It’s tempting to set new goals at the beginning of the year. As a counsellor, I encourage our clients to invite change into their lives. As a psychologist, I need to be able to share what makes change, through goal setting, more successful.
Here are 7 elements that will help you better achieve your goals.
If you want to achieve a goal its important that you know what that goal looks like. For example, you might want to lose 10 kilos in this year. What do you have to do to lose this weight? Normally this would involve a combination of diet and exercise goals to make the weight loss possible. So how often are you going to exercise? What kind of exercise are you going to do? Is this the kind of exercise that typically helps people lose weight? What kind of diet changes are you going to make? How often are you going to eat, or not eat, this way? These smaller questions make your goals SMART – an acronym representing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. Setting SMART goals will help you understand your success in specific steps. But this is not enough, our other six ideas will help you gain the momentum to actually get required actions done
2. Tell the world.
There is a plethora of research as to how public posting of information increases not only one’s perception of being accountable, but helps people achieve their goals better. If you are the only person who knows that you didn’t achieve your goal that day, there is no pressure. Telling the world, or a team your goals, is asking others to keep an eye on your achievements.
3. Be a groupie.
Find a group of people with similar goals. Often, we are better cheerleaders for others than we are for ourselves. Join or set up a group to help keep you on track with your goals this year. Helping others achieve their goals will also create out some competitive elements for you to also show you are able to do the work.
4. DO rather than DON’T.
Framing your goals in positive style language, rather than negative, helps you feel more positive about them. No body likes to feel like they are missing or losing something. By adding a goal, you can start with a more positive framework.
5. Plan for potholes.
People fail to achieve their goals because they do not plan to stumble or fail in their interim goals, and once they do, the abandon their overall goals. “I missed my exercise today, so I will just give up”. Planning for potholes, or small stumbles, is not only a compassionate way to treat yourself, its actually more realistic than expecting a flawless execution of your goal plan. If you missed a day of exercise, make up for it, or note it down and move on. A goal is a culmination of many days of effort, not one alone.
6. Own your goals.
Your goals should be set by you, for you. Other people do not need to tell you what your goals should be. Write about how you imagine you think your life will be better or different if you can achieve your goals. How might you feel? These are your goals to achieve, or to not achieve – no one else’s.
7. Set yourself some rewards to reinforce your success.
Did you like star charts as a kid? If you did, set yourself a new, adult star chart. Reward yourself with an appropriate reward at key junctures. If you want to lose 10 kilos, reward yourself whenever you lose 0.5 kilos. You need to select appropriate and supportive rewards. A piece of cake would not be a supportive reward when weight loss if your goal.
#goals #2022 #mentalhealth #weightloss #REDDOOR