Setting goals: How to stay motivated and achieve your goals
Motivation is a term that gets thrown around constantly. So many of us desire this understanding of why we are doing what we are doing, yet some people often find themselves losing interest in maintaining a level of desire when they have something to do.
During a time when your living room has turned into your office space, your meetings are always online, and your morning coffee is served on your kitchen bench instead of being whipped up by your favourite barista, it’s safe to say things have most definitely changed.
With everything going on, it’s easy to forget our previous routines and fall victim to procrastination. But how do we defeat procrastination? How do we manage motivation? How do we make a change?
The first step is acknowledging that motivation is a process. It initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours.
What is goal setting?
Goal setting is a powerful process that allows you to reflect on what you want to achieve in the long or short term. By questioning your ideal future, this method encourages motivation and helps you to turn your vision of this future into reality. A helpful tip when it comes to goal setting is really contemplating what you want to achieve. This shows you where you should concentrate your efforts and helps you recognize the distractions that could lead you astray or into the “procrastination zone”.
Why set goals?
Before you decide what goals you should be setting, it’s important to know why you are setting goals in the first place. Although everyone’s answer to this will be different, the simplest answer is that setting goals helps you see the bigger picture for your future and gives you motivation. Elite athletes, successful business people, and high achievers across all fields set goals to maintain motivation. Setting goals allows you to focus your attention on your achievements, which encourages motivation.
Tips for setting goals
- It’s important to write your goals down. Whether it be on your phone or with a pen and paper. This will give your goals more force and help you remember them!
- Make simple goals that are expressed positively.
- Ensure that goals aren’t too big. Keeping your goals smaller will help you see you are smashing them and incremental goals give more opportunities for reward.
- Be as precise as possible with your goals so you can measure your achievement.
- Keep in mind your priorities. What is most important to you? What do you want to achieve first? Having priorities can stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Make sure you set your own goals. Don’t let those around you set goals that don’t align with your values or desires in life.
- Make realistic goals. You want to be ambitious, but don’t set the standard too high otherwise you will lose motivation.
- Keep a vision board. Vision boards are a fantastic tool to keep you on track. They are usually a collage of images and words that align with your goals and remind you of what you hope to achieve. You can look to them to remind you of your values, goals, or dreams.
- Review your goals as you go. This keeps your goals at the forefront of your mind and is the key habit to actualizing your goals. You don’t want to risk your goals just becoming wishes.
- Have fun with your goals! Make it your passion, not something you dread! This is a positive process that should be enjoyed.
Example of a good goal vs. a bad goal
Even with these tips in mind, it might be difficult to recognise the difference between a good goal and a bad goal. Take a look at the difference between these two goals:
- Example one: I want to wake up earlier.
- Example two: I am going to start waking up at 6am each morning as I want to make the most of my day.
Example two is the much better goal. It uses a lot of tips mentioned above such as being precise, using positive language, and it’s realistic! With all these tips this goal will be easily achievable and have an encouraging outcome for your next goal.