Achievement Support
Alpha Kappa Psi holds true to the values of Brotherhood, Knowledge, Integrity, Service, and Unity. As we share our education and experiences with you, please reach out for support or more information if you are having difficulties forming or achieving your goals.