As we are halfway through March, let’s take a moment to reflect on our goals for 2021. Did you set goals for this year? If so, what are they? Have you been able to sustain your efforts towards accomplishing your goals? Whether your answer is a yes or no, it’s no secret that setting goals is no easy feat. For anyone who’s ever tried, you know that it is practically an art form. This is because we often choose large-scale things that take a great deal of time and effort. Still, setting goals is an essential part of progress. Goals shape your character and allow you to find fulfillment in your life.

Are you setting goals? Our team at Yorba Linda Pines and Villas has some dos and don’ts for you to set better goals and accomplish more in 2021.

Create a Plan vs. Figure It Out as You Go

Let’s make this a game! Read the section title, think about the pros and cons of adhering to each method, and decide the “do” and “don’t” in goal setting. What is your answer and why? 

If you said that “create a plan” is the “do,” you’re correct. While it can be fun to be spontaneous and carefree, you must develop a plan of action to achieve your goals.

“Planning and organizational skills are integral to the goal achievement process. Through proper planning, we can prioritize and maintain focus on the task at hand, while avoiding extraneous distractions that can draw us away from the end goal,” states Elaine Houston, a psychology researcher and writer.

Start Small vs. Do It All

The next “do” and “don’t” should be easy. It is best to start with your end goal and take a few steps back, incorporating smaller tasks that you can do each day to bring you closer to that destination. It is essential to remember that mistakes will happen. Also, be sure to give yourself enough time to accomplish your tasks. “Allowing sufficient time to work toward a goal allows opportunities to reassess the goal complexity, whilst reviewing and improving performance (pit-stop). Even the most motivated of people can become disillusioned if the task’s complexity is too great for their skills,” shares writer Kevin Thomas.

Write It Down vs. Keep It to Memory

Our final “do” and “don’t” is a bit more complicated, as many individuals prefer to keep their goals at the forefront of their minds. That said, studies have shown that individuals who write down their goals instead of just committing them to memory have a higher chance of success. This is because having a physical reminder of our direction correlates with our levels of commitment. Commitment refers to the degree to which an individual is attached to the goal and their determination to reach it, even when faced with obstacles. Houston summarizes, “Goal performance is strongest when people are committed, and even more so when said goals are difficult.”

Maintain a positive attitude, understand that mistakes will happen, and do the things we discussed above to set yourself up for success. Goal setting doesn’t have to be difficult if you start small, choose goals that align with your desired destination, and write down a plan of action. Do these things, and you are sure to accomplish more in 2021.