Have you ever noticed how when you set a goal. suddenly and without warning, a million obstacles pop up out of the woodwork?
- Your kid gets sick.
- Your boss gives you a last-minute project that can’t wait.
- Your mom needs help moving.
So, you put your goal on the back burner. You spend all of your time focused on serving other people and tending to life’s unexpected requirements. Everything gets done. Except, of course, your goal.
While the examples above might not resonate exactly with your life, you get the picture here. It’s easy to set goals. It’s exciting to plan for how you’ll reach them. But, attaining goals is another story.
I know this firsthand, because in addition to being a mama to two young kiddos ( a 7-year-old and a 1-year-old), I also run this blog, am a full-time freelancer, and I homeschool my eldest child. And lately, my little one has wanted no one but mama. She wants to be held 24/7, including during naps and bedtime, and could EASILY be my excuse for why I can’t reach my goals.
Yet, I still DO reach my goals. And you can too. No matter how busy or crazy your life is at the moment. Because you are a powerful, possible, infinite creator who can be, do and have anything you desire.
And desire is the keyword there.
So if you’re ready, willing and desiring to bring your goals into fruition then read on my friend, because you don’t want to miss these tips.
Here are 5 ways to achieve any goal, no matter what:
1.) Start each day with a to-do list
If you want to get things done and continually progress toward your goals, then you have to start each day with a to-do list.
But, there’s a catch.
Your to-do list can’t be a list with an infinite amount of things you’d LIKE to get done on any given day. It has to be uber specific and limited to what you can actually achieve.
Otherwise, you’ll lose momentum and feel overwhelmed by everything you have to achieve.
To avoid this scenario, here’s what you SHOULD include on your to-do list:
- 6 or fewer tasks for the day
- Order your tasks from the most important to the least important
- Specific times for when you will work on each task
- How long each task will take you to complete
Look at your to-do list as your roadmap to the next simple step you need to take to reach your goal. It should help you get from A to B, rather than A to Z.
Remember, small simple steps will lead to big results over time. This isn’t a race, it’s a test in endurance and desire. If you want to “win” and bring your goal to fruition, you need to take action.
Every. Single. Day.
2.) Turn off notifications
According to modern science, we have the attention span of a goldfish. Meaning we pay attention to whatever we’re consuming for about 8 seconds.
Now, while I don’t necessarily agree with this estimate, I have caught myself more times than I’d like to admit swapping between emails, social media, my website, text messages, and beyond. And typically, this behavior happens when I’m not even consciously aware I’m doing it!
Which is what brings me to way #2 to reach your goals — turn off notifications on your phone, laptop, tablet etc.
Notifications are distracting. Period. And they’re especially detrimental when you’re trying to complete a task.
Here are some suggestions for how to manage your notifications:
- Turn off non-urgent notifications. Always. Not sure if it’s non-urgent? Ask yourself, “Is not knowing this information right away potentially harmful to my life?” If the answer is no, the notification is non-urgent.
- When you visit a new website and it asks, “Allow notifications?” always click “no“ UNLESS that website is providing valuable information that will actually HELP you change your life and reach your goals.
- As far as social media is concerned, keep notifications off. They’re distracting and will cause you to get sucked into a filtered reality.
When you take control of your notifications, you are also taking control of your life. No longer will random notifications distract you. Instead you will re-train your brain to focus on the task at hand.
And the longer you focus, the more productive you become. Here’s a simple equation to help illustrate this point:
Focus + Productivity= ProgressFocus + Productivity = Progress Click To Tweet
3.) Set a schedule and add “fluff” time to it
No matter how ironclad your schedule may seem, life happens and interruptions occur.
I know this because I set a schedule every day, and rarely do I stick to it 100% (I mean, #momlife anyone?).
That’s why when you create your daily schedule, you need to make sure you have extra time to complete each task. Interruptions will happy and you want to make sure you work in additional time for each task so that when you get interrupted or distracted, you are STILL able to complete the task in the allotted time period.
Here’s an example:
- Goal: Write a blog post
- Time Needed: 30 minutes
- Schedule: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
In this example, even though it takes me 30 minutes to write a blog post, I allot 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete it. This way, if I get interrupted or have to pause for a few minutes, I’m still able to reach my goal.
Doing this will help you determine how much you can actually achieve in a day, and ensure you complete all of your goals.
4.) Use a timer
If you’re like most people, you work better with a deadline.
Deadlines help create a sense of urgency, which in turn help us focus better and work more efficiently in a given period of time.
That’s why when you are working through your tasks, you should set a timer as soon as you begin.
Here are some suggestions you can use to increase efficiency:
- Put away your phone
- Close any unnecessary browser tabs
- Start your timer when you’re ready to begin
- Stay focused until the timer goes off
- Resist the urge to check the timer
By following the above strategies, you’ll increase your overall productivity and are more likely to reach your goal in the allotted timeframe.
5.) Prioritize your tasks
Often, the “biggest” or most important task is the one we dread the most. So we tackle all of the smaller, less important tasks first.
While this method might make you feel productive, it’s actually counterproductive and will often leave you stuck in the same place you are.
Let’s say for example your goal is to write a book. Perhaps your daily schedule looks something like this:
- Write uninterrupted for 30 minutes
- Read for 20 minutes
- Do laundry
- Go grocery shopping
- Make dinner
- Work out
In this instance, the most important aspect of your day is to write for 30 minutes. Otherwise, you will never finish that book you want to write. But, if you don’t prioritize, you may end up working backwards. By the time you have an opportunity to write, you may feel to exhausted from your day.
Start each day by tackling the most important task first. Then work backward. In the example above, if you run out of time or energy before you complete your list, perhaps grocery shopping or laundry gets the boot. This way you stay on track to reach your goal, and create momentum first thing in the morning.
What goal are you working towards? Share yours with me in the comments below and let’s keep each other accountable!
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer and life-long student of the universe. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to simplifying the spiritual experience and making it attainable for everyone. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest, and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness, and empowered living.