“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
– Bill Copeland
Goals must have value. When we are goal-setting, our goals should be motivating, important, have value, and be relevant to our priorities. When thinking of goals to pursue, take an inventory of the priorities in your life right now. What is important to you? Do you have the inclination to do what is necessary to achieve the things you want in life? Will achieving this goal add value to your well-being or career? Also, goals with the most value are those pursued for yourself, for self-fulfillment, not for someone or something else.
Set S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals.
Simple, not vague, holds you accountable
If you can’t track your progress, how do you know if there was any?
Be realistic. Set goals you believe with time and work you can achieve
Your goals should align with your core values and what you truly want in life
Have a target date, a deadline to work toward. Helps prioritize your actions
Every day, every week, every month, habitually evaluate if you are staying on track
You don’t quit or start over. When the road gets bumpy we slow down and seek a better path
Set mini-goals. Having long-term and big picture goals are great, but it is our consistent actions and accomplishment of micro-goals along the way that will ensure success. Although having a goal of losing 50lbs in 6 months is realistic, it appears a daunting task. Break it into weekly and daily goals. For example, a weekly goal in this scenario could be food prepping 5 days in advance and getting to the gym 4 times a week. A daily goal could be to meet your macronutrient totals.
Use positive language. Just as positive self-talk is beneficial to the mind and our well-being, using positive language in goal-setting sets the tone for a positive attitude. If your intention in a weightlifting workout is to not miss any reps, your goal should not be “don’t miss any reps in this workout”, but rather “I will complete each rep with focus and my best effort”. Don’t get caught up in telling yourself all the things you don’t need to do because inevitably you are going to to do them anyway to some degree, leading to feelings of failure. Instead, frequently remind yourself of all the actions you are going to take every day, building the daily habits to attain your goals.
Seek collaboration. What goals do I pursue? How do I know what is realistic? What is a good time line and how do I evaluate my progress? All worthy questions and questions we not only ask ourselves but these are the types of questions that end up being barriers to ever setting and pursuing goals. Find someone that knows more about what you are wanting to pursue than you are and ask questions, seek advice and guidance. A collaborating goal-setting effort can result in goal pursuits you feel more confident and motivated about achieving.