We’ve all heard that setting goals is important and that it helps to keep us focussed. But the reality is that setting goals is essential for progress, and there are ways you can make your goals stretch you yet also be attainable.
- Write them down
Goals are better when they’re visual. If they’re written down, especially in your own handwriting, then they become more solid and your attention to them expands. This goes for small tasks you might put on a ‘to do’ list such as errands and everyday things, all the way to bigger life goals. It’s even better if you can put them somewhere you see them regularly, or review them on a regular basis.
- Work out the steps it’s going to take to get there
Setting a goal is great but it’s also important to consider what it’s going to take to get there. If it’s a really big goal, then it might be worth breaking it down into manageable smaller steps. If it’s a small task you’ve been putting off, try and make the conditions easier – for example if you need to do laundry, do you have detergent, have you got space to put the clothes horse out, have you set a timer so you know when you need to hang it up rather than forgetting and leaving it in the machine, etc.?
- Set a time limit
An important way to keep yourself on track with goals is to put a time limit on them. For certain things this will be predetermined, like the date an assignment is due at college or uni, but for other things you’ll need to set that time limit yourself. If you set a time limit, you can then use the steps you’ve made to get to that goal and perhaps set focussed time periods on those too. It’s going to make your goals become a reality more easily as you’ll know exactly what is needed of you AND when it needs to be done.
- Make sure you know WHY you’re doing it
In order to stay motivated and committed to the goal, you need to have a reason for doing it. You can then use this as something to remind yourself why you need to get it done, and then you’ll be more likely to get moving on it. It doesn’t matter how big or small the task is, have a purpose and know why you’re aiming to get it done.