Goal setting is an art form
How many times have you set yourself a goal and then years have passed without the goal coming to fruition? Have you looked at others and wondered why they find it so easy to reach their goals, yet you can’t even remember to pay your bills on time?
In my opinion, goal setting is an art-form. Years of research has shown that it’s the way you set your goals that makes the difference. The first step of course is to have a plan. You’d be surprised how many people have a goal without any kind of planning. In my experience a goal without a plan is just a pipe dream.
Simple Life Strategy: 8 Tips for setting goals
Here are my top 8 tips for setting goals:
- Check that the gains will be big enough. If you set yourself a goal that doesn’t really make a difference to your life then what are the chances you’ll bother trying to achieve it? Pretty slim. Sounds simple but many people set goals with little meaning. So check in first that you really want to achieve the goal.
- What’s the trade off? Before you set a goal ensure you’re aware of what you may need to give up in order to reach it. If what you’re set to sacrifice is more important to you than the goal its-self it’s unlikely you’ll bother to reach the goal.
- Get specific. Make sure you have a clear way to measure your goal. i.e. Instead of a vague goal like “I want to lose weight’ – put a number to it “I want to lose 5llbs by November 5th.” Being specific gives you a clear idea of what success looks like and this acts as a powerful motivating force.
- Put in place a list of steps that are required to reach your goal. A goal without steps is just a dream. Once you’ve qualified that the gains are big enough and you’re willing to do what it takes to reach the goal, the next step is to write an action plan with clear steps that will ensure you get to where you want to be.
- Track your progress. Check in each week to monitor how you’re going. Set yourself small weekly goals and check in to ensure you’re on track. If you break down your goal to small weekly goals it doesn’t feel so scary – plus you’ll be motivated by your progress each week.
- Give your goal a picture. Research has shown that the subconscious mind works best if it has an image to refer to. If you can think of what success will actually look like and get an image in mind then you’re more likely to reach your goal. E.g. in additional to “I want to lose 5llbs” you may want to add “I want to fit into my size 10 skinny jeans.” Your brain can imagine you in your skinny jeans and this will propel you forward to achieve.
- Be disciplined. Reaching any goal requires a certain amount of discipline and will power. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Push through those difficult moments knowing that you’re getting closer to your end goal. Discipline yourself to commit to regular activity that will move you closer to reaching that goal.
- Be positive. Believe that you can do it! Don’t focus on the negatives. Your brain doesn’t have an image for words like ‘won’t’ & ‘don’t’ so when you say things like ‘I don’t want to fail’ your brain has to actually picture you failing which then takes your focus off your goal.
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