There is a saying that goes, 'Failure to plan is planning to fail.' The truth is that although we embark on new projects with the best of intentions, we fail to reach our destination because we are not clear enough about what it is we REALLY want. This is where an effective goal setting strategy becomes a godsend for manifesting the change you desire.
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT
Although there are some definite steps to follow, the most important of all though is to really questions your motives as to why you want to initiate change in the first place. You really need to take the time to stop and, and ask yourself, 'What do I really want?'
Is it because of a deep burning desire that inspires and drives you to achieve, or are you doing it simply because everybody else is and you feel like you should/need to change? I will tell you right now, if you are making goals because you feel guilt, shame or obligated by the expectations of society or people around you then you needn't bother. You may as well quit now, because you have lost the battle already. This is basically how I explain it to my clientele:
"Inspired goals initiate inspired action.
Obligation to commit, creates complacency."
To give you an example, imagine for a minute a 10 year old child who loves computer games. They think about it all the time, they obsess over it constantly therefore if you were to ask the child to go play computer games for an hour they'd be all over it before your could say, 'lickety-split.' But ask the child to clean their room, and they will probably moan, groan and brainstorm every angle they can play to try to wriggle out of completing the chore. To put it bluntly, we prioritise tasks that are high on our values hierarchy. We also procrastinate about tasks that are lowest in our values hierarchy, Things we love to do, no-one need tell us twice, things that don't resonate with us, that we don't TRULY want - we delay.
LINKING GOALS TO YOUR VALUES
As you were growing up, you structured your identity as a result of your experiences. This includes your beliefs, attitudes and values. Values are what you value most in the world, or things that are of the utmost importance, such as the 10 year old and video games. They influence all of our decisions and also how we see the world, and they also change over time and grow as we too grow.
When we set goals for ourselves that are in alignment with our highest values, we need no exterior motivator - our passion comes from within. Whereas when we set goals that are not in alignment with our values, trying to achieve these goals with pale in priority and will no doubt always end up feeling like a ball and chain.
In order to find what drives you in terms of what ranks highest in your own set of values, I strongly recommend completing Dr. John Demartini’s values determination questionnaire as it will shed light on what really makes you tick.
GOAL SETTING SUMMARISED
There have been numerous books written on the subject of motivation and goal setting. Each with their own et of do's and don'ts on how to succeed. Yet I simply don't believe that goal setting need be so regimented. As we established earlier, most of the time the reason people fail is because they don't set goals in congruency with their own unique set of values.
However there are certain variables that need to be predetermined if you really wish to have any chance of hitting your mark. Here is a sample goal setting process that I personally use, as a guide to setting goals of your own:
#1 VISUALISE AND DECLARE YOUR INTENT
Write it down. Declare it to the universe. Stick it somewhere you will see it every day and revisit it often. Be specific. Wishy washy wishing yields wishy washy results.
#2 SET YOURSELF A DEADLINE
Set a date and stick to it. Simple.
#3 CHUNK YOUR GOALS INTO MEASURABLE MILESTONES
What will you do a day, a week, a month or a year from now that is going to ensure you stay on the path to greatness? What can you do today, to take you one step closer to where you wish to be tomorrow?
#4 BE GRATEFUL
Dr Demartini says, "What we thank about and think about, we bring about." Adopting an attitude of gratitude will not only bring out the eternal optimist in you, you will be calm, posted and more receptive to opportunity when it presents itself.
#5 VISUALISE, AFFIRM, ACHIEVE!
Don't drop the ball. Set reminders. Write affirmations or goals on your bathroom mirror. Prepare a vision board. Do whatever you need to serve as a constant reminder of where you are heading, and the end result that you are aiming for.
At the end of the day, a goal without a plan is just a wish, and wishing never made anything happen without some kind of effort on behalf of the one who is wishing.
- Demartini, John F. The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
- Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. No. Hollywood, CA: Melvin Powers, Wilshire Book, 1966. Print.
Search my site to find articles on a variety of topics, including fat loss, workouts, nutrition, recipes and much more!