How to Create Goals & Achieve Them!
Often people create large, creative, and at times unattainable goals, which they don’t achieve. The reason often comes from feeling defeated that you won’t reach that larger, long-term goal. Here’s why the feeling of defeat comes over most—they don’t break their goals into daily action! When you don’t something daily and take those smaller yet super important steps to achieve your goal, then you won’t reach the end! Daily action keeps you motivated because you know you are actively working toward your end goal(s).
Create self-improvement goals! Regardless of your end goal, it will be linked to your own individual self-improvement. Even business and career goals require self-improvement. I heard this quote in an entrepreneurial podcast that really resonated with me, “Business problems are often personal problems in disguise.” Keep reading to learn tips for creating goals, how to self-motivate to follow through, and an example of how to break a long-term goal into daily action!
Tips for how to create a goal and stick to it:
1. Build upon your natural strengths and interests when creating a goal
2. Make your goal measurable;
3. Set deadline(s) to keep you on track;
4. Find ways to motivate yourself to follow through (see suggestions below);
5. Post it somewhere visual so you can see it daily;
6. Break your goal down into smaller steps & identify the daily actions you need to take to achieve your long-term goal.
Below is an example of how to break down a goal into ACTION. I used losing weight as an example because it’s such a common goal for women. You will notice my goal format includes the question WHY. When you have reason WHY you are doing something, it keeps you focused and on track, and also helps keep you motivated to follow through. As Jillian Michaels says, and I totally agree, you can accomplish and tolerate any how if you have a why. For the goal of losing weight, it’s super important to have reasons other than our vanity and to get specific.
Struggling with self-motivation? Here I utilize a behavior modification approach where I use a reward system to keep you motivated! In the example of the goal referenced above, here are some examples of ways to self-motivate to exercise daily:
· Only allow yourself to listen to your favorite playlist or podcast while you’re working out. This gives you something to look forward to and can help distract yourself from the fact that you’re exercising!
· Wear fun work out attire! This will also give you something to look forward to and putting on the workout clothes also puts you in the mindset to work out.
· Reward yourself after you complete the workout. This keeps you motivated during the workout because you will earn something post-workout. Some examples could be taking a relaxing bubble bath or drinking your favorite smoothie.
Motivation is key! Find what motivates you & use it to your advantage!
Need more help setting goals? Here are some resources I use with clients to help them identify goals and to help motivate them into action:
· Setting Life Goals Worksheet-What I love about this worksheet is it separates the different areas of our life to help us focus on which area we need to improve on. I love that is breaks it down into areas we are doing well, areas we need to improve, and then the individual goal. Self-reflecting on where we need to improve in our lives while using and building upon our individual strengths is best method to goal setting.
· Building Discrepancy Worksheet– This utilizes a Motivational Interviewing approach to help self-motivate clients to follow through. While the worksheet references substance use as the poor behavior getting in the way of reaching the goal, you can substitute that for whatever unhealthy or unproductive behavior pattern you notice about yourself, i.e. spending too much time on devices, comparing yourself to others, spending outside of your budget. What I love about this worksheet is it compares how your life will be affected if you continue the unhealthy behavior pattern or if you change it. Seeing this difference visually side by side can help instill motivation for you to make a change in your behaviors so you can reach your goals!
Women Empowerment Counseling uses a Motivational Interviewing approach in our counseling services to help meet the client where they are at in their life while assisting with self-motivating them to make behavior changes to improve their life. Whatever your goal is, we can help you reach it through individual counseling using an MI and CBT approach!
Thanks for reading!