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I will be the first to admit that deciding to set goals can feel uncomfortable and cheesy at first. How many should you set? How often? How personal? Basically, there are many different ways to approach this process. Thankfully, your goals are just that, yours. You get to set your terms, conditions, duration and all of the fine print. I am a big proponent of the SMART goal method when it comes to setting goals, however, we’re taking one step back from that today. In today’s post, I’m sharing a few things to keep in mind as you move through your goal setting process.
Before you even begin to actually set your own goals, give yourself a pat on the back for deciding to do so. Realizing the goals that live in your heart can feel scary because it can reveal areas of your life that you (consciously or subconsciously) feel need improvement. The first step in making improvements is to decide to set goals.
When setting goals, it’s important to keep the following things in mind:
The goals that you are setting need to be relevant for you in your current situation. Just because your friend created a goal to lose 20 pounds, doesn’t mean that you need to follow suit. Take an all-encompassing look at your life. What area(s) make you feel something other than joy? I suggest starting with those areas. Choosing to set goals for those areas of improvement may feel weird and, for lack of a better word, icky. That just means you’re focusing on the right area(s). Start small and think big. Once you achieve your first goal(s), you’ll have at least one more stepping stone to jump to that will lead you to more happiness.
(More on the blog: How to Roll With the Punches)
Positivity is not only beneficial in high pressure situations, but it can also prove beneficial in helping you achieve your goals. For example, let’s say you want to purge your life of unhealthy relationships because they haven’t been supportive. Instead of phrasing it so that you would be getting rid of things, the phrasing should reflect positive actions. The goal should then be: I will maintain those relationships that are supportive, motivational, and healthy and release those that are harmful.
To learn more about how positivity can change your life, I highly recommend picking up the book You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. That book changed my life and the way I think about myself and my goals.
When you are setting goals, it may be easiest to set goals that you believe could be feasible if you changed behaviors, but might not be feasible otherwise. In this instance, focus your goals on that change in behavior. Here’s an example: You want to lose 20 pounds, but don’t currently work out or eat well. Instead of making your goal “lose 20 pounds,” focus your goal on incorporating work outs and/or healthy eating into your routine. That being said, if you’ve never been one who exercises regularly, set your goal small initially in order to incorporate this behavior change into your routine. Once your routine includes this new behavior, you can increase the frequency of exercise from one day a week to two or three times a week.
But why is any of this important?
Goals give us activity and purpose. Even if you just have one goal, you still have one thing to be actively working towards. There is always something that you could be doing to further your progress in achieving your goals. Once you have achieved a goal, not only does it feel really incredible, but you can look back at the progress you’ve made and use that as motivation to create new goals and continue the process all over again.
As you embark on your own goal setting journey, I urge you to kick feelings of uncertainty to the curb. Like riding a bike, learning to set goals is a gradual process that, once you learn it and practice, becomes habitual.
(More on the blog: How to be Motivated by Pressure)
After applying these things to my goal setting process, I decided to write my own goals. Here are my new goals for self-improvement:
> Continue to make organization a priority.
> Learn something new everyday.
> Only keep the material things that are necessary and useful.
What is one goal you are currently trying to achieve?