Goal Setting Tips
Traditional goal setting wisdom has taught us that a good goal must be;
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Rewarding
T – Time-bound
Although these are essential foundational elements of goal setting, below are some additional suggestions and ideas that will help you to better achieve your personal goals:
Write down your goals
By writing down your goals, you create a greater commitment to reaching them. It is estimated that only 3 percent of people actually write specific goals that they want to accomplish. Many people will say they have goals or have set goals for themselves, but if you ask them if they have written them down, the answer is usually “no.” Those you write down specific measurable goals that they want to achieve are exponentially more likely to achieve those goals.
State each goal as a positive statement
Express your goals positively. For example, “run the 100 meter race with perfect form” is a better goal than “Don’t flail or wave my hands all over while running”, or “make solid contact with the ball” is better than “don’t strike out.” A positive statement, presents a positive image, and a positive image depicts a joyful outcome which in turn provides positive motivation and instills confidence.
Make your goals challenging
Goals that are not challenging do not provide the needed motivation to reach them. However, take care to set goals that are realistic. One of the toughest tasks in goals setting is finding the balance between challenging and realistic. If is often best to first set a goal that is clearly realistic then after reaching that goal, assess its difficulty. After assessing and evaluating the results, set your next goal so that it is more challenging. The reason you first set a goal that is clearly realistic is because you want to ensure early success. If you set a goal to lofty and do not reach it, it becomes de-motivating and often people will quit or give up on their goal.
Set performance goals rather than outcome goals
You should set goals over which you have as much control as possible. Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond your control such as bad weather, level of competition, coaching decisions, or simply bad luck. For example, you might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still come in last because of the level of competition. If you had set an outcome goal of being in the top three, then you would have failed to meet your goal. However, if you set a performance goal of achieving a specific time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw satisfaction and motivation from its achievement as well as increased self-confidence.
Take daily actions towards the goal
All goals require action. A goal without action is just a dream. The best goal will never materialize unless consistent action is taken. Therefore, do something everyday, no matter how significant, towards your goal.
Visualize yourself accomplishing the goal
Picture yourself in vivid detail as if you have already achieved the goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, visualize yourself weighing your ideal weight. Do this repeatedly until it becomes part of your subconscious mind.
Share your goals
One of the biggest factors in achieving your goals is your increased dedication to achieving your goals created by other people knowing what you want to achieve. By sharing your goals, you create a form of peer pressure for yourself. If others know you are trying to lose 15 pounds, they often may ask “how is it going with the weight loss?” Individuals often will work harder at their goals, in order to avoid an awkward conversation where they are explaining why they have not lost the expected weight. Also, by sharing your goals, others will often provide motivation and support for you.
Find others with similar goals
It is often easier for individuals to achieve their goals if they approach it as a team or collaborative effort. For example, if you are looking to get into shape, join a gym with some friends who also want to get into shape. This will create a bond as well as increase motivation and dedication. You will have increased motivation to go to the gym if you know you may be letting someone else down by not going. Also, others can provide support and encouragement as you strive to achieve your personal goals.