Email theblondeprep@gmail.com with questions, comments, or concerns. Powered by Blogger.

Guide to Setting & Achieving Your Goals in 2021


When it comes to achieving my goals, more often than not I end up quitting on them early before I get to where I want to go. For example, if you read my post on the 10-day moving countdown, you’ll notice I really had to focus on reminding myself of the “why” behind my decision and self-motivation to make this dream of moving to New York a reality. Not going to lie, I definitely considered (and even once brought up to my manager) the option of transferring to the Chicago office. SO happy now that I didn’t do that, but that’s where this post comes in: there are several factors that go into setting and achieving major goals, like moving to a new city, and today I am going to share a couple of key elements that are essential to this process.

Reflecting on my experience and what I’ve learned thus far, I thought I’d share a bit of actionable advice on realistic goal setting and establishing independence. I also sprinkled in a few of the random actions I've taken in the past year to make progress in my own life. Side note* April happens to be Financial Literacy Month, so if you were waiting for a sign to get your financial goals particularly in order, this is it!

Identify & Prioritize

Creating structure around your goals and a strategy for reaching them is essential to success. You can do this by identifying what it is you want to work towards and prioritizing your goals in order of importance and attainability… quite literally, by writing them down and ranking them! Once you’ve made this list, focus on just one goal at a time, and post it somewhere you can look at it daily-- a key to personal accountability. Identifying which goal is worth focusing your attention on first and creating a realistic timeline can create the necessary structure for tracking your progress and planning ahead. I was recently listening to an episode of the Skinny Confidential podcast where they mentioned how it takes 100 days to form a habit. Because of that, focusing on one goal at a time is the only way to make sure that every new thing you incorporate into your life really sticks.

Assess Your Situation

When you’re not actively working on a strategy towards your goals, you may not be entirely aware of how distant or attainable contributing factors may be, which is why this step is so important. Taking a personal assessment of relevant factors including your health, financial standing, occupational and personal responsibilities, and anything else that may play a role in your process is crucial for ensuring you’re being realistic in your strategy.

Let’s focus on finances, because I think this isn’t talked about enough, and it really relates to my recent move! Like, hello, New York City is the most expensive city in America! And, finances are often one of the most important variables in long-term goals. For me, short-term lifestyle goals include working out, walking 10,000 steps a day, etc, but long-term goals are more like… where do I want my career to go? Where do I want to live? How am I investing my money for my future? While it’s not necessarily the most exciting part of the process, it’s important to understand how a major life change, like moving to a new city, will impact your financials. That said, there are ways to work around any budget in order to achieve your dreams! If your current job isn’t producing enough income to fund your plans, consider taking on a side hustle to earn extra money and put towards your savings goals. Or perhaps you’ve recently graduated with various student loans, look into consolidating your debt through a personal loan to lower your interest rates and help pay them off faster. Understanding your options here can make big goals like moving or starting a business feel that much more attainable.

Track Your Progress Honestly

The thing about personal goals is that you’re the only one responsible for whether or not you succeed. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable. Progress is progress when it comes to working towards something important to you, whether they be big steps or small.

When I applied for jobs as a senior in college, I had no idea whether or not they would play out in my favor, but at least I was taking steps in the right direction! I kept a detailed spreadsheet with links to jobs, marked if I had applied, heard back (or not), followed up, interviewed, etc, for every single one. And, like, I applied to a lot of jobs.

I also have a spreadsheet now that I use to give myself a general idea of how much money I should be/can be spending every month and what I need to account for. Tracking progress and celebrating small successes can help keep you motivated and on track with your goals. There are tons of different strategies for doing this depending on your preferences. Bullet journaling is a popular option as you can visually track your progress and it’s flexible enough where you can use it for both your overall goals and financial goals as well.


***

There is never going to be a “right” time to go after something you want, and if you do wait for the right time you might never get there. I hope this little antidote of inspiration helps you in achieving your goals for 2021 and that my experience helps you in your process in some way!

xo,
Fran

No comments

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love hearing your thoughts!