How to Achieve Your Goals & Restart Your Habits to End the Year on a High Note

How to Achieve Your Goals & Restart Your Habits to End the Year on a High Note
Photo by Drew Beamer / Unsplash

At the time of this blog post, there's 103 days left in 2023. And I "failed" my goals.

It's so easy to look back on the year, see all the empty spaces, and talk bad to ourseleves. We say that we're lazy or stupid or lease, that's what I told myself. But there's 100+ days left in the year. Can I complete my goals in time?

Yes, it's mid-September and I want to end this year on a high note.

If you're reading this, take it as an inspiration to end your year on a high note too.

I felt like a failure early on in 2023. I used all the excuses in the book to sooth myself and try my hardest not to mentally beat myself up. On my birthday, August 16th, I made the choice to get as close as I could to one of my goals for 2023. I decided not to give up. I went head first into the goal, still not knowing if I could complete it by the midnight toll of 2023.

"The only way to fail at something is to give up on yourself and your ability." ~MrsCourtneyWard

My major goal for 2023 was to write for 100 hours. This came from a video from Jesse Itzer:


The Rule of 100. 💡 #jesseitzler #theruleof100 #discipline

♬ original sound - Jesse Itzler

18 minutes a day, everyday 365, and boom! 100+ hours of my chosen discipline. For my math people that's: 6,570 minutes or 109.5 hours

What could possibly go wrong? Everything. The answer was everything, because life. I'll talk about that later.

This is the plan I'm using and how you can achieve your goals too:

Step One: Throw Out "The Plan"

Whatever your plan was, throw it out. That hasn't work, it didn't work, so we're moving on.

When I decided on my writing goal, my plan was to use a prompt book. It was 365 creative writing prompts. I have nothing against the book. It didn't work for me & I kept it around longer than I should have.

The first issue was most of the prompts didn't speak to me or inspired me to write. They would either dig up memories I didn't want to think about or have me write in style I didn't care about. The second issue was the few prompts that did speak to me, I finished before the 18-minute timer was up. So I would "journal," ramble & rant mostly, till the time was up.

I accepted that my orginal plan was not useful, helpful, or good for me in my writing journey. So out it went!

Take a look at the goal you want to accomplish. Then take the plan you had in place and think about how you can change it.

Ask Yourself:
• Is this plan the only way this goal can be acomplished?
• Has my life/obgations/schedule changed that makes this goal unattainable?
• Do I even like/want to achive this goal?

I am also a proponent of changing goals or letting them go. If the goal does not surve the betterment of your life for the long hall, then it might not be a worth while goal.

Step Two: Reframe Goal as a Life-Style Change

It's silly and yet it works. Whenever I think about new years relsatutions or goal, I always wonder what is the point?

Most goals have a componet of messure. Things like, "losing X pounds" or "making X money," are classic goals. You'll know if you succeded or failed based on that number. But what if the goal is something that you want to change, for the rest of your life? Then the metric becomes infinite.

I wanted a change. I wanted to get better at writing.

At the start of the year, I was excited. And very quickly it turned into a chore. It became something I "had to do." It was not enjoyable. When I started excusing myself, one day behind turned into a week, which turned into a month, and the next thing I knew it was August.

I wanted to see if I can still get 100 hours. At the time I had 4-ish months and determination. If I wanted to be a writer, I had to write. If I wanted to be a compentent writer, I had to write more.

Think about your goal and take some time to figure out if it's a short or long term goal. A short term goal could be making X amount of money to pay for Y thing. It's short term because there's a deadline. A long term goal could be making a base of X amount, with a Y% increase every quarter. It's a long term goal because it will grow with you. Either way, it's your life & you can control the effort you put in it.

The only wrong answer is a "goal" that you "have to do" that will cause you harm in the long run.

Step Three: Focus on Creating the Habit

It's a fact of life: change is hard. It takes effort and time to change.

This is where I failed myself before I even began. There wasn't a set time, place, or pen that I used for this.

For January, everything was good-ish. Good in the sense that I filled my habit tracker...kinda. There were many days I had to 'make-up' my writing. Instead of writing every single day, I would go days without writing and then write for an extended time, and the cycle continued.

I never took the time to delveope my writing habit. It always came down to when I felt like it and when panic sit in. And because I didn't have the habit down, when life came busting through the door I couldn't keep up.

You can never stop life from happening, and nor should you. Learning to plan your habits around your life is the only way things can get done. At the time of this blog post, I have written for 35 days straight.

Take your goal and break it down into small action steps. Ideally the goal is to help you change. The only way you can change is by doing the opposite of what you're currently doing. Adding habits into your routine will make that change easier in the long run.

That's the plan. Simple and straight forward.

Now comes the "so are you going to get those 100 hours?" And the answer is...yeah. I think I am.

Taking the new plan as a whole, I realized I put too strigtc of a metric on myself. By only using that book I completely closed myself off from other forms of writing. I felt embarssed to count journaling as writing. It's stupid to think about how closed minded I was.

If the goal was to walk 100 miles for the year, for example, would you only count the times you went on a long hike? No. Walking around the neightboorhood, walking around a downtown, or even walking on a treadmill because of the weather, counts. Why I didn't count my other writing is mind blowing.

So I started counting the times I was writing. Client work that techanilly didn't pan out? I tracked it. Long emails to my friend? I counted it. This blog post? I have a timer going as we speak.

To get a better picture of how I was going to make up the time I missed, I kept tracking simple. By timing my writing, for every 18 minutes of writing, I filled in one past day.

Here's the starting point of all the 'day's' I completed writing:
Janaury: 31/31
Febuary: 5/28
March: 9/31
April: —/30
May: 3/31
June: 3/30
July: 1/31
August: 1/31
October: n/a
November: n/a
December: n/a

For a grand total of 53 days of writing...that was recorded on August 16th. For my math people: 954 minutes or 15.9 hours, tracked. Yikes.

On September 6th, here's where I stood:
January: 31/31
February: 28/28
March: 9/31
April: —/30
May: 3/31
June: 3/30
July: 5/31
August: 31/31
September: 12/30
October: n/a
November: n/a
December: n/a

For a grand total of 122 days of writing. I made up 69 'days' of writing in a little over two weeks. That's mind blowing to me. I wrote for 1,242 minutes or 20.7 hours in 16 days.

Bringing my Current Total To: 2,196 minutes or 36.6 hours.

All of this was possible because I through out the plan, reframed my goal, and focused on creating the habit to achieve the goal.

Like I said, I have no idea if I'll get to my full 100 hours...but I'm having fun trying.

I hope you're inspired to spend the last 100 days of 2023 revamping your goals and ending the year on a high note.

Until next time!