Intentional Goal Setting

I think, as humans, we all have a love-hate relationship with goals.

We love them because they are a great way to motivate us to achieve and then evaluate our progress. We hate them because, unfortunately, for much of the time they go unattained and simply frustrate us.

As we head into January, the holy grail of goal setting season, I wanted to encourage everyone to pause as they reflect on their achievements in the last year.

I want everyone to ask themselves: did my goals joyfully propel me through my life? Did they fuel my actions and give me the momentum to create alignment and fulfillment?

Having been a coach for several years, I’ve found that we often use goals to negatively reinforce our actions. Which leads to…you guessed it…frustration and a list of “will do these someday” kinds of goals.

Make 2019 the year you set energizing goals with some of my favorite techniques.

You Have To Want It!

I know this seems silly, but my first piece of advice is don’t bother to set goals for things you don’t really want. For example, if your partner says they want you to quit smoking or lose weight, but YOU don’t want to, your lack of desire will make it unlikely that you’ll succeed—because deep down it’s not something you want.

Always ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being totally committed and 1 being zero commitment, how committed am I to reaching my goal? If it is less than 8, you might want to reconsider.

Focus.

Start small. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up achieving nothing. Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental effort, but change isn’t one of them. Keep focus centered.

This way, you can get success in your identified areas. Here are some aspects of your life you might like to think about: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, financial, and relationship. Now, which is the first thing on your list? The others can follow later, but for now, stick to one or two, no more.

Encourage, Respect, and Accountability.

As a coach, I’ve found that accountability accounts for 70% of success in life. Share your goal to a friend or family member, including the timeframe, so they can help you achieve it.

This person should regularly ask you how you are doing. They should hold you accountable, but also keep you motivated and encouraged. If you are blowing it, they will tell you, but at the same time say things like, “Well, that's okay, it’s done now, just get back to it tomorrow!"

Reward Yourself!

This can be anything, but celebrate every victory. If you dropped the fifty pounds, really treat yourself! Plan to go out and buy yourself that size 12 dress you have always longed for and then wear it with pride. But, also celebrate the mini-milestones. The first day at the gym, the first workout, the first 5 lbs. Make every moment of your journey meaningful—because it is the small steps and actions we take every day that accumulate into large wins.

Whatever it is you plan, make it personal, enjoyable, and desirable to you; so you will not only look forward to it when you have achieved your goal, but see it as something pleasant to aim for when you’re struggling and need motivation.

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