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How To Set Goals and Stick to Them

By Michelle Ecker on February 21, 2020

How To Set Goals and Stick to Them

Setting goals is always an exciting way to look towards the future and imagine all the ways you aspire to improve. From changing bad habits to starting healthy new ones, there are plenty of ways you can constantly aim to be a better version of yourself. 

But setting goals is the easy part- sticking to them is where things get tricky. If you’re having trouble sticking to the goals you set for yourself and you often find yourself abandoning those goals and giving up, try the following tricks to help you get across the finish line.

Do The Hardest Tasks First 

Mark Twain once said, 

"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

Let’s say your goal is to run a 5k for the first time by the end of June. The challenging part isn’t going to be showing up for the 5k that day. The challenging part is going to be sticking to an exercise routine and preparing for your event on a daily basis as your race day approaches. 

It’s hard to come home from a busy, exhausting day and find the motivation to change into workout clothes and head back outside to go for a run. It’s much more tempting to turn on the tv and heat up something for dinner. To reference Twain’s advice, in this case going for that run is the frog you need to eat- so try to eat it first thing in the morning. 

When you get the hardest task on your to-do list out of the way first thing in the morning, you’re much less likely to be tempted by distractions that might cause you to skip it altogether. To use running after work for example, let’s say you come home and your spouse asks if you’d like to go try that new Thai restaurant for dinner. You’ll likely be tempted to opt into a fun date night, deciding the workout can wait until tomorrow. 

If you had made a point to get your workout done first thing in the morning, you wouldn’t then find yourself tempted to abandon the workout in favor of other, more tempting things that come up on your schedule. 

Think Smaller 

Try focusing more on the smaller tasks you need to check off your to-do list on the road to achieving your bigger, final goal. 

Let’s say your goal is to finish half of your online interior design course by September. Rather than seeing this goal as one large task, break it up into smaller pieces. 

In order to finish half of your interior design program, you need to complete three course units. Each of those units is broken up into six or seven lessons. So in total, you have 19 short lessons you need to complete in order to be halfway through your program by your goal of September. 

To break up your ultimate goal into more achievable small tasks, make your goal to finish 1 lesson every week. 

So this week, let’s say your goal is to finish Lesson 1.3- Color Basics. You will read about color theory, get an introduction to the color wheel and practice how to mix primary hues as you start to think about using color in your interior designs. Finishing this small lesson about color over the course of the next seven days is a goal within reach. With an online self-paced program, you can make time to study a little bit each day whenever best works for you. Maybe on work nights you want to do some reading on your iPad in bed before you go to sleep. Or maybe you spend your Saturday mornings on the couch enjoying a cup of coffee while you watch your interior design instructional videos and make notes before your quiz. 

Whatever study schedule works for you, NYIAD’s online program allows you to login and get work done at your own pace, any time of day. Take advantage of this flexibility and make time each week to complete smaller, more manageable tasks along the road to achieving your bigger goal. 

Could a NYIAD Course Help You Achieve Your Goals?

If one of your goals is to work towards a more creative career that makes you feel inspired, an online course at NYIAD might be the perfect first step towards achieving that goal. 

NYIAD offers courses in everything from Graphic Design and Wedding Planning to Interior Decorating and AutoCAD. To check out all the courses we offer and learn more about how it at all works, click here or call 1-800-583-1742 to speak to a friendly student advisor from the school.