Motivating yourself to achieve what you want out of life, both personally and professionally, can seem like an overwhelming task. Taking a step back and reflecting on what your goals are and then chipping away at them slowly will help turn your vision into reality. Defining what you want and putting together a plan of action are the first steps to achieving your goals. As Walt Disney once said, if you can dream it – you can do it.
There’s a plethora of research to support the notion that setting goals is both a skill, and a habit, that we should all practice. Goal setting provides a roadmap to follow, and studies have shown that writing goals down increases the likeliness by between 30-40% that you will achieve them, as opposed to just having them in your head.
Below is a list of 7 Tips to help you set your intentions for goal setting:
- Write your goals down, and keep them somewhere you can see them everyday. With life being so busy, it’s easy to get distracted and bogged down with the day-to-day. Before we know it, the goals we had in our head get pushed to the wayside and swept under the rug of life. Write down your personal, financial, health, professional and relationship goals and put them where you can read them each day – on your mirror, on your desk at work, or even in your car. Daily reminders keep them at the forefront of your mind.
- Visualize Yourself Achieving Said Goals. Fear and anxiety stem from the negative anticipation of future events (the unknown). If you can picture yourself achieving your goal, your mind will record it as a real memory and the situation will become something you have “already experienced”. This will help reduce feelings of doubt and insecurity and it will increase your confidence. Visualization is a valuable tool in goal setting, allowing us to become emotionally invested. When we visualize achieving a goal, we also experience the feelings that come with achievement.
- Self-commit. Identify what is at stake if you don’t achieve your goal(s). When you do achieve your goal, how will it positively to impact your life? How will it impacts others lives? It’s also helpful to determine what sacrifices you’re willing to make. Often times, we have to sacrifice something(s) to achieve something.There are many instances in which we set goals, but don’t consider what we need to give up in order to get, which can be a roadblock for many.
- Be SMART about your goals. Setting vague goals will have you on the fast track to not achieving very much. Goals should be specific (detailed and meaningful), measurable (quantifiable and able to track progress), attainable (is it realistic? do you have the resources and tools needed to achieve it?), relevant (does it align with your personal values or company mission?) and have a time-frame (deadline).
- Be Mindful and Plan for success. Schedule time blocks in your day on your calendar to dedicate towards working on your goals- consider them mandatory meetings with the big boss- yourself! Be mindful with your time, and act with intention. There might be pockets of time in your day that you can actually set aside to work on your goals whether it’s during your commute, right before bed, on your lunch break, while on the elliptical. Replace old habits (ie: scrolling on social media, watching TV) with new habits that will get you closer to your goals.
- Seek feedback and support. Part of the fun and motivation of setting goals is working on them in a supportive group environment. Even though goals are often individual in nature, sharing your goals with others can help keep you accountable and allows room for support and feedback. It’s always helpful to get input from others who have already achieved a goal similar to the one you’ve set out to achieve. They may have additional insight or resources to aid you in your journey and work.
- Celebrate successes! Get out of the habit of focusing on what is lacking, because when you focus on what you haven’t accomplished instead of what you have, you’re less likely to stay on task and complete your goals. By celebrating your accomplishments, both big and small, you can boost your confidence, reduce the risk of burnout, and fuel your continued success.