If you have a big goal or perhaps a New Year resolution, how are you going? Are you progressing towards your big goal? How do you know if you are on track? We are already in March with the New Year a distant memory so I’d like to look a little deeper into achieving goals and give you some tips that have helped me and many others.
The biggest first step you can take is to simply write down your goals. I often find that people can describe their goals to me verbally in a general manner. However, this often not enough if you want to succeed. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor, proved in a study with 267 participants that by writing down your goals you are 42% more likely to achieve them as those who do not. I have personally found that when I write down my goals the following happens:
- It forces you to clarify exactly what you want. Imagine you start a trip with no particular destination in mind. What do you need to pack? What path will you take? How do you know when you have arrived? Picking a destination and working backwards will help bring clarity to what you really want to achieve, big or small, short or long term.
- It motivates you to take action.The plan to achieve your goal is written down and it’s now time for ACTION! Reviewing your goals regularly can help you to continue to persist with action. Often this can be the missing ingredient to achieving your goal. It may be the size or complexity of the goal along with many other reasons as to why action never happens. An Exercise Physiologist or coach like figure can help you split up your goals into achievable pieces one step at a time and offer the support you need to get started. Research has shown you are 77% more likely to achieve your goals by simply sharing your written down goals with another person. This adds to you a whole new level of accountability and support towards your goal.
- Helps you provide a filter for other opportunities. There is no doubt that there will be distractions and temptations along the pathway to your destination. Aim to use your goal to filter the distractions by asking “Will this distraction move me closer or further from my goal?” The decision is then yours to say YES or NO. The greater planning and desire behind your list of written goals the easier it will be to make decisions about temptations along the way.
- It will help you overcome resistance. Every meaningful dream or goal encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel it. Focus on the goal and the momentum will start to gather. In contrast, if focus on the resistance it will only get stronger.
- So you can see and celebrate your progress. Life can be hard. Particularly when you aren’t seeing progress. By checking in with your written down goals you can measure your progress. You can see how far you have come and how far you need to go. Written goals are like the road signs on a highway counting down to your destination. Seize these as opportunities at each road sign and celebrate as you go. Come up with your own rewards system as you tick off the milestones along the way. Get creative and see what can you come up with. In time you will pass your final road sign and arrive at GOAL ACHIEVED!!!
I am not saying that committing to writing down your goals is the end-game, but it’ll put your far ahead of those who don’t.
I’d love to hear what are you aiming for? When have successfully achieved a goal? What techniques did you use to achieve your goal?
Until my next post have a great week 🙂
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