In my post, https://www.anitagohilthorp.com/post/are-you-ready-and-set-to-go-with-your-2020-goals , I gave step by step tips and information on how you can increase your chances of sticking to goals for 2020. Let’s face it, at this time of year, goals or resolutions are hot topics for conversation. Have you made yours yet?
The conversation is the easy part. What is harder is to create them effectively and to be accountable to yourself for them. Here, I share my thoughts on how to structure your goals to increase the chances of commitment, motivation and attainment. I refer to goals but whether a goal or resolution, the following tips apply.
Understand why this is a goal for 2020. Ask yourself these questions and answer them thoroughly before moving on to tip 2: Why am I motivated by this goal? How will I know I have attained this goal? How will I feel when I have reached it? What does this goal mean for me once I have reached it? Reflect on this wholeheartedly even if it takes a few hours or days to do so and truly understand the goal.
Write out your goal. If you have already written it down, look at how you have worded your goal. Language, both spoken and written, is very powerful. What words have you used? What tone? How do the words truly resonate or motivate you? What time have you taken to draft the goal clearly enough for it still to have meaning in 1 month or 6 months? (SMART is a sensible technique for drafting a goal more accurately; here’s a quick reminder https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria)
Be realistic. This is the R in SMART but I don’t think it is given as much attention as it deserves. Many justifiable things can get in the way of reaching your goals. This can include your own self belief or inner critic, reduced confidence, ill-health, lack of focus, boredom and so on or there could be something external to you that interferes with your progress. If you have an obstructive colleague, for example, what will it take for your goals to be realistic? It is helpful, if not essential, to be realistic about such things and factor them in to your timescale and goal ideals without beating yourself up. Something as basic as interruptions can slice an hour off your day. Rather than become frustrated, it serves you well to accept such things happen and ensure your goal and timescale are more realistically defined.
Allow yourself rewards and breaks as you work towards your goal. Be your own best friend. This may sound a little cheesy but no one has your back more than you yourself.
Accountability and reflection are important. It helps to be able to remain self disciplined and motivated all of the time but, let's be realistic! On our own, we are susceptible to some side-tracking, demotivation, boredom, mind-blocks or other obstacles. Who can you trust to be your accountability partner? Why would she or he support you? Can you support them? How would this potentially help you both? How can they help you to reflect on your goals and small wins?
A word about the inner critic. Let’s face it, this voice creeps in. I’ve heard it from CEOs, lawyers, middle management, working mums and students. It crosses borders, generations and professions. And it is a pain.
However, the inner critic that stops you in your tracks is not an authority on what you are capable of. Engage with your mental creativity and know that you also have a more helpful inner voice in the form of an angel, a favourite person or character - whatever works for you - that you can actively tap into to counter the critic. The critic will creep in. Don’t let it be the driver. Actively tell yourself that you are in charge, not this voice. It may be tricky to begin with but, with practice, you can defeat it to the point that your more helpful voice takes over to become your norm. It can easily tackle the inner critic.
The inner critic sabotages the pace at which you will reach your goals. By succumbing to it, you are giving up your ability to decide what is right for you. If this is difficult to digest, I understand. In a nutshell though, I’m encouraging you to be your own best friend. You wouldn’t stop your friend in their tracks towards their goals would you? You’d be their supporter, encouraging and motivating them. Now imagine doing this for yourself too. When I suggest this to clients, it’s as if a light bulb has been switched on. The shift can be powerfully motivating.
I’m keen to help 1000 in 2020 to be happier and more successful through reaching goals that are significantly important to them. It starts with one small step. Please do share this article on your social media. It’s free to do and sharing my tips from here and other articles costs nothing too. Let’s make the world a happier, prosperous place where we can all thrive.
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The boring stuff: The views expressed are those of the author alone. They are not medical or other advice. If you feel vulnerable, anxious or depressed, it is recommended that you seek medical guidance from your medical practitioner. The author accept no liability in respect of action taken by the reader.