Feature Image by Cathryn Lavery

As summer comes to a close, we likely all have one thing in mind: How on Earth is it already August? While that realization can certainly feel like an abrupt wakeup call, it’s also an opportunity to hone in on what it is you want to accomplish in the rest of 2019.

To help you make the most of the last few months of the year, we’re sharing nine expert tips below.

Set goals and steps to achieve them
“I am a big believer in setting goals and then breaking down the steps to accomplishing them,” says NYC-based licensed therapist Mariel Mangold. “So, if you want to get a new job, get a certain GPA, save up for a vacation, or simply just want to be happier, you set your goal and then figure out how you’re going to get there.”

Believe in yourself
“Building self-confidence is a great way to work on accomplishing goals,” says NYC-based licensed therapist Risha Nathan. “When you’re confident, you’ll have drive and motivation and that helps to follow through on accomplishing goals.”

Schedule your days and weeks
“I encourage clients to keep a schedule where they know everything going on in the upcoming weeks,” Mangold says. “I suggest people write in everything they can – workout classes, gym time, commutes, daily to-do’s, activities with friends, laundry, classes, downtime, [and] doctors appointments so that when they look at their week, they know everything they will need to get done. Many people have found that this helps them stay on track, gain better time management, and reach goals. Most importantly, in my experience, using a scheduler makes people feel more in control of their lives.”

Be kind to yourself
“Shaming yourself for not accomplishing goals may work some of the time, but not in a healthy way,” Nathan says. “It just reinforces the idea that you are not ‘good’ if you don’t accomplish things. Pat yourself on the back for the things you do follow through on and notice the areas that still need a bit of work.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
“As a therapist, I also know that being in therapy can really help a person reach their goals because sometimes it’s not just simple things that are holding someone back, it’s something more intricate (and something a person may not even be consciously aware of),” Mangold says. “Understanding these experiences can help you break toxic patterns and bring you closer to meeting your goals.”

Be mindful of your goals
“Recognize the things that you set into place and what you’ve already worked towards,” Nathan says. “Offer yourself praise for the things you’ve accomplished and the things that still need work. Recognize areas where things have shifted for you. Be mindful of the barriers and blocks that are holding you back from accomplishing your goals. Being mindful also means being aware of an idea versus something that you’re really willing and able to follow through on.”

Be present
“Do your best to live in the moment and be present, to appreciate what’s in front of you and all that you have, and to try not to concentrate on what’s missing,” Mangold says. “So that might involve taking some time each day to put down your phone, breathe, and take in what’s going on around you. Incorporating some small daily or weekly changes into your life can have a big impact.”

Be realistic
“The best way to set and accomplish goals is to keep them small and realistic,” Nathan says. “If you’re a person who struggles with follow-through, it can be helpful to set very small intentions and to create a check-off list. This reinforces the positive behavior and allows you to feel accomplished even with small things.”

Don’t rush
“As the year winds down, avoid rushing to the finish line,” Nathan says. “Fulfill the things that feel most important without being so set on finishing everything just because of a date. View every day as an opportunity for growth and you’ll be more likely to stick to the things you want to accomplish.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team