A Guide to Goal Setting

14th January 2020

It’s very easy to say that you want to achieve something, it’s harder to set a self-catered, achievable goal. So many things in this world are now personalised and catered to you. Shopping, ad algorithms, experiences, so many things take into account our personal circumstances and find ways to help us out.

This is what we need to remember when we are creating and discussing goals. We are not one-size-fits-all people. We are individual powerhouses that have individual desires. Goal setting is all about what sacrifices you are willing to endure to achieve the end product. Not what you wish you could do, not what someone else can do, but what you can do now. To make the perfect goal, catered for you, bear in mind the sacrifices you’ll be making and find a balance between the dream and the reality.

Setting an initial deadline for your goal should be your starting point. If you have decided that you want to be able to do a middle split, add in some accountability and give yourself an end date. This will give your brain the mental smack over the back of the head when it’s crunch time.

Next, create an environment that helps you toward your goal. If you wanted to avoid chocolate you wouldn’t bathe in Willy Wonka’s chocolate fountain, so don’t do the equivalent in your life. If you want that middle split, think about placing stretch bands next to the couch at home so when you’re relaxing and watching TV, you are reminded to work towards your goal.

Your goals set your direction, however your system is the way you choose to get to that point. These systems need to be specific to make sure your brain can’t make excuses when it gets tough. If you stick to these systems day by day, then you are 2 to 3 times more likely to stick to your goal (Clear, 2019).

Continuing the middle split example; if your goal is to be able to do a middle split by the end of the term, then one of your systems could be;

“I plan to stretch everyday for 20 minutes at 6pm”.

This means you have a time (and maybe even an alert on your phone) holding you accountable. You know that it’ll be everyday so after a while it will become a part of your daily routine.

Your system should include

  1. The activity you are going to perform
  2. The length of time you will be performing this activity
  3. What time you will begin the activity
  4. How frequently this will occur (daily, weekly etc)

Therefore, it should look something like this:

I plan to …………………… ………………… for ……………………. at ……………………..

 

This system is the beginning of your ever-changing goal journey. Never be afraid to change the systems or the goals as your feelings and needs change. This isn’t to suggest giving up when you would rather not do it, but if you decide that these sacrifices aren’t worth the goal, then stop. If this isn’t going to make you happy anymore, you didn’t fail, you learnt.

Reference: https://jamesclear.com/implementation-intentions

 

We have a helpful goal setting package complete with a video and templates you can use to set up your goals; download it here! (It's free!)

Goal Setting Package