I often preach about the wisdom of James Clear, after reading his book Atomic Habits (one of the best books I read in 2020 FYI) and have since subscribed to his weekly newsletter.
The title above was one of his thoughts for the week, and if you haven’t signed up to his newsletters, I definitely encourage you do.
The question really resonated with me and got me thinking about my blog and other side projects that I’m working on.
If I was to look forward to June 2021 and have failed at hitting my goals (or failing to be halfway to my year-long goals), what reason would that be? Or what number of reasons would be the cause of my failure?
Related: Five Email Newsletters Worth Subscribing to
LOOKING FORWARD TO LOOK BACK
This method of thinking is a really good at reflecting on something that hasn’t even happened. But it works because we can think of the things that we might do to cause ourselves to fail, and put the plans in place beforehand to make sure they don’t happen.
A few days ago I listed out my goals for 2021. Instead of leaving them in that blog post to come back to on December 31st, I can look at all of them now and think, why would I fail at reaching these goals?
What project are you working on now, be it a side hustle, your career or something personal you are working on. What are your goals for the year? Where would you like to be with those goals in six months’ time?
Now that you’ve got those goals in mind, think of some reasons why you might not achieve these goals and write them down.
Related post: 2021 Goals: A Bad Idea?
WHY DID I FAIL?
Some of my goals for 2021 include:
- Read a certain number of books
- Grow my Instagram to a certain number of followers
- Post on my blog so many times per month
- Send a monthly newsletter on the 1st of every month
- Save a certain amount of money
Looking at these goals, I now think of some reasons why I wouldn’t meet these targets by June 2021.
- I don’t make enough time to read / I don’t have time to read
- I don’t spend enough time on social media / don’t interact or post
- I don’t create the time to write / I lack motivation for blog posts
- I don’t dedicate time to write the newsletter
- I overspend / I need the money for an emergency / I don’t budget
PLANNING FOR FAILURE
Now that I can look at the reasons why I might fail, I can put some plans into place to make sure I don’t and that I meet my targets.
For example, I can start waking up earlier (one of my goals for 2021) and giving myself a set time to read or write.
I can start dedicating time in my day to spending on social media, and a time once per week to think about what I’m going to post on my social media channels.
For my newsletter, I can dedicate a certain time or day in the month where I write my newsletter so that it’s ready to go. (You can sign up for my monthly email newsletter here).
Thanks to my bullet journal and habit of tracking everything I do, I’m starting to track my expenses going into the new year to see where I’m spending my money (aka how much am I wasting on takeaway coffee). Doing this, I should be able to see why I’m not saving as much as I hoped.
PLANNING TO STAY ON TRACK
This statement is one of the best things I could have read just before going into 2021. I always have a long list of goals, but I’ve never thought of putting myself six months into the year and thinking why I might not be on track to meet my goals.
I’ve recently written a blog post about how to create habits that stick and how a bullet journal is helping me stay on track.
But I want to hear from you. How do you stay on track with your goals throughout the year? How do you hold yourself accountable to meet them? Do you have any tips and tricks that work for you?
Here’s to smashing goals in 2021 and moving on from that year that was 2020.
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