Follow Through! + 5 Steps to Turn your 2020 Plans into Action

As the first couple of weeks of the new decade draws to an end, quite a number of us may already be over the “Happy New Year” “New Year, New Me”, “Vision 2020” vibe, that is, if we were even hyped about it in the first place.

You may or may not have penned down the goals you want to achieve in the new year and you may or may not be ready to execute them.

Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking to start acting on those 2020 plans, here are 5 important steps to turn your plans into action!

1. Develop an Action Plan

An action plan is basically a road map you can follow that will get you to your goal. It critically examines and answers the questions “when?’ “what?” “how?” “who?’ and “why” in relation to the goals you set.

By developing an action plan and writing same down, your goal will seem less daunting and more attainable. Your action plan should entail a detailed breakdown of all the steps needed to achieve your goals along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you will realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.

In my previous blog post, I discussed developing an action plan and how a vision board party I attended helped me reflect clearly on some important questions in relation to my goals here.

2. Decide to be Consistent and Committed

Look, the truth is, you can pen down all the goals in the world, develop a ten-page action plan or hang twelve vision boards in your room with words screaming at you in capital letters. If you do not decide to be consistent and committed to your goals this year, you will fall short.

This is not me trying to be negative or pessimistic. It is just a fact. In order to follow through on your goals for the year, you must decide to be consistent and committed. However, the work is not in the decision but in the follow through. To help with making the conscious decision, you can write it down, stick a little reminder on your mirror or talk to someone about this conscious decision you want to make and implement.

The truth is, making a decision to be consistent is like making a vow. There is really no point in making it if you do not intend to follow through on it. So, before you make a hasty decision, seeing as it may appear simple to do, remember that you will be required to follow through to see results.

For more tips on being consistent and getting things done even when you do not feel like, click here.

3. Develop Discipline

In order to achieve those goals you have set for yourself for 2020, you have to grow and develop in your discipline. Without discipline, accomplishment of goals set will be next to impossible.

Discipline will help you go far and keep you motivated to continue in your goals and dreams for days you do not feel like doing anything. Practice delaying immediate gratification of activities that are not in line with your goals.

4. Conquer Fear and avoid procrastination

In order to smash the goals you have set this year, you need to conquer fear. I have realized that this is as important as the goals themselves. Fear paralyses you and boxes you into a corner, so that you cannot move, cannot act and cannot take decisions capable of catapulting your life in the direction you want it to go.

You must conquer fear and repeatedly remind yourself that you want these goals and are willing to work hard to see results. them. Stop doubting yourself and your capabilities. Do not talk down to yourself or wait to be the smartest in the room before you take a step.

Furthermore, avoid procrastination. Avoid the perfectionist mindset. There is no perfect time. And if there was a perfect time, the perfect time would be now! You do not have to be ‘good enough‘ to start working towards your goals and putting things in place that will help you accomplish same.

“Our greatest fears are just that…our greatest fears

5. Go For It!

There is no time like the present. You’ve got to start somewhere, so dig deep, find your courage and go for it! Your goals will never happen if you don’t take action. It may seem scary to take that first leap. Maybe you’re still working on the details, developing the action plan, thinking it through or are worried you’re not ready.

Plan and ensure that all the necessary preparations are carried out. However, you also need to jump in and continue to figure it out as you go

YOU CAN DO IT!

Love and Light,

Rachel.

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Why Goal Setting Matters + 5 Tips for Effective Goal Setting in 2020

“Our Dreams become Reality, when we first, give ourselves permission to Dream, wildly and without limits. Then we turn those dreams into Goals, which is the bridge between the world, imagination and the reality we create for ourselves.”

Nara Lee

Who else is bubbling with excitement at the thought of 2019 coming to an end?

This year has really been something, if I do say so myself. No matter how crazy it has gotten, I am still grateful for being able to see its end. I am also excited about what 2020 holds because I am certain it’s going to be a great year for everyone reading this!

So, if you’ve been doing some deep reflection about how 2019 went and you have started thinking of setting goals for 2020, then you’ve come to the right place!

Me at a vision board party I attended recently.

You may currently have decided on some goals you want to achieve in 2020, but may have decided to just “wing it” and “see what happens”. Quite a number of people in recent times have hopped on the “no new year resolutions” and “just gonna go with the flow” trains. While there may be nothing wrong with this, setting your goals and putting pen to paper might just be the best thing you decide to do for your 2020.

Here’s why

Goal setting is really important because it gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organise your time and resources so that you can make the most of your life.

When you have a goal written down, you have a destination, a standard, a sort of benchmark. You are conscious of achieving this goal and are constantly reminded of same. The goal means a lot to you so most of what you do during the year, months and days are intricately tied to achieving this goal.

Furthermore, when you set goals, you develop effective action plans that will help motivate and guide you towards them. You are therefore able to navigate life keeping your goals in mind and can return to your why when you find yourself in a demotivation pit.

So here are 5 helpful tips for effective goal setting in 2020:

1. Write them down!

Now,

This is the part where I emphasise how important it is to actually write down your goals for 2020 and not just make a mental note of what you hope to achieve. While I am not writing mental notes off, I believe (and this has been backed by years of scientific research) that written goals are more likely to be achieved than those not written. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible so it is hard to forget.

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.”

—Mark Victor Hansen

Let’s do a little exercise that requires honesty: Think of the goals you set at the beginning of 2019. Now, take a slow but careful look back on how the year went in terms of your goals. How many were achieved and how many were not? How many of the goals not achieved were because you genuinely forgot or felt you could not “keep up”? No need to beat yourself up if you feel you fell short this year, there’s always next year. Besides, you are not your goals!

Your answers should motivate you to write down your goals going forward. You actually stand to lose nothing if you write down these goals.

2. Set goals that align with your purpose

It is very important to set goals that align with your purpose and calling in life.

A number of us get caught up in setting goals based on what we think we should be doing or accomplishing (saving up for a new car when it’s not needed or getting a higher paying job in an industry you hate) rather than based on what our purpose is.

While these goals may be achievable, you’ll find that they are much easier to drop during the year because they are not aligned with your purposed and/or calling. You may set them because you feel you need to, but if you dig deep, you’ll find that you are not passionate about these goals and/or they are not in sync with your deepest dreams and desires.

“So, when you set your goals, go for your deepest dreams, desires, passions and calling. Don’t let the voice inside your head tell you “it’s impossible”, “it’s too complicated”, etc – because if you don’t set that goal, you will never do, what you were put on earth to do.”

You may be wondering “well, what exactly is my purpose and/or calling?” To that, I say, you already have your first assignment of 2020. Now get to it.

3. Set SMART GOALS

SMART stands for Specific., Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

  • Specific: Do not be vague. Ask yourself exactly what you want. Write it down. Do not be scared to be specific about when, how, how long and even how much you want?
  • Measurable: Quantify your goal. How will you know if you have achieved it or not? Set simple milestones and celebrate little victories.
  • Attainable: Be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish at this point in your life while taking into consideration your current responsibilities. Ask yourself “Is this goal attainable?”
  • Realistic: It’s got to be doable, real and practical. Do not get overwhelmed by people’s input of what their version of reality is. You may also be tempted to, out of fear, rule certain goals out as “unrealistic”. Do not let fear rule your goal setting for 2020.
  • Time: Associate a time frame with each goal. When should you complete the goal? It is advisable to have short time frames for smaller goals within the bigger goals rather to prevent getting discouraged or demotivated.

4. Use unconditional love as the starting point

“When you use unconditional self-love as the starting point when setting any goal, you remain aware that perfection is not tied to the end result, but rather the reality of the present moment.You were perfect at the onset and you are perfect now; you are perfect throughout. You are aware the entire time that the end result won’t define you. It is through the practice of awareness that you are able to see the perfection that exists in yourself, which also lets you see perfection in the world around you and in each being in it.”

This is so so so so important because you need to remember that you are setting goals because you want to, you desire to, and not because you need to. You need to remember that you are not the goals you set, neither are you the accomplishment or otherwise of these goals.

When setting your goals for 2020, use unconditional love for yourself as a starting point. By doing this, you understand that you are already perfect and complete in God as you are. These goals (be it getting married, moving to a better apartment, having kids, getting a better job, getting into school etc) are amazing bonuses that do not define you at your core.

You are already perfection. Never forget that.

5. Develop an Action Plan

This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. I must admit that even I have missed this step a lot of times in setting goals. I would just write down my goals and try to keep it moving.

However, it is important to develop an action plan which entails a breakdown of all the steps needed to achieve the goals along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.

I recently attended a vision board party hosted by VisionBoardsNigeria and it was an amazing time for me reflecting on my goals for 2019 and which ones I was able to accomplish. I was able to reflect on those I was yet to accomplish and why.

It was a defining moment for me when I realised that although I did not accomplish some goals I had set out, I did not feel any less about myself. Instead, I was spurred to try again in 2020.

Remember…

“Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced.”

Here’s to a productive and goal-smashing 2020 filled with unconditional self-love. 🥂

Love and Light,

R.

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If You Are Considering Giving Up on 2019, READ THIS!

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.

The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Easier said than done right?

Tell me about it.

October 2019. You may not be feeling those ground-breaking, self-achieving goals you set towards the end of 2018 or at the beginning of 2019. In fact, you may have had a really tough year and are ready to face the fact that you’re done…ready to hit the RESET button.

YES, the first week of 2019 seemed full of promises, opportunities, and goals you set out to achieve for the rest of this year. From those weight loss and healthy-eating goals, to spiritual goals, to that career change or taking a big step in starting a business/project, to finishing books you’ve always wanted to read, to completing courses and acquiring more skills without any excuse, the list seems endless.

You may have “run out of steam” and are currently considering giving up totally and patiently waiting at the train station for the 2020 train to arrive. Some of the reasons why, may be due to circumstances beyond your control. You may also have decided to start working on these goals again from January 2020 even though you can get to work now, but there’s just something about a new year that gives you that added boost and determination…right?

You may have adopted the “Abeg I cannot come and go and kill myself” mentality (which by the way, is the most convenient to say, but in reality, could be a way to escape from accomplishing goals you set or yourself) and are fine with this because, actually, you cannot kill yourself.

You look back on this year and see that the little steps you decided to take towards an important goal now seem too big and scary to accomplish. There are now more reasons why your plans can go wrong than right and the sole reason why it can go right is proving difficult to find. And so it seems safer to just remain in your comfort zone where nothing goes left and everything goes right. Sadly, it is safe to conclude that you may be fading out.

HOWEVER,

I’m here to remind you that 2019 is not over yet! If you have been making attempts from the beginning of 2019 till now but none seem to come through and all you have been left with are mistakes, remember that:

“Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

ALSO REMEMBER:

To take a closer look at your goals

If you wrote them down or made a mental note, pause and reflect on the three most important goals that you determined you would set out to achieve this year. Now, DO EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS OR SET THINGS IN PLACE TO DO SO.

To count your wins

This year was not all bad. There were some minor insignificant wins that you had this year, even if the only one might be approaching the year end alive. Count them. It’s easy to forget the good and focus on what did not go right. However, count those wins and remain grateful but hungry to do more.

To believe in your capabilities

The mind is powerful and belief in oneself, which stems from the human mind, can either make or break you as an individual. Your belief in yourself and your capabilities can either create an amazing life for you or destroy one full of potential. Believe in your capabilities to see things through and get them done.

To resist from making unhealthy comparisons

The year is wrapping up. Social media is going to be awash with lists of achievements and stories from the journeys of others. People will share more their highs than lows. Resist comparing your journey to theirs. Pay attention to your Behind The Scenes and not someone else’s Highlight Reel.

It is not too late!

To go after those dreams and work hard in the achievement of your goals. You can write 2019 off as having run its course or you can be determined to put in work these next two months to set things rolling or put things in place. Your choice. The fact remains that it is not too late to achieve whatever it is before the end of the year.

Give 2019 that extra push. Sometimes, all you need to do is try one more time.

You can do this!

P.S, 

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Here’s Why You Procrastinate + 6 Practical Tips To Help You Overcome Procrastination

Procrastinate
/prə(ʊ)ˈkrastɪneɪt/
(verb)

delay or postpone action; put off doing something.
“the temptation will be to procrastinate until the power struggle plays itself out”

synonyms:
delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize.

It is no secret that procrastination is a huge enemy of the achievement of goals and dreams. I would know, I almost procrastinated writing and publishing this blog post.

If you’re an avid procrastinator, you’ve probably asked yourself why you procrastinate so much. Then again, you’ve probably procrastinated with coming up with an answer to that question. In the alternative, you may have just given up altogether, accepting your fate and dwelling in your cave of procrastination.

The reality is that sometimes, we do not know why we delay getting things done. You may or may not have accepted the fact that you procrastinate but if you are constantly putting things off or delaying some tasks because “you’re not ready” or “it’s not that good” or you need to “put some finishing touches”, I am here to let you know that you are procrastinating.

Now, here are some reasons why you procrastinate:

Fear of failure or being criticised: This is legit one of the most common reasons why we tend to put off goals or tasks. You may be scared of the outcome, of putting in the work towards a certain goal and coming up short. You may be scared of external judgment or negative criticism that, let’s face it, does not always feel good. Thoughts like “what if it doesn’t work?” “would people like it?” “What if I fail?” “What would people say about this?” constantly plague your mind.

Lack of Motivation: You may delay getting things done because you really do not have the motivation to get them done right now. Or, in simpler terms, you’re not just in the mood.

Mental or Physical Exhaustion: Another possible reason could be that you’re stressed out and are just plain exhausted physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Your brain and/or body cannot take up any more tasks for now and so you keep pushing things that need to be done away.

Overwhelmed: You may have some huge goals and plans that leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. You do not know where to start so you keep delaying until you “figure it out”.

Indecisiveness: You are indecisive about what goals you want to achieve and keep going back and fourth. You are yet to make a decision and so it’s best to put it off till later until you can “come up with a substantial decision”.

Prioritisation of immediate feelings: You keep choosing how you feel in the moment over the long term results and do not delay gratification. If it makes you feel good now, you’ll do it. This is why you spend more time Netflix and Chilling than actually working towards your goals…and then later complain that you do not have enough time to get things done.

You do not believe in your capabilities: You feel that you are not good enough, not ready or not as qualified as some people seem to be. You keep waiting to be qualified or have the right experience before you take action. So in your opinion, it’s best to “wait till everything is perfect; the timing, your qualification and the tasks themselves“. This is why you keep putting off publishing that book, updating your CV and applying for that job, taking that course or just putting content out there on social media.

Other reasons could be that you’re going through depression, may have an attention deficit disorder and get bored easily or may fear that you will sabotage yourself in working towards your tasks.

If you have admitted to yourself that you procrastinate most times and may very well fall into one of these categories above, then congratulations. That is the first step. It is important that you identify what your “reason” is for procrastinating so that you can effectively deal with it.

So how can you overcome procrastinating? Here are 5 simple ways you can try:

Break huge goals/tasks into smaller tasks: By doing this you’re not as overwhelmed or confused at where you need to start. Break goals down into smaller tasks and the smaller ones into smaller ones. Tackle smaller ones daily and set realistic deadlines for yourself.

Reward yourself for the accomplishment of smaller tasks: Do not wait until you hit a “milestone” or till you achieve a huge goal before you can celebrate. Celebrate little victories and plan to reward yourself for the accomplishment of smaller tasks no matter how insignificant they may seem. This gives you something to look forward to and may give you the much needed motivation to get things done.

Get motivated!: If you lack motivation to get things done right now and stop putting things off, get motivated! External sources of motivation help, but at the end of the day, you are your most valuable asset, so motivate yourself as well! Listen to motivating music, watch inspirational videos, listen to inspirational/motivational podcasts, watch/read about the progress stories or people in your field you admire and surround yourself with like-minded or motivated people.

Identify your most and least productive periods of the day: This would help you with scheduling, planning and strategising on when and how to tackle tasks. It will also help achieve more within a little time. During your most productive periods of the day, eliminate any form of distractions that may threaten to slow you down…basically, turn off your notifications.

Realize that there is no perfect time: Avoid the perfectionist mindset. There is no perfect time. And if there was a perfect time, the perfect time would be now! You do not have to be good enough to start working towards your goals and dreams. Remember that people are learning as they go and are making it.

Develop in your ability to overcome procrastination and achieve your goals: Most importantly, believe in yourself. You are amazing and can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Stop doubting yourself and your capabilities. Stop talking down to yourself or waiting to be the smartest in the room.

One of the most important things I’m learning right now, which may be of benefit to you, is that my worth is not tied to my achievements.

You are still worthy even if you do nothing.

So when you take that big leap and people judge, give their feedback or criticism, remember to separate it from you. It is the work they criticise, not you.

So what are you waiting for? Get to work!

I hope this was helpful in some way. Let me know why you procrastinate in the comments and if you’re working on overcoming, let me know what you do to overcome procrastination!

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