Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Setting goals you will actually stick to

Before you scoff at this post or tell me that you ‘don’t need to read a blog post to be able to set yourself goals for life’, have a think about how many times you have set goals that you have not achieved. Having a new approach can’t hurt your chances of success too much can it? Everybody has goals of some description, whether it is something big and bucket-list worthy like starting a family or something as simple as eating breakfast in the morning, yet many of us struggle to achieve them. This can be for many reasons, but a lot of it lies in the way that we set our goals in the first place.
Kate loves blog - Mindfulness - Setting Goals

We have talked about how to figure out what will bring you happiness, and how to remove negative influences in your life and begin looking after your health, all of which will help to improve your chances of success with the goals you set – but how do you set a goal in a way that it is achievable? I am going to talk about some different techniques that you can use to fool-proof your plans. You don’t have to do all of them every time or can mix-and-match your approach to pick strategies that suit you.
Be aware of the bigger picture

We all have an ‘ideal life’. Ask yourself what you would be doing with your life if failure was not an option then let your mind wander through the options of what your life could be like. There is absolutely no reason that your life can’t be like the thing you imagine. By turning focus to your ideal life you can spot the disparities between where you currently are, and where you want to be. These differences are your goals. You can look at role models on social media or get crafty and make a vision board to keep you on track and remind yourself exactly where you want to be. Have this somewhere that you can regularly see to remind yourself of where you want to be.

Set challenges & Identify milestones
If you are trying to achieve something that is relatively new to you, then setting challenges, clear objectives, and milestones can ensure that you remain motivated on your journey. For example, having an event like ‘Tough Mudder’ could make you more motivated to stay on track with your health and fitness journey, and your milestones may be the different distances that you can run.
Try to avoid having milestones that are too strict, time restricted, or defined by numbers especially in the early days (EG weight, time to run a mile) as it can be incredibly easy to feel unmotivated when these take longer than you wanted to complete.

Research your options
If you really want to make changes in your life having an understanding of the thing that you want to change can make you more likely to be successful. We are much more likely to be able to stay focused on something that we are interested in and knowledgeable about. Take the time to research the changes you want to make, read blogs about how others have made the journey before you – and ask questions, watch documentaries, or do online courses. I usually use a pretty basic project pad to keep track of my ideas and where I am up to with them - especially as I find that once I have motivation I get more ideas of new things to try than anybody could ever remember! I use a different tab for each area of life I am focusing on changing, and then make an effort to review what I have written at least once a week. 

Another advantage of this is that by increasing our knowledge of these things, we become more aware of different techniques that we can use to get where we want to be, and to adapt what we are already doing to get where we want to be quicker.

Focus on the day ahead
Having big goals to transform your entire life can be daunting and overwhelming. Part of our problem with this is that we feel so far away from where we want to be that it can seem impossible to get there. Rather than spending all of your time focused on the bigger picture (I mean, always be aware of it, but don’t make it your be-all-and-end-all, you need some flexibility) break it down into more manageable chunks. Each day ask yourself what you can do that day to make you one step closer to your goals. Take it one step at a time. Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

The most important thing to remember when you are setting goals is to make sure that we are remaining true to ourselves, and consistently reviewing what we want to achieve to ensure that it still fits with what you want, what makes you happy, as well as fitting with your morals and values. You need to find the balance between focusing on your ‘ideal life’, and not getting overwhelmed by taking everything a day at a time. You will find that just by considering how each decision you make will benefit you, you will begin to feel more content and at peace with yourself and who you are almost instantly.

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