How to Follow Through with Your Goals (when your motivation is dwindling)

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January 1st is often the time we set and plan our goals for the year. And plan it we do – with glitter pens, washi tapes. Very happily I might add. We’re halfway through February now so I guess it’s an appropriate time to ask:
Hey. How are you?

How are you holding up with that goal of yours? Have you had any progress since January 1st? Have you done anything to make yourself one step closer to reaching your goals or doing that New Thing?

Or… let me take a wild guess on what has happened here:

The motivation to reach your goals is dwindling. Fast. Like alarmingly fast. It’s probably going downhill faster than a sorbetes melting in the Sahara Desert on its hottest day.

Yo I’ve been there too.

Making your goals and resolutions could be the Easiest Thing Ever but the implementing part would be as hard as rocket science. The good news? Following through your goals isn’t rocket science. Here are some awesome ideas that will help you follow through with your goals.

How to Follow Through with Your Goals | Personal development, Personal growth, Goal setting, Life tips

Create daily mantras and positive affirmations

The brain is kinda Type A when you think about it. It likes routine. It prefers repeated tasks because these things are easier for the brain to understand. One particular task you can do that has a great impact, not only to your brain but also emotionally, is creating daily mantras or positive affirmations.

Mantras have always been helpful to me when I needed a little push and self-motivation. I’ve dipped my toes on positive affirmations a few times but never really did it regularly. But I’ve heard many good things about saying affirmations so I’m gonna try them someday.

Related: 5 Motivating Mantras for When You Think You Can’t Do It

What to do: Think of several mantras and positive affirmations that strikes the motivation chord inside you. What I do is keep my go-to mantras at the front of my mind so it’s there when I need them. But you can also do a regular habit of telling yourself those positive affirmations every morning. Maud of My Passion Projects does this and she swears by it.

Break down your goals

I’ve talked about this plenty of times before and that’s because I vouch for this so much! Breaking down those big goals into small achievable ones makes total sense.

I mean, think about it. It’s just like eating one whole cake.

We all wish we could gobble it up in one swallow, right? But it’s almost physically unattainable. Unless you’re a dragon, of course.

There are very few, really amazing people who could do it (and I reek of pure envy when I see them.) But most of us just have to rely on a knife and a fork and our hands to break down that cake into an easily consumable slice. Or five. Most likely five.

Applying that delicious analogy to goals: when you break down your big goal to smaller, more achievable goals, all you have to deal with is one piece of cake at a time! And isn’t that easier and FUN??

What to do: Break down your Big Goal into smaller achievable goals. For example, if you want to finish an 80k-word novel in 90 days, you can make small daily goals of 900 words every day. Think NaNoWriMo. And if your Big Goal is world domination, you could break it down to conquering one country — or even one city — at a time. Make use of the W-questions – who, what, why, where, when.

Remember your intentions

Intentions used to sound lowkey woo-woo before but a lot of people emphasize on its importance now for a reason.

Knowing your intentions is gonna be a good foundation to setting, and ultimately reaching, your goals. It’s just as Grandma Tala keeps telling Moana. It’s just like cloud Mufasa’s poetic message to Simba: You have to know who YOU are. Remember where you come from. Your goals root from an urge deep inside you. That root is your intention. Moana said it best: it CALLS you. And so remembering your intention will help you keep track of your goals and guide you to the direction you need to go.

What to do: Write your intention and tack it somewhere you can see everyday. Maybe it’s in the bathroom mirror or your closet door or your work desk or your bookshelf. Bonus tip: make it F-U-N! Take out your watercolors and brushes and do an awesome typography of it. So it won’t look like your professor’s or boss’s super formal memo. (Which, let’s be honest here, is lowkey yish.)

Schedule everything and take action

This is the part that will appeal to your inner General Li Shang: let’s get down to business!

Now that you’ve broken down your goals and remembered your intentions, it’s time to whip out your pen and paper (and the washi tapes and color markers, obvs.) And map out your goal-setting strategy — or if you already did this back in January 1st, review your plan. Revise accordingly and immediately get to work!

Nadalie Bardo of It’s All You Boo has this brilliant goal-setting tip: spend 20% of your time planning and 80% of it slaying the heck out of those goals. And that means taking action. Taking conscious and deliberate action. Because the plans? They’re necessary, sure. But they won’t help you in reaching your goals much if you don’t do the physical work. Remember Shia’s angry motivational cry? Yep. DO IT.

What to do: Make a goal-reaching plan and follow through STAT. Make use of Nadalie’s 20:80 rule.

I use her very own Slay Your Goals planner to keep track of my monthly goals and the New Things I hope to do this year.

It’s a 60-plus-page stationery heaven with a pre-goal planning chapter for establishing your intentions. This one I especially loved filling in because spending a good chunk of my free time mulling over what ignites my soul and sparks a light inside me is practically one of my favorite hobbies. This planner is thought-provoking like that.

But you know what’s the best part? Motivational quotes on every.freakin.page! YAS GURL.

Have an accountability buddy

Supporting yourself is good and all but sometimes we need an outside intervention. For this to happen, you have to share your goals to someone.

Some people like to share it somewhere public, like in Twitter, because they want to be held accountable by their peers and followers. But okay okay, I understand if you don’t want to shout out your goals to the entire world. Even I don’t. I’m quite superstitious like that.

But remember those MVP friends you have? The ones you told about Your Most Embarrassing 7th Grade moment and laughed their butts off for a good hour or so but was still there? Or the ones you told about your deepest, darkest secrets and who have seen you at your lowest? Or the ones who don’t sugarcoat anything to you? And in spite all that, they stayed?

You can tell them, no doubt about that.

These awesome for-keeps friends will help you keep going even when you begin to feel like your goal is a piece of nonsense crap that won’t solve global warming. Because not only will they hold you accountable, they will be your personal cheerleaders too!

What to do: Reach out to the most no-nonsense people you know. Those who won’t accept excuses and easily sympathize to your silly reasons. This will be hard. Believe me, there will come a time when you will looowkey regret asking them to be your accountability buddy. But that lowkey regret will be nothing once you reached that goal and will be eternally grateful to them 🙂

Give yourself a little more compassion

You know what’s one of the biggest obstacles we face when we embark on the journey of reaching a goal? OURSELVES.

I know. Shocker, isn’t it.

But really, the fear living inside you can be such a powerful villain in your story. It’s, like, much more powerful than Voldemort and rotten cheese combined. It will creep into your mind faster than the smell of rotten cheese can reach your nose.

It probably doesn’t even have to creep into your mind because it’s already there.

And one of fear’s superpowers? To make your dreams and goals less enticing than they were the first time. To make them look like an utter piece of crap that won’t be helpful to anyone. Fear does this by utilizing how much we dread failure. So cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a little more compassion. Remind yourself that reaching your goal has a purpose and that it will be helpful.

Forgive yourself when you couldn’t do a 360-day goal in thirty days. Most of us can’t and that’s fine. You have 300 days left, more or less. Fight on, yeah? Yeah!

What’s your progress in reaching your goals? Is your motivation currently dwindling? What are you doing to keep yourself motivated? Share them all below!

Let’s be friends!

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PS: Check out how to achieve the Big Goals
Photo from Ivory Mix

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11 thoughts on “How to Follow Through with Your Goals (when your motivation is dwindling)

  1. Can I just say your analogies and examples in this post are absolutely spot on? I lost at is cloud Mufasa 😉

    Not but seriously, this post is so timely! And I think it’s fantastic to check in on goals and resolution a few times throughout the year instead of simply stating them in January and then completely forgetting about them. My problem right now isn’t so much that I’m not sticking to my resolutions as it is that I don’t think I’ll have enough time to finish them all 🙁 I based my writing goals around what I achieved last year, however this year I’m also editing a novel for the very first time, and I’m realizing that I vastly underestimated just how much work that was going to be. I’m still focused and keeping my head in the game, but wow, I think I might need to adjust my expectations for how much new writing I’ll be getting done this year.

    Anyway, fantastic post!

  2. Solid advice all around, and awesome post! 😀
    I definitely think breaking things up into smaller, more obtainable goals and completing the big picture bit by bit is a great way to go about things. It’s helped me numerous times.
    Random side note: That Totoro plush is adorable! <3 While house hunting I geeked out about a Totoro rug someone had in one of the homes we were looking at and I don't think the realtor had any idea why I was so excited about it. lol

  3. “Fear does this by utilizing how much we dread failure. So cut yourself some slack.” – I like that! I’m discovering my writing voice with a motivational blog and when I begin to doubt why I am doing it, I will remember those words! Thanks!!

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