Talk of goal setting makes most people cringe because their experience of setting goals has resulted in failure. With the very best of intentions we share our dreams, write them down and boldly set out to achieve them. But then something happens to set us back, and that’s where the achievement ends. We focus on the failure, give up on our efforts and convince ourselves that it wasn’t really a dream we wanted after all. Yet deep down we know that’s not true. Is it worth trying again? Perhaps it’s not the goal that’s flawed, but your approach to goal setting is missing a few steps along the way. Why don’t we try do things differently?
Beyond the goal
A goal may be the focal point, but it doesn’t stand alone. When you think about your goal, it’s good to also consider why you want to achieve that goal. What will you gain by achieving it? What will you feel? Who would you share that success with? What will it mean to you? The simple truth is that a goal is merely the starting point to attaining the life you want. It’s all a part of the journey and understanding the process and steps along the way can help you to set more meaningful goals that you are more motivated to achieve, despite challenges that you may encounter along the way.
Can you see it?
When times are tough, we need something to hold on to, a reason for keeping going. It needs to be something so compelling that despite the obstacles and setbacks, you’re not discouraged from continuing on towards your goal. That’s why visualising achieving your goal and how it’ll make you feel helps to give you a compelling reason to keep going.
One way to visualise your goal is to create a dream board, collecting pictures that reflect you achieving your goals. You could social media platforms such as Pinterest to do this, creating a specific board for each element of your goal. Visualising your goal helps make it more tangible and helps to get you excited about it. In addition having a dream board is really helpful for those days when you feel less motivated. Being able to see what you’re working towards can help you get going again.
Sometimes it can feel as though you’re just plodding along through life without much purpose. Having a specific goal you’re working towards changes that, because it gives you direction. Every day is no longer just another plod, it’s a step closer to achieving your goal, and that in itself is motivating. Take some inspiration from a maestro: Michelangelo is quoted as saying: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free!” When you fix your vision on a goal it makes everything you do feel more purposeful.
It’s all about focus
Henry Ford once said: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!” In other words, whatever becomes your focus of attention is what directs your thoughts and beliefs. If you think you can’t change old habits, you’ve given up before even trying. But if you think mistakes are just opportunities to learn, then you won’t be afraid of making them, and you won’t see setbacks as failures either.
I started by asking the question: What good is a goal? And now I’ll ask another: Do you want something different from your life? If the answer to that questions is yes, then setting goals is going to be part of that. Embrace goals and it’s the first step towards achieving what you want.
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