How to (Actually) Accomplish Your Goals

By far, the most-asked question I receive from friends or readers is how I manage everything on my to-do list with a full-time job, blog and personal life. I've talked about it a bit on Dear Serendipity in the past, but I've spent a lot of time thinking about it lately in hopes that I can distil how I'm able to accomplish my goals and help some of you who might struggle tackling your to-do list or sticking to New Years Resolutions.

Here's my best advice for those of you looking to (finally) tackle your to-do list and get going on those goals:

1. Be realistic.

This doesn't mean think small or limit yourself, it just means know yourself. I hate working out, so I'm not going to make a New Years Resolution that says "work out five days a week". I just know I'm not going to do that, and past history tells me so. I would, however, make one that says "walk home three nights a week instead of taking the bus", or "take the stairs instead of the elevator at work", and feel good that I'm walking more. I believe setting realistic goals is the first step to actually accomplishing them. And, there's nothing wrong with small goals — changing little things about your life can help you lead a much happier one, I've found.

2. Keep to-do lists.

I have 3 to-do lists going at all times. Yes, you read that right: three (3). I have one for work, one for my blog, and one for my personal errands. And, I keep them all in separate places, totally separated from each other. This allows me to focus on each one when I'm at work, or when I'm at my desk at home to work on my blog, or when I'm on the go and need to have my personal errands list handy.

If you're looking for an app to store your to-do list in, I use Evernote. I like that it syncs between my computer and phone and I always have my list on-the-go!

3. Know when you're most productive.

Learning my peek productivity times definitely allows me to get more shit done. Fortunately for my blog, I'm most productive later at night, so I let myself stay up a few nights each week to get stuff done when my creative juices are flowing. I also take advantage of this on weekends in particular. I try to not schedule anything on weekends so that when inspiration strikes, I can tackle things on my list.

4. Use apps and services that make your life easier.

It takes a village. I repeat: it takes a fucking village. I could not do anything without help. I use Instacart to order my groceries, and I typically fill up the cart in my app on the way to work and schedule it for the same day when I get home. I use Rinse for my dry cleaning. I use Amazon Prime Now to get little things around the house that I need (and always forget in my weekly grocery delivery). We have an Echo Dot in our house so I can set timers and ask questions without actually doing anything. And, I schedule a lot of my social media in advance with tools like Buffer so I can keep up on even the busiest of weeks.

5. Set reminders.

When I have a lot going on, you can tell, because I have reminders going off on my phone all day long. I use the reminders app on my iPhone that syncs with my Apple Watch, and it's a lifesaver. As is my hourly reminder on my Apple Watch to get up and move around — and I use that as my chance to fill up on water and take a little work break.

6. Seek out motivation — don't just expect it to fall into your lap.

Sometimes, we need an extra push to make our goals a reality. You're not always going to feel motivated to accomplish your goals, especially when you're super busy and tired from living your life. If your goal is to work out more, invest in a trainer or workout buddy so that it's on someone else to keep you motivated when you just can't. If you want to start a blog, set an hour on your calendar each night to check out other blogs you admire, different hosting platforms and make lists of what you'd want to write about if you started. If your goal is to work in fashion, subscribe to every online magazine, WWD and some great street style blogs to get information delivered straight to your inbox. There's no harm in enlisting someone else's help to stay motivated!

What are your goals for this year, and how do you actually accomplish them?

Image via Easy Fashion.