Given up on your goals? 5 steps to get back on track

Reflect, reassess and move forward

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

The first month of the year is officially over. Are you on track with your goals and resolutions or did they slowly slip away? It’s easy to begin the year feeling motivated and with lots of plans, only for your good intentions to disappear and old habits to set in. As we enter a new month, it’s a great time to reflect on your goals. If you made less progress than you would have liked, all is not lost. Here are some tips to get you back on track.

1) Review

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at”

Bruce Lee

What were your goals and how much progress did you make towards achieving them? If you struggled to keep on track, ask yourself whether your goals were the right ones for you. They could be wrong for many reasons including:

  • Being too big or having too many – this can lead to a sense of overwhelm, resulting in procrastination and little progress. Pick a couple of goals to focus on and if you are working towards big goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Being too small – if your goals are uninspiring they can leave you feeling unmotivated. Introduce some goals that are fun and that excite and stretch you.
  • Focusing on what you should do, instead of what you want to do. Create goals that you really want to achieve; goals that will contribute to the life of your dreams. Think about the end result you desire. ‘Should’ goals are always harder to achieve and usually feel like hard work.

Review each of your goals, ditch any that aren’t a good fit and if necessary, create some new ones.

2) Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Antoine de Saint–Exupéry

First of all, think of the big picture. What do you want your life to look like 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now? Having a clear idea of what you would like to achieve in the longer term enables you to create short term goals that feed into this.

Once you have a clear vision for the future, start to plan on a smaller scale. What would you like to achieve by the end of this month? What will you need to do each week to make this a reality? Breaking your goals into smaller steps makes them easier to achieve. It will also be gratifying when you achieve each small step along the way. As cliché as it sounds, the more you enjoy the journey, the sweeter it’ll be when you reach your destination.

3) Identify challenges

Challenges such as time, money, confidence and fear commonly hold us back from achieving our goals. What challenges have you faced and what has thrown you off track? Being clear on the factors that have got in your way in the past, means you can create strategies to overcome them in the future. For example, if a lack of time has made your goals difficult to achieve, what can you do to free up some time each week to work on your goals?

4) Celebrate

Take time to celebrate what you have achieved. January is the longest month (ok it’s one of several long months but it feels the longest) and you made it through! It’s always important to acknowledge achievements, however big or small. Even if you made little progress towards your goals, the fact that you have goals is itself an achievement. If in Step 2 you identified what you want to achieve by the end of the month, plan a treat to celebrate hitting this goal. This will motivate you and give you something to look forward to. Be your own biggest cheerleader!

5) Set your intentions

Have you ever thought, “today is going to be a great day” and it was? When you wake up in the morning and decide good things are going to happen, they are so much more likely to (the opposite is also true). When you wake up tomorrow, decide it is going to be a good day. Decide you are going to make good progress towards your goals. In fact, decide what kind of month the next month is going to be. I want to have a fun and exciting February and as well as setting my intentions, I have booked a bungee jump! What kind of month do you intend to have?

Wishing you every success.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Arne Bergsch / EyeEm / Getty Images

6 Ways to Recover When You Slip Up

by Jamie Wiebe

How to Reestablish Your New Year’s Resolutions with Realistic Goals

by Nicole Feneli, RD, CSSD
Sunny studio/

Mid-Year Resolutions Re-Set

by Irazema Garcia

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.