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6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

Picture this.

You’re sitting on the patio of a beautiful restaurant watching the fireworks of the year’s end with all of your closest friends.

You’re smiling because you’ve achieved all of the biggest goals you set for yourself in 2017 and you’re excited to share this moment with the people you love as you cheer on another great year to come.

That would feel pretty good, right?

Although many of us feel that the above situation is a pipe dream locked away for only the most productive people to achieve, it doesn’t have to be this way.

By following different proven methods of productive goal-setting, you can achieve your biggest goals too, whether they’re losing more weight, starting your business, meeting that special someone, or writing that book you’ve always wanted to write.

It sounds impossible, but it’s not. I promise you.

Here’s how you can make 2017 your best year yet.

1. Imagine Yourself Already Having Achieved Your Goals

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

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Say you want to start a business, but you don’t know how (really, you don’t even know where to begin). Instead of procrastinating in despair, try this.

Take 5 minutes right now to think about how good it would feel to be running your own business.

What would that look like for you? Would you be working from the comfort of your own home, from the coffee shop down the block, or maybe before boarding a plane that will take you jet-setting around the world?

No matter what business you want to start, focus on how amazing it would feel to finally set the blocks in motion and be living the life you want. Make sure you keep it personalized to yourself (and remember, it doesn’t have to be realistic — yet).

2. Set Your Goals in Reverse

Now that you know what your ideal life would look like, pull out a piece of paper to complete the picture.

At the beginning, write down the desired result of your biggest goal. If you want to make money from home, write that. If you want to be a published author, jot that down.

Now it’s time to make your goal more tangible.

What are the steps you could ideally take to reach that goal? If you want to start a business to make money, how would you generate money?

For instance, you could create a webinar to generate sales for your business, but you’d need an email list before you could do that. And before that, you’d need clients, a website, a name, and an idea for your business.

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Don’t think too complicated now. This exercise is just intended to generate a simple way path to your goals, no matter how far away they seem now.

3. Break Your Goals Into Bite-Sized Pieces

You already planned out how to achieve your goals in reverse. But let’s face it — it’s hard to reach your biggest goals. We all know this.

However, if you break them down into little bite-sized pieces first, then it’ll be much easier for you to make progress towards them every week.

As we’ve all heard, it’s easier to eat an elephant if you do it one bite at a time.

The same is true for your goals. If you try and take it all on at once, it’s going to make things way harder than they need to be for you.

But if you just do one small thing today towards your biggest goal, that progress will add up faster than you think.

4. Become Distraction-Proof

Now that you’ve made a roadmap to reach your goals, you need to concentrate on the roadblocks stopping you from reaching the destination of your ideal life.

Ask: What’s blocking you from achieving your desired results?

If it’s constant interruptions, consider ways you could fight against that.

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For instance, if you’re trying to do focused work on your laptop, you could disconnect completely from the internet or install an internet-blocker like Freedom.

Or if you’re having trouble working from home, you could go into a quiet study area at your local library to escape the distractions all around you.

If you can find a way to circumvent distraction, it’ll be much easier to start achieving your biggest goals today.

5. Work in Focused Sprints Every day

Most of the work we do these days is shallow and unfocused.

That’s why I love Cal Newport’s new book Deep Work. In it, he shares a method where we can all achieve the desired results we want in our lives.

The solution is finding time in your day to do focused work. Unlike shallow work, this form of “deep” work can help us make progress towards something substantial that’s related to our personal or professional lives.

If you can fit a focused burst of 25 minutes into your morning, try that. If not, fit it into your afternoon. Whenever you can find a time, these 25-minute Pomodoro’s can do wonders to help you reach your goals instead of just checking your Facebook notifications or replying to yet another email on the list with no real benefit.

6. Constantly Review and Access Your Goals

Goal-setting is not just for the end or the start of the year.

Many of us make the error of only setting goals when we see the new year approaching. Then, shortly after it, we fail to follow through on those goals we set for ourselves.

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Soon into the year, many of our goals are forgotten, abandoned, and left unfinished only to be ticked onto our lists for the next year to come.

The problem is that we should be setting new goals constantly — either to reach new goals or to make adjustments to our old ones — because our lives aren’t stagnant. Like our environments, they’re constantly changing, so we should be adapting along with them.

Don’t be afraid to delete any goals that no longer mean anything to you. Above all, always be changing, modifying, and adapting.

If you can develop a model of consistency when it comes to reviewing and accessing your goals, you’ll be way ahead of the rest.

How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

Take a moment to think about the biggest goals you want to achieve in 2017. Maybe they’re goals you didn’t achieve or didn’t have time for last year.

Think about how you would feel by accomplishing even one of them. And imagine how great it would feel to be sharing champagne and celebrating with your closest friends after achieving your biggest goals for 2017.

I know it feels impossible, but your goals are achievable.

By following these six simple strategies, next year you won’t be looking back at 2017 in despair. Instead, you won’t be able to do anything but smile.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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