Sunday, 18 March 2018

How To Set Goals To Improve Your Life & What Works For Me // with Plus Size Spring Outfit Inspiration

Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

When I first drafted this post, the new year was fast approaching and if you are anything like me, then you'd have been looking ahead to your goals for 2018.  Not everyone thinks upon a new year as a fresh start but I like to.  January 1st marks the first page of a 365 day book for me and in 2018, I fully intended to seize everyday.

Now we're into March and I'm chuckling to myself because life really does have a funny way of working out for the best if you work at it; sometimes its about being a little selfish and sticking to your guns.  Despite some awesome highs, January was a massive let down for me and it saw the things I wanted to achieve, especially around my stress levels, anxiety and well-being becoming heightened rather than improved however I kept my focus in my career and private life, looked to the positives and low and behold, by the end of February, I was singing my way into March a much happier, more fulfilled me.


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

While I don't want to speak too soon, I really feel as though things in my life are looking up for me and I'm the happiest I've been in a really long time across the board.

I've had my eyes opened to those who don't have my best interests at heart and have streamlined my inner circle of trust, been freed from work that was holding me back and causing more stress than it was benefitting me financially and I've finally taken a day off.  Life feels great!


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

The key really is to set specific goals for the aspects of your life that you want to work on, track and monitor them closely and to never lose sight of what you really want. 

Its so easy to get carried away with setting too many goals and making so many resolutions that they become unrealistic.  A couple of years ago, I decided to scrap all of the lists of resolutions I'd tried and failed at and made the resolution to NEVER make another bloody new years resolution again.

Instead, I set one very clear goal and smashed it.  Keeping focused on that one goal enabled me to change my life for the better over the last two years and although I've faced some of the toughest challenges of my life so far, I really believe that I'm living my best life now.  Perhaps one day I'll write all about it on my blog but for now, I'm continuing on my journey with my next goals which all feed into my overall aim in life; to be happy.

At the moment I'm focusing on creating a work/life balance and a big thing that will enable me to achieve that is being stable financially.  I work so much that I finished last year really craving just one day off where I could wake up without my alarm and I really wanted to experience the feeling of being bored because to be quite honest, I can't remember the last time I actually was bored and didn't have anything to do, worry about or think about!


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

From what I've learnt, when choosing your goal for the year ahead, I'd really suggest focusing on your life now and what you want to do to improve your life for your future happiness.  Instant gratification is all well and good but how do you guarantee that happiness in the years to come?


Striking a balance between living and enjoying your life now and continuing to love it in the future is key.


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

Once you've decided on what it is that you really want and need in your life, then you need to look at the steps that you can take to achieve that goal and when, realistically, you'll be able to achieve it by.

Don't set yourself up to fail by giving yourself too short a timespan to achieve your target.  If, for example, you want to learn a new language then think about it this way; you didn't learn English overnight so you're not going to become completely fluent in a new language after one class either.  Anything that you really want in life requires hard work, dedication and focus.  Stick at it because in the end, you'll thank yourself for it.

Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

Being knowledgeable about whatever it is that you want to achieve is really important because it'll enable you to make more informed choices and plan the steps towards your goal more effectively because you'll know exactly whats involved in achieving it.

Take it slow and do your research.  For example, if you're trying to eat more healthily or perhaps you're wanting to save money by eating or preparing food at home rather than going out, have a look online and consult others for the best way to do things.  For me, I used to spend a lot of money eating out so when I needed to rein that spending in, I started researching the best meals to make at nighttime for dinner that I could then enjoy cold on the move or reheat the next day for my lunch, then I looked at the Tupperware that would be the best option to carry it in but for the best price so that I could keep my spending to a minimum and not sabotage my financial goals.  Its generally not a good idea to ruin one goal while trying to achieve another!

Another example was when I was doing my first big food shop for my apartment.  The first one is always more costly and far larger than you expect it to be because if you're starting from scratch then you need all of the essentials that you wouldn't necessarily buy every week like sea salt, cooking oil, herbs and spices.

My focus was on creating healthy, delicious meals that were dairy free while sticking to a budget so that I could achieve my financial goals.  To help me, I decided that if I was starting fresh then I would buy only the things that I really needed to create the meals that I would usually make, rather than buying a jar of a random spice that I'll only use once before it'll sit unused in the cupboard for the rest of eternity!

Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

Visualising your goals really helps too whether thats with a vision board with images of what your life will be like when you've reached your goal, how you'll feel and what your goal will look like to you, a chart if you're more of an analytical person or a spreadsheet; use whatever works best for you.

The great thing about having something visual is that you can see at a glance where you're up to and how far you've got to go.  If saving money is your aim then even simply drawing a piggy bank divided up into different milestones that you can colour in when you reach each one can be a great motivator.

Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

When you've broken your goal down into the steps that you need to take to achieve it, you need to make sure that each of these mini goals is tangible and timely.  That is to say, they need to be something that you can track and measure so that you know whether you're on course to completing them on time.

More importantly still, you need to be able to see if you're not getting to where you want to be so that you can reassess your goals and get back on track.


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

I find that setting smaller goals as part of a bigger objective actually motivates me even more because I feel increasingly successful with each little goal I hit.  The more successful I feel, the more I'm spurred on to achieve the next goal.  Its all about mindset!

Don't forget to reward yourself when you achieve your mini goals but make sure its not counterproductive to your end goal.  For example, if like me you're trying to become more financially secure, don't reward yourself by splashing the cash on an expensive handbag just because you've hit your savings goal!  Positive reinforcement is great but don't lose sight of what you want to achieve overall!

Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves
When I used to make resolutions, I found that they'd become a ticklist for the things that I was going to fail at in the first week of January and by March, well I'd have usually punished myself with negative self talk and would be in an even worse place than I was before the year had even begun.

Don't make the same mistakes as I did in the past.  If your 2018 hasn't got off to the best of starts, draw a line under it and focus on the future; its yours for the taking!!


Goal setting and plus size spring fashion by whatlauraloves

Streamline your goals, focus on whatever you want to achieve this year and SMASH IT!

Let me know how you get on :)  Oh and if you love my springtime outfit, you'll find all of the links below.

SHOP THE POST



What are your goals for 2018? How are you getting on with them so far?  What spring outfits are you most looking forward to wearing?


*Photographs taken by Mark Dawson at the beautiful The Alnwick Garden
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7 comments

  1. Oh that jacket is gorgeous on you! I love that colour! Setting realistic goals is so important I agree!

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  2. I like your outfit and it looks like your makeup is matching (I'm not sure I can see the details properly) which all looks lovely!

    Mika

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  3. Loving your outfit, and you sound so incredibly organised with your goals. Me, I'm taking each day as it comes. I'm going through a health thing at the moment so it's a patient game of waiting.

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  4. Absolutely love you outfit! It looks gorgeous. Good luck with your goals. It can be hard to keep them but keep focused and keep going! xx

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  5. I enjoyed reading this post. I totally agree about the importance of setting goals that are realistic i.e. ones that we'll be able to achieve. It can be so easy to feel negative if the goals are set too high and then we're back to square one!

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  6. Brilliant news that things are on the up for you - and double good news that you have successfully take a day off!

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  7. The clothes are gorgeous, but the post and your message is even better! I believe in working hard for your goals and believing in yourself. Keep smashing it, lovely! xx

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