By Savanah Mandeville
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been smashing the fux out of some goals the last couple years.
In July 2017, I started working out and actually stuck with it. In 2018, I made the New
Year’s Resolution to be a more happy and positive person so I set out to name 5 things I’m grateful for every single day, and I did a “positivity jar” where I wrote down one positive thing that happened each day. I know – it’s the most Pinteresty thing ever, but I’m happy to say that I actually stuck to both of my positivity goals! I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to dump out my jar on New Year’s Day and read 365 good things that happened to me last year. Plus the added benefit of actually BEING a happier, more positive person is awesome! Also, this June I completely quit drinking alcohol. That’s another story for another day, but making and sticking to the no drinking goal has proven to me that I can do just about anything. Also in 2018, I got a side hustle teaching ESL online and started attacking my debt. In five months, I paid off three credit cards!
So, I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at this whole long-term-goal thing.
Okay, so 2019 is upon us. New Year, New Me, right? Next on my agenda is attacking the rest of my credit card debt (which includes my big honkin’ maxed out $5,000 card), writing the rough draft of the novel that’s been swimming around in my head, and the big grand daddy of all goals: QUITTING SMOKING. I’m telling you, folks, this is the year I cut the cancer sticks for good.
My plan is to apply the same methods I used to reach my other goals, which I’m going to lay out for you here. Happy Goal Digging!
- Write down your goals
You’ve heard this one before, BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS. There is study after study out there (like this one) that says writing down your goal makes you a lot more likely to achieve it. I’ve even read articles that say if you write it down, stick in a drawer and never look at it again, you are still more likely to achieve your goal, though it helps to actually look at it on a regular basis. I write my goals down in the “Notes” app on my phone (and decorate it with cute emojis). This is handy because I can read my goals pretty much anywhere, any time. I probably don’t review my goals every single day, but I do pretty damn often.
The Bible and I have one thing in common, and that’s the belief that “Patience is a virtue.” When it comes to your goals, you have to have patience. No matter what your long term goal is, you aren’t going to see results right away. It took me three months of working out 5 days a week to see results. The key to success is consistency, staying the course, and not giving up. I know it can get frustrating when you’ve been busting your ass seemingly for nothing, but trust me, good things will happen if you give it enough time…
- 30 Days to Make/Break a Habit & 90 Days to Create a Lifestyle
…which leads me to my next point. You have to consistently work on your long term goal for 30 days before it gets easier and 90 days before you can relax. That first 30 days is going to be rough. The first 30 days is when you really have to strive and push yourself and (I’m gonna say it) be a little hard on yourself. My first 30 days of going to the gym, I had to force myself to not miss a workout under any circumstances. Period. No matter how badly I didn’t want to go, I went. It gets easier after 30 days, but you really gotta keep the pressure on until you hit 90 days. No excuses for 90 days. Go hard. Go HAM. Don’t give up. Your first 90 days, it’s okay to be a little obsessive and really be ALL ABOUT your goal. Also, don’t freak out. 90 days goes by a lot faster than you think.
- Don’t Celebrate Too Soon
I see this one a lot and I have been guilty of it too. Is your goal to lose 10 pounds? Don’t go all out celebrating when you lose 5 pounds. Give yourself a pat on the back, then keep going.
The advice is a little different when the goal is a lifestyle change because there isn’t really a set date or time that the goal comes to an end. When do you “achieve” quitting smoking? When you die of something other than lung cancer? Lol. So my rule is no making a big deal out of any milestones until after 30 days. This includes social media posting. For example, you don’t get to post, “I got a gym membership” and reap the benefits of likes and comments cheering you on when you haven’t actually done anything yet. What you do get to post is, “I’ve been working out consistently for a month!” Then let the let the heart reacts wash over you in a tidal wave of validation.
There’s psychology behind this. According to this study : “Social recognition is a reward that may cause you to reduce your efforts” and “receiving ‘person praise’ versus ‘process praise’ could decrease your motivation.”
I know what you’re thinking. “If I post about my goal on social media, then that will hold me accountable.” I hate to break it to you, but none of your Facebook friends care about your goal as much as you do. Not even your mom. And none of them are going to feel as hurt as you will when it doesn’t happen. You have to do this for YOU and hold YOURSELF accountable (at least until you can start getting some ‘process praise’).
In conclusion, the first rule of goal smashing is don’t talk about goal smashing.
5. Watch Youtube
Anything in the world you want to learn, you can learn on Youtube. I f’n LOVE Youtube. When I wanted to learn about fitness, I watched fitness videos on Youtube all the time. When I decided to quit drinking, I watched videos about quitting drinking. When I decided to improve my financial situation, I watched videos about that. You better believe I’m about to be watching a ton of videos about quitting smoking. Watching Youtube videos does a few things. First of all, knowledge is power, and with Youtube, you have access to literal experts to tell you what you need to know. Second of all, it’s an easy and entertaining way to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. Even if you’re watching videos with information you already know, it can serve as inspiration or motivation. You get to a point where you have your favorite Youtubers and you can subscribe to their channels and look forward to their new videos coming out, and that’s just a lot of fun. Think of it as watching TV with purpose.
- Envision Success
Envisioning yourself already having achieved your goal makes you much more likely to achieve it, according to this article. Close your eyes and imagine yourself wearing your skinny jeans or showing up to work at your own business or seeing a comma in your bank account (holla). If you’re crafty, creating a Vision Board is a fun visualization exercise – either on poster board or virtually. I made a 2018 Vision Board on Pinterest and completely forgot about it until recently, but I was happy to see that I had achieved almost everything on it! Like writing down your goal, vision boards work!
- Find Your Why
Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to quit smoking? Why do you want to increase the amount of donut holes you can fit in your mouth?
Dig deep and search your soul on this one. Are there a lot of reasons? Write them all down. But really search for the ONE BIG REASON.
Sometimes your “why” changes once you’ve actually been on the journey for a little while.
When I started working out, my reason was because I really wanted to tone up. Now that I’ve toned up, the thing that keeps me going is imagining myself as a healthy, fit old lady. I REALLY want to be a healthy, fit old lady someday! That’s the “why” that keeps me going day after day – I want to have a fitness lifestyle now and forever.
What is the “why” that is going to sustain you long term?
8. Forgive Yourself
No journey is a straight line. You’re going to have good days and bad days, setbacks and leaps forward. Forgive yourself when things don’t go according to plan – all goals are a journey of two steps forward and one step back. Accept the process and be proud of yourself each step of the way. It takes a lot self love and confidence to go after a better life for yourself, so beating yourself up with negative self talk will only hinder your determination to keep going. Forgive, forgive, forgive!
9. Celebrate Your Victories
Don’t forget to express gratitude when you achieve milestones! Your hard work paid off, so take some time to clap for yourself and reflect on what a badass you are. You deserve it!
I hope these tips help you as you set out to smash your goals in 2019!