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Sometimes the journey to achieving a goal is a long way. It can be easy to feel discouraged and wonder if you will ever get there.
Setting goals is a good way to
• Clarify what you want to achieve
• Make you focus on what is important to you
• Motivate you to work towards completing something
When you achieve a goal it is a great feeling.
Sometimes it takes a long time to achieve a goal. It may be more realistic and satisfying to break one big goal into a number of ‘sub-goals’ or make each part a goal of its own. It doesn’t matter which option you choose.
Perhaps you want to renovate your house, something which will also take years. It can be disheartening and seem never ending to approach this as a single goal.
Instead of setting yourself one goal, break it down. How you do this is up to you. Do you want to make each room a goal? If you are planning to do one room at a time and then move on, this will probably be the most suitable approach for you. You may then break this down further into smaller goals.
Part of your goal may involve replacing a number of windows that have wooden frames with aluminium sliding windows. It may be practical to get this job done throughout the house before moving on to other aspects of renovating. Making the replacement of the windows as a sub goal would probably work well in this situation.
Maybe your goal is to get a degree. You may first need to do a foundation course or other study to get you to a standard where you can undertake study at an undergraduate level. It all seems like so much work and a long time before you will achieve your goal. Try breaking it into smaller sub goals such as passing one course or subject at a time.
Even with several smaller goals instead of a major goal one can feel discouraged. Here are some ideas of how to keep track of your progress so you feel encouraged to keep going. Without some form of record you may fail to see how far you have come.
• Keep a journal/diary of your progress.
• Keep graphs or charts. This can be suitable for things like weight loss or keeping track of body measurements.
• Maintain a log book to record exercise routines or how long/far you have walked, run or swum. This can help you see how your stamina has improved over time.
• Take photographs on a regular basis. This is useful for garden improvements or home renovations. It could also be encouraging if you are restoring old furniture or a car. Just having a visual reminder of the stages and how much work was involved can help you feel proud of your achievement even if you haven’t reached your goal yet.
Your records are still of use when you achieve your goal. Photos of a renovation may remind you just how drab the house/car/piece of furniture looked at the start. Other people who didn’t see whatever you have been working on before you started will be interested, especially if they are thinking of undertaking a similar project.
Don’t forget to celebrate achieving each sub goal along the way.