Hello everyone!

Summer is here and we all know what that means – amazing weather, lots of free time, no school, no work, tanning, beaches, the 4th of July, going out and having fun, etc.

Well, ideally that is. I don’t know about you but I still have some summer classes and work/projects to do that will keep me a bit busy. Also, with this quarantine and social distancing restrictions, it’s hard to do most of the things listed above. It will be a strange summer. However, now is the perfect time to set goals and seek self-improvement.

I’m a huge advocate when it comes to self-improvement and personal development, and I believe that setting goals for yourself is important for growth and wisdom to become the person you want to be. Right now is the perfect opportunity to set some summer goals that you can work towards achieving. Setting goals is important because it will give you something to do with all this free time and can help keep you on track. It’s all about becoming the best version of yourself, actually wanting something, and working for it rather than making excuses for yourself. Less talking, more doing.

I took a personal development course a few years ago and it has been one of my favorite classes I have ever taken during my time in college. I learned a lot about self-improvement, goals, and organization. The class taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know and showed me my skills to see where I am best at and areas where I can improve on – essentially it was also a personality analyzer. Having ambition, prioritizing, and having willpower is KEY.

One of my favorite topics that were covered was how to set SMART goals. Setting a goal isn’t just something that you state for example: “I want to lose weight” “I want to do my splits” “I want all A’s in my classes.” These are some of the most popular goals people set for themselves, especially as their New Year’s Resolutions. It’s unfortunate that most people of these people give up and fail to accomplish their goals. According to the U.S. News & World Report, about 80% of people fail their goals by February. 

Understandably, the rate for 2020 has most likely gone up due to everything that has happened in this first half of the year. However, you shouldn’t base your success on everything that has been going this year so far, it’s time to make the second half better than the first. It takes self-discipline, actions, and hard work. It’s important to challenge yourself and learn along the way. Having the right mentality of “what can I do to be better?” is essential.

Here are steps that will allow you to set and accomplish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goals:

  1. Specific: Ask yourself
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why do I want to accomplish this?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What are the constraints?

2. Measurable:

  • How will I measure progress?
  • How/When will I know when my goal is accomplished?

3. Achievable:

  • How can I accomplish the goal?
  • What are the necessary and logical steps I’ll need to take?

4. Relevant:

  • Is it worth it for me to accomplish this goal?
  • What will I gain from it?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Do I have all the necessary resources to accomplish it?
  • Does it align with what I want to do in my life long term?

5. Time-Bound:

  • How long will it take for me to accomplish this goal
  • Are there certain marks I need to reach during my progress?
  • When should I complete this goal?
  • When am I going to work on this?
  • When will I start?
  • Do I have the time to set aside?

Following these steps will help you achieve your goals.

Some of my tips:

  • Don’t overthink and overanalyze. Get started and just do it.
  • Try to start with simple goals that you know you will be able to achieve.
  • Don’t set TOO high standards. Push yourself, but don’t push yourself too hard that may lead to stress and failure.
  • But also don’t be lazy and continue to make excuses. Most are likely not valid anyways.
  • Be strict with yourself and allow flexibility when it’s necessary.
  • WRITE down your goals – keep a journal, planner, calendar, whatever it is that you find helpful.
  • Set reminders on your phone and sync on all your devices.
  • Focus on 3 goals max. This way you will be able to allocate your time efficiently and not overload your schedule with work
  • Be mindful, stay consistent, and have willpower. You have control over yourself.
  • Say your goals out loud.
  • Tell your friends/family about your goals for motivational support.
  • Watch Ted Talks and self-improvement videos.
  • Stay organized and maintain a solid schedule.
  • Tune out all distracting stress/anxiety provoking media outlets (especially now). This just causes unnecessary stress in our lives and it’s important to take a break and eliminate it for your mental health so that you can focus on yourself and goals. When I do this I find myself happier and accomplishing more.
  • Replace all negative media with positive and motivational media instead.
  • Set a daily mantra such as “I have the willpower to accomplish my goal. I will work hard and see results. It’s in my power to do this.”

That’s all for today, I hope you find these steps and tips helpful. Let me know what goals you will be setting this summer. Good luck and happy goal setting!

Until next time,

– xoxo Val ♥️

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