Sticking to your goals

Every year, we write ourselves a to do list, with all the things we want to improve in the coming year. Whether it’s starting a diet, joining the gym or simply wanting to go to bed earlier. This normally stems from our past experiences, either good or bad, which we want to grow from. From my personal experience, these “goals” never go as planned for various reasons including, unrealistic targets, lack of motivation and setting yourself short deadlines. I will delve into the few reasons why and offer suggestions to overcome the challenges faced, using my personal experiences and others, to prove your goals are attainable.  

What most people fail to understand is, change doesn’t happen overnight. A person does not become a doctor, writer, teacher or land themselves a seat at the top, without working hard for themselves. Nothing will go as smoothly as you dream, you will need to build the foundations for your goal in order to make things happen! The common mistake people tend to make is setting themselves a deadline without creating a schedule. For example, trying to loose weight, two months before your holiday, but still living your life the same way and not implementing a plan to evoke change. Clearly, this will not work if you do not produce a plan establishing the principles you have set for yourself, that need to be adhered to for you to see results.  To emphasise my last point, change doesn’t happen overnight! Carefully think about how you want to go about accomplishing your goals. Devise a plan, establish the pros and cons and, see how you can embed this into your life. One goal of mine is to travel to at least one new country each year and I had to find a way to make this happen. I had to think about what time of the year I wanted to go, who I’d go with, my work schedule and my family’s holiday arrangements. Taking everything into consideration, I had finally decided on booking the flights and hotel. It may seem rather simple to some, but being a muslim girl is hard to make plans like this, as you will need to travel with someone who is your mahram (a male blood relative not permissible for marriage e.g. your father, brother, uncle or grandfather, with the exception of her husband). Planning to make your ends meet is key to hitting your goals as you are trying your best to do so. Knowing this earlier would have saved me the disappointment from quitting too soon. However, it is very common to quit before you’ve even begun, simply because it saves you the pain and misery you think you would suffer from if things didn’t go as plan. But what are you going to achieve if you haven’t tried? There’s no such thing as failure, only a lesson learnt. Despite not reaching your goals the first time around, you have discovered a new path to achieving this. Taking a step forward, even if it goes sideways, is still a big step that you will definitely learn from. 

Additionally, the idea that positive thoughts create positive things is helpful when creating your goals. This is simply the law of attraction supporting the power of self-belief and your goals only being as good as your mindset. If you want to get it, no one is in your way but yourself. Don’t put yourself down because of how you haven’t achieved your goals the same way as others. Don’t compare your journey with others as you have a different path to them. Speaking your dreams and goals into existence has helped quite a lot of people because it makes it real. I told myself I will go to Disneyland for my 20th and I did. I told myself I will have my blog up and running this year and I have! Try this and see how it helps you start your journey to reaching your end goals.

Moreover, one of the biggest downfall many people, including myself, have is procrastination. The common “I’ll do it later” you tell yourself and you never get to.  Like the essays and coursework you do the day before it’s due? It’s so easy to push things back, especially if they are not pressing matters. Although, this will actively need to be tackled to start reaching your goals if you want them to stick. I had always told myself “I’ll get to it later” or “count me in” but never lived up to it. Having said that, it does not mean I have completely stopped procratinating, but I have stopped myself from delaying everything. One piece of advise that has guided me into this path and is now etched into my brain is, “If it only takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it now”. Paraphrased advice from Twitter but been proven to be very helpful! Taking this seriously and evoking change in my everyday life, has given me the chance to live burden free from all the delayed tasks and has freed up my schedule to actually follow through with everything else I wanted to do.

Another goal of mine was to focus on self improvement by starting to becoming a ‘yes’ person. I wanted to start getting out more, away from my TV shows, and actually go out with friends and join my family trips. Honestly, this has changed my life! Altering from my typical answer, I started to experience things I would never see myself doing a year ago. For example, dressing up and going to a fancy restaurant, asking my friends to take pictures of me and being more comfortable with myself. Taking small steps such as agreeing to go out after work with friends, has helped build my confidence when it came to following through with future plans.  These may not sound like a huge difference, but for me, they are. Focusing on the positive aspects of my life and slowly removing the pessimistic thoughts, has changed my path to reaching my goals. 

As the year is slowly coming to an end, I thought this post would be something to consider when planning your own goals for the coming year. Obviously, following this exactly how I have will not work for everyone, but you could always adopt the parts relevant to you. To reiterate my key points, I do advise anyone planning anything they want to stick by, to take things slow and don’t expect to see results straight away. Remember practice makes perfect! Your path will not be the same as anyone else, so don’t mimic their actions to see the same results. To conclude my own experiences, I do believe I am a much happier person after following through with my personal goals, changing my mindset and understanding there is not only one path to success. 


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