Life is forever changing, and with change comes anxiety, stress, and the necessity to prioritize our lives. It is in these difficult moments that we sometimes find ourselves “falling off track” in some important part of our life. For some, it may mean not spending enough time with family, increasing your faith, taking care of your health, or perhaps it is about losing weight, or even saving for that home or car you want to purchase one day.
The reality is that setting a goal for yourself is easy. What is challenging is keeping yourself motivated and renewing that motivation to keep you focused and invested in that particular goal. It is not always easy to stay motivated, but with the proper tools and support in place, you can do anything you put your mind to, In sha Allah.
Here are 6 ways you can get yourself back on track with your goals:
1. Make a commitment to Allah and to yourself
In anything we do, it is important to make a pure intention and a commitment to Allah in whatever you are setting out to achieve. Make the intention with a pure heart and ask Allah for sincere support and guidance.
Narrated by ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab : I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Bukhari]
While the remaining tips have very specific steps that I recommend that you take, it is important to mention that everything happens the way in which Allah intends it to. So if you do not achieve your goal the first time, keep trying and In sha Allah if it is meant to be in your life, then surely it will happen. If not, then there is something better on its way, In sha Allah.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The supplication of every one of you will be granted, [provided] he does not get impatient.” [Bukhari]
2. Revisit, revive and acknowledge your goal
The next thing to do when you get off track from a goal is to revisit the goal you had.
Was it written down? Did others know that you were trying to achieve that goal? How were you tracking your progress?
People often end up getting off track when a goal is set, but there is no real tangible plan of action set to achieve that goal in the first place. Other times it is because you may be feeling isolated because others cannot relate to the goal, and so you let yourself get distracted thinking that one day or two days away from the goal would not make a difference. The trouble is, that one day turns to one week, and one week to one month, and next thing you know, you feel disappointed that you failed.
- Set a goal with the end results in mind.
- Once you know what your goal is, you need to write it down.
- Make a pure intention to achieve it.
- Break that goal down into manageable and less daunting tasks by setting smaller goals as milestones.
3. Create a tracking tool to measure your progress
You may make your tracking tool as fancy or as simple as you want it to be. Ultimately, it is so that you can record your investment of time and effort towards your goal each day.
For some it is as easy as buying a calendar, sticking it up on a wall and then marking off each day that you accomplish your goals. For others it may be a calendar and an excel spreadsheet to keep track of daily, weekly and/or monthly milestones. Not to mention, the dozens of goal tracking apps now available.
Whichever method you prefer, make it a habit and incorporate it into your daily routine. Decide when you want to check in with your calendar or spreadsheet. Is it first thing in the morning or the last thing you do before you go to bed? Creating a routine for yourself helps ensure that the tasks get done consistently. Make your tracking tool as continuously visible as possible, so every time you look at it, you know you’re in the process of making a great achievement and that you’re getting there.
4. Announce your goal and create a group of “cheerleaders”
Once you are confident about what your goal is and how you are going to achieve it, then the next thing you need is accountability.
In other words, a person or people that will continue to hold you accountable and encourage you along the way. They should be your cheerleaders, your pep talk people who give you that added boost when you are feeling down or demotivated. They are the friends who remind you to order a hearty salad instead of junk food for instance. They look out for you and support you no matter what!
They can be physical friends or even virtual friends on Facebook or through other social media tools. It would be an added bonus if they are sharing the experience. The point is that you know when and how you can get in touch with them when you need it.
5. Celebrate your milestones, no matter how big or small
No matter how big or small, you should find a way to celebrate your milestones. Treat yourself and take a moment to be truly grateful for what you have achieved, and look back for a quick moment to see how far you have come.
In Islam we talk about barakah, and in other places we are taught about the law of attraction and abundance.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah , Allah’s Messenger said:
“If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is.” [Bukhari]
Sincerity and gratitude is what is behind barakah or abundance. The more grateful you are for where you have reached, the more your life will get better, In Sha Allah, and the more motivated you will be to continue to achieve your goals.
6. If you stumble or fall, just get up and keep moving forward!
Last but not least, if you do find yourself stumbling, then take a moment, ground yourself, and pray for guidance and repeat steps 1 – 5, In Sha Allah. There is no harm in starting over.
It is never too late to start again. It is really not about how many times your start over, or how many times you fail. What is important is that you keep trying, and that you continue to work towards that goal.
With hard work, come results. You can do it! I know you can.
Please share your tips on how to get back on track with your goals – leave a comment below!