I don’t think there’s a single person out there who doesn’t set themselves goals in day to day life. We naturally tell ourselves ‘I’ll go for a jog tomorrow’ or ‘I’m not eating chocolate until Friday’ (~weight loss/exercise goals are probably the most common, but I will never condone giving up chocolate until Friday unless it is 23:59 on a Thursday evening…)
Obviously not all goals succeed, so here’s my advice on how I set my own goals, with more chances of actually succeeding with them.
1. Think about what you want. 🤓
It seems like a fairly obvious first step, but so many people go along with fads and trends without really knowing what they want to get out of it. Think about the bigger picture, rather than what some magazine tells you.
2. Be specific. 👩🏻💻
Losing weight, saving money, exercising more, getting a new job.
These are great goals, but they’re not specific enough to help you succeed. We all seem to have a habit of chasing unachievable goals, or increasing the goal when you get close. These aren’t bad qualities to have, but there’s no sense of satisfaction and you’re more likely to end up disappointed.
Instead, give a quantitative measure to it. Lose 4lbs, save £100, exercise three times a week etc. Seeing and reflecting on progress when you’ve achieved something is much more beneficial. There’s no reason that you can’t set yourself another goal once this has been achieved.
3. Know your limits. 🏅
Another fatal mistake people make is to set a goal that’s near enough impossible to achieve. You’re basically setting yourself up to fail. Instead, be realistic and know what you are capable of. There’s no shame in smaller successes that lead to something bigger overall.
4. Don’t set too many at once. 📚
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got about 15 goals that you’d just love to beat. No matter how hard you try, attempting to beat all of these at once will burn you out. I’m not saying you’ve got to go one at a time, but I wouldn’t tell you that was a bad idea either. Maybe two or three targets at most would be a good place to start – you want to be able to focus on all of these things with equal attention.
Perhaps split these in terms of ease too – if you’ve got one goal which you think is going to be a lot easier, combine that with another slightly more difficult one, then you’ll be more likely to achieve both than if you had two difficult ones.
If you’ve got a big goal, try breaking it up into several smaller, easier to achieve goals. Goal-ception!
5. Have a long term plan. 📈
There is no point setting a goal without a long term plan. Especially where diets are concerned, it’s proven that the minute you stop that mentality, you fall down a slippery slope.
Whether it’s a succession of goals (as aforementioned) or simply a method to sticking to whatever your achievement is (e.g. Write a novel – there would be a lot of post-goal work on that one!), it’s important to know what you plan on doing after it’s achieved.
6. Give yourself a deadline. 📆
If you’re the kind of person that works well with a deadline approaching, give yourself a fixed date. This will help to motivate you as well as encourage you to live this kind of lifestyle. It’s very easy to lose focus when you don’t have a deadline.
7. Write them down. ✍🏻
Whether you’re a blogger or not, writing and sharing your goals with other people holds you accountable. This acts as another motivational factor in the process. Obviously you don’t have to share, perhaps just keep a notepad or mark deadlines on your calendar (this is especially useful for bigger goals – you can mark where you want to be at key points along the way too).
8. Finally, remember it’s ok to fail. 💪
Sometimes things just don’t work out. Rather than treating this as a negative thing, learn from the experience and apply those lessons to future goal setting. At the end of the day, life can just get in the way sometimes and despite your best intentions things don’t always work out. Get back up and smash the next goal instead!
With these top tips, I hope you’ll find yourself more successful with future goal setting. I’d love to know what you think!