Once January 1 rolls around, there tends to be two types of individuals: those who map out ambitious resolutions, and those who, well, like pizza. (No shame if you’re the latter!)
But whether you have aspirations of improving your fitness, skyrocketing your career or embarking on another type of personal goal, just because you don’t start that journey on the first of the year doesn’t mean you still can’t achieve it. In fact, even if you start a little late (say, a half-year later!), the improvements you’re capable of making in your life are truly boundless.
Here, life coaches offer tips on ways to create the perfect, most achievable half-year goal.
Get right into the action
It might be more comfortable for you to wait until June 1 to begin your half-year dream chasing, but according to life coach Jane Scudder, if you’re serious about achieving your goals, there’s no better time to start than the present.
“First and foremost, start considering the definition of a half-year, which is six months,” Scudder says. “The last thing I want my clients do is think that they have to wait until the beginning of June to start if they are ready to achieve their goals in March. If you’re ready to make a change, start tomorrow.”
…But don’t just blindly jump into it
Of course, just because you’re ready to start making changes in your life immediately doesn’t mean you should start tomorrow if you don’t have an actual goal pinpointed. “Spend some time actually thinking about what it is that you want,” Scudder explains. “Ask yourself, ‘In six months what to I want to accomplish?’ or ‘In six months, where do I want to be?’ Let your mind wander and write it down.”
What do you really, truly want to do? Find out what you what’s currently ailing you in your life and then narrow that focus. So instead of being healthier, translate that to numbers, like being able to lift a heavier amount at the squat rack or consuming more grams of fiber per day.
Determine how you’ll measure success
As NYC-based empowerment coach Diane Passage tells us, simply having a goal isn’t the same as achieving it. “Checking in regularly to evaluate what’s working and what’s not is a great way to stay on track,” she explains. “It allows you to make adjustments where necessary.” If your goal is fitness- or health-related, make sure you’re tracking your workouts and everything you eat––and we do mean everything.
Create a buzzword
When striving toward a particular goal, sometimes it helps to remind yourself why you started. And according to Katie Bennett, co-founder of life coaching company Ama La Vida, that recollection can be achieved in as little as one word.
“I always recommend to my clients that they set a buzzword,” she says. “It should be one or two words that encapsulate why you are working on your goal, and how you will feel once you achieve it. Put the word in places you will see it, like your bathroom mirror, to provide continuous inspiration.”
While achieving a personal, physical or professional goal is no easy feat—and definitely requires some hard work on your part)—taking breaks from your journey can help curb the temptation to give up when the going gets tough.
“Whether it’s something small like getting your favorite meal or something bigger like a weekend away, assigning a reward to your goal helps you feel motivated to achieve it and also allows you the opportunity to recognize and celebrate yourself when you do,” says Bennett.
Working tirelessly to accomplish a goal can feel isolating––especially when you see friends indulging over fatty foods when you’re trying to get healthy or hitting up a movie theater on a Sunday afternoon when you’re working.
That said, it helps to know you’re not alone in your dream-chasing. Whether it’s aligning yourself with like-minded individuals or simply following inspiring people on Twitter and Instagram, watching others pursue their goals gives you incentive to reach for your own.