From Dreaming to Achieving: 7 Tips to Help You Be Consistent & Reach Your Goals

When you first set a new goal, working towards it can be exciting and fun. You start with a plan and a focus. But then, the excitement wears off, life happens, and it can be hard to stay focused, and stick with your plan.

Consistent effort is one of the biggest obstacles holding you back from reaching your goals. Try implementing the following tips and tricks to help you become more consistent as you pursue your goals.

Each strategy is easy and actionable right away!

7 Tips That Really Work to Help You Be Consistent & Reach Your Goals

Tips on How to Be Consistent & Hit Your Goals | BrainMD

1. Try the 1, 2, 3 Method

When you’re struggling to get started, this method is for you. Tell yourself you’re going to count to three and then you’re going to get up, or get started, no matter what. It’s that simple.

Don’t overthink it. Just do it and get going.

Try this to gain momentum:

  • “1, 2, 3,” and get out of bed to start the day.
  • “1, 2, 3,” and stop scrolling and start working on your project.
  • “1, 2, 3,” and get dressed for your workout.

Once your body is in motion, it will be easier to do what you need to do.

2. Use Reminders

Could your inconsistencies simply be because you’re forgetting to do the things that you want to do at your chosen time?

The act of writing something down or setting a reminder on your phone not only helps to reinforce the thing you’re trying to remember, but also allows your brain to function better as you’re using cognitive offloading to reduce the strain on your brain.

Ways to use reminders:

  • Make a grocery list to remind yourself to pick up what you need for the healthy vegetarian soup you want to make for dinner, or healthy study snacks to help you meet your nutrition goals.
  • Set an alarm to wake on time for your morning routine. Even better, make an alarm that repeats daily and automatically.
  • Use visual reminders in a place where you’ll easily see them. Try doing this with positive affirmations to help with your positive mindset goals.

3. Reward Yourself

Receiving a reward for your effort is a tried-and-true way to stay motivated. In fact, most of us probably don’t reward ourselves as much as we should!

Research has shown that rewards do actually work. Immediate rewards tend to do better than delayed rewards. However, delayed gratification will build resilience and may feel even more satisfying when you finally get your reward.

Rewards can take many different forms from person to person and can vary based on the goals you’re working towards.

Take some time to ask yourself a few questions and figure out what would be a good reward for yourself. Your reward could be as simple as a few minutes doing an activity you enjoy, reading a book, consuming some entertainment, having a treat, going on an outing, calling a friend, taking a bath, or anything else that you find enjoyable.

Reward yourself when you put in the effort and you’ll continue to make progress. Progress in itself is rewarding too, so you just might find yourself in a productive and rewarding cycle.

4. Build Routines

Routines are the foundation of consistent action. They help give structure, set expectations, and perhaps best of all, they reduce decision fatigue. When a helpful habit is part of a routine, you won’t have to decide when, where, or if you actually should do that thing you planned to do to help you reach your goal.

Some interesting research has shown that routines can make us happier. They add meaning to our life and lead to a greater feeling of fulfillment. This makes sense, because routines can help you feel productive.

Routines can be built by stacking habits. Connect tasks together to accomplish one after another. Or, set a specific time that you want to do something regularly.

What this might look like in action:

  • When you buy a new piece of clothing, find an old item that you no longer use to throw out or donate. This will help with your decluttering goals.
  • After you get home from work, take a walk.
  • At 8:00 every evening, read a book.
  • At 5:00 on Tuesdays, go to your yoga

Experiment with your routines to find what works for you. Often, routines and rhythms will change as you move through seasons of life and develop new goals.

5. Find a Friend, Group, or Community

It can be incredibly helpful to have friends who are working on the same or similar goals. They can help to keep you accountable, inspire you, and encourage you to keep going when you encounter opposition.

Ways to find like-minded friends:

●      Share with others what you’re working on.

●      Join a community program or group.

●      Check out social media for goal-specific communities.

Sharing your goals with others is a great way to get new ideas if you need them, and bond over the fun aspects of what you’re working on.

6. Use the If-Then Strategy

Even the best laid plans can go awry. The If-Then strategy helps you to prepare ahead of time for road bumps and obstacles so that you can easily adjust and get back on track. You think about what might come up or go wrong; “If” this happens, “then” I will do this instead.

Here are some examples of the If-Then strategy in action:

  • If I get stuck in traffic and it makes me miss my workout class, then I will do an at-home workout video.
  • If I don’t feel like cooking my planned meal, then I will have some options in the freezer ready to pull out.
  • If the weather prevents me from walking outside, then I will do some cozy cardio

Take time to think about realistic obstacles that you might encounter when trying to reach your goals. Planning ahead will go a long way in helping you to stay consistent.

7. Don’t Wait for the Perfect Time 

Spoiler alert: there will likely never be a perfect time. This concept is worth restating; don’t wait for the perfect time to start working on your goals.

If you want to accomplish something, just start! Excuses are the nemesis of accomplishment.

If you don’t know what you’re doing at first, that’s ok! Look for a class, a book, or online resources to help you get started. You can learn as you go. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing.

Why It Matters

Consistency is the key to successfully reaching your goals.

Our seemingly small, daily actions shape our lives. Goals often aren’t met in a single day, they’re accomplished through repeated, consistent effort.

If you’re starting a new goal, or have an old one that you want to keep working on, take it a day at a time by not over-thinking it and putting in the work, setting reminders, rewarding your effort, building routines, preparing for challenges, finding friends, and not waiting for the perfect timing.

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Amy Huffmire