Setting and accomplishing personal goals is a great way to build your self-confidence and work towards a life you’re happier with. However, that process can be longer and more difficult than some people expect. Without a proper plan it’s easy for those goals to go unfulfilled.
Tips for Better Goal Setting
Sometimes people get a little too enthusiastic about setting goals and make a long list. The problem with this is that it’s easy to become overwhelmed about the large number of goals and the amount of small steps you have to take to work towards them.
This feeling of being overwhelmed can then turn into avoidance or shutting down when you even think of working on your goals. After noticing how little progress you’ve made, the list is often just thrown out completely. Reaching goals requires a lot of self-motivation, and without that positive feedback, self-motivation can be exceedingly difficult.
Improve Your Ability to Reach Goals
The key to avoiding this disappointing pattern is to change the way you set your goals.
Instead of writing down a bunch of goals in an unorganized list, structure your list in a way that is more productive:
- Prioritize – First decide which larger goals are most important or urgent. Put those ones on the top of your list.
- Break Down Priorities – Write out the steps you need to take go complete your prioritized tasks. The more small steps the better, even if it’s a long list of them. Very small steps like “purchase paper” and “setup printer” are easy and achievable compared to a larger and more vague goal with no small steps like “prepare to start.”
- Rewards – Think of small rewards you can give yourself after taking small steps towards your larger goal. They can be given after just one or a certain larger number of them are completed, according to whatever helps motivate you best.
Putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do a lot of big things like “lose weight” or “find a new job” is almost always unhelpful. Even if you’re working towards your number one priority goal, without a thoughtful plan like the one you can build with the steps above, it can be easy for your efforts to fall apart.
Instead, going through this planning process will help positively reinforce the work you’re doing and lead you to success with your goals. The power of planning and positive rewards are significant when you’re seeking to build healthy habits and achieve almost other any kind of goal.