Learning to set goals is one of the most important things you will ever do in your self-improvement journey. Unfortunately, setting (and reaching) goals is not taught to everyone. I’ve even heard people say that they never set goals because if they do then they are sure to fail at their endeavor. So how do you know that you will reach the goals you set?
Make a list
Nothing will ever be of more use to you in accomplishing your aims than a good list. They will help keep you steadily on your way down the road to goal victory, because you will never forget where you are or where you have been.
Write down everything! If you need to learn it, write it down. Need tools? Write that down. You need to get books or videos to learn to use the tools? Yup. Write that down too. If it is a pro, a con, a success, or frustration write it down. Lists will keep you on track to meet your deadline. They will also keep track of the supplies that you have as well as what you still need to get. Additionally, they will help you record all your triumphs!
Set yourself small and easily achievable goals to start. While we may be tempted to set ourselves a target of losing 50 lbs in 2 weeks or being able to run that triathlon scheduled for next month, truthfully, these things are not realistic.
In the beginning it is best to start with goals which are achievable within a relatively short time. While some may not advocate for instant gratification, small daily victories will help put you in the correct mindset to work for more distant and difficult goals in the future.
Try something like setting a schedule for the vacuuming or picking a specific time to go to bed. Even the smallest successes will increase your confidence in being able to reach your objectives.
Give yourself a deadline
Deadlines can be frustrating. Just knowing that there is a time at which I must have a thing finished sends me into spasms of procrastination not seen since I last told my daughter to clean her room. However, knowing that there is a legitimate time that I must have something done does indeed help me to plan my procrastination schedule.
Open ended goals offer you no motivation to accomplish them. After all, knowing that you needed to paint your living room for the past two weeks has not yet inspired you to actually do it. (I am this person.) Instead, try inviting a friend over or host a get together and tell your visitors that you will have the painting finished before they arrive.
Do remember the first tip, though, and give yourself enough time to finish your task!
Offer yourself a lovely incentive
Remember that instant gratification thing?
Yeah, we’re back there. This may seem like a silly thing to do, but it can really help you to change your mindset! Getting to where you really want to be can be a long journey, and you don’t want to forget to reward yourself every step of the way. One of the reasons that many people don’t achieve their goals is that they feel like they’re just spinning their wheels.
This is the ambition killer.
Celebrating every single win that you have will encourage you to keep going. Keeping a journal of your successes will give you a physical representation of your triumphs and treating yourself to a nice dinner or massage will keep you in the groove of moving forward.
Set miniature goals on the way
Every time you pass a milestone, it encourages you to go even further. Setting smaller and more easily completed goals will allow you more opportunities for reward. Essentially, the idea is to train your brain that passing your personal finish line is rewarding and offers more pleasurable results than not. Over time, as you teach yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, you can increase the difficulty and length of time required to reach your ultimate desires.
Eventually you will be so inspired by successfully finishing all of those smaller goals that you will want to go for the big one. No matter what your life-changer may be, the ‘big one’ often requires much more time, dedication, and in some cases even pain and suffering. (Working out, anyone? That may just be me again.)
When you set your ‘big one’ the sky is the limit! No matter if you want to get that degree, get in shape, write a book, or build a boat, you already know that you can do this! By applying all the things that you have learned, you will persevere!
You are strong; you are beautiful. You can do this!
A failure is just an opportunity to do it better next time.