It’s no secret that most people don’t reach their goals, but rather fall into the trap of setting unrealistic ones and failing to achieve them. If you want to set better goals and be more likely to achieve them, first you need to understand why goal setting is important for success and then how to set and achieve your goals! With the right mindset and strategy, achieving your goals will feel like second nature.
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How Can a Growth Mindset Help You Achieve Your Goals
In order to achieve your goals, you must first develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that you can develop your skills and talents through hard work, the right strategies, and guidance from others.
It is important to remember that your mindset is the foundation on which you build your life. Here are a few tips to help you grow your mindset and reach your goals!
- Practice Gratitude: Studies have shown that being grateful increases happiness and optimism, which in turn makes you more likely to achieve your goals.
- Look at your current success: evaluate how far you have come from your past and get excited about how much more you can achieve.
- Give yourself grace: At times, we forget to treat ourselves as we would treat someone else that’s having a hard time. You may not be where you want to be but that does not mean you are a failure.
- Visualize success: Picture yourself in that new house, that new dream job, or wherever your end goal is. Think about how you will feel when you achieve your goals.
- Listen to Motivational Speeches: Listening to others that are where you want to be, can be motivating when done right. Listen to or stream motivational speeches from those that inspire you. Don’t use this exercise as a competitive comparison but one where you are inspired to work on your goals and build up your mindset.
Developing a growth mindset is only one part of working to achieve your goals. The key to setting goals is understanding why you’re setting them.
Why do you want this goal? What will achieving this goal mean for you? If your goal is about making more money, what does that look like for you?
Setting goals can help clarify your thoughts and feelings about a situation, which helps set your path forward. The next section will discuss how to set SMART goals and remain consistent.
Setting Realistic Goals
It’s important to think of the difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are good, but they’re just that–dreams. Goals are a tangible reality and dreams should be used as motivation for setting goals and achieving them.
When you set realistic goals that are achievable, you’re more likely to achieve them and also have a healthier mental outlook on life. For example, “I want to buy a house” is too vague because it doesn’t specify when or how you will achieve this goal. On the other hand, “I want to be more organized” is too general because being more organized means different things for different people—it could mean having better time management skills or becoming more efficient at work! Therefore, it’s important to make your goals realistic and SMART.
What are SMART goals?
SMART goals are a set of goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Setting SMART goals helps you identify your objectives and create a plan for achieving them. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
To set SMART goal follow these steps:
- Specific: often relies on answering who, what, when, and where (break it down)
- Who: consider who needs to be involved to achieve this goal
- What: think about exactly what you are trying to achieve. Be detailed.
- When: when do you want to achieve this goal? An example: I want to buy a house in five years. Don’t worry, we will get more into details under time-bound.
- Where: where may not always apply, unless your goal pertains to an event or location
- Why: ask yourself what’s the reason for this goal? Why do I want it? Example: I want to leave generational wealth behind for my children.
- Measurable: how will you measure the success of your goals?
- Attainable: it’s important that your goals are realistic. To ensure it’s achievable you will need to really examine your goals and see if it’s achievable. Are you able to attain them on your own?
- Relevant: the outcome of a goal should move your objective forward. Why do I want this goal? Where does it fit in my long time plan? Am I passionate about this goal?
- Timely: by establishing a deadline, it adds accountability. Example: I have begun using the 12 week year goal setting process. The 12 Week Year written by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington explains “how to leverage the power of a 12 week year to drive improved results in any area of your life.”
Create an action plan
Once you know what your goals are, the next step is to figure out how to get there. Get started by following these 3 steps:
- Start by writing down three goals that you want to achieve in the next year. For each goal make the goal specific so it is measurable.
- Next, come up with the 3 steps needed to get there and put a date on when it should be accomplished by.
- Lastly, review your list of goals monthly or quarterly to see if they still align with your purpose in life.
Pictured below is how I use the the 12 Week Year to create my action plan
Write down your goals
Writing down your goals helps you stay focused on what you need to do to achieve them. Write them down (and review them often) so that they become a part of your daily routine. There are many options when it comes to writing down your goals and keeping track.
Here’s what I use:
- Evernote: Use the notebook feature where I have the goals broken down into tasks and set up reminders
- Calendar: I schedule the tasks to meet my goals as a habit…example, a goal is to gain mental clarity and one of the tasks for this goal is to journal 3x weekly. In my calendar, I schedule it for Sunday’s, Tuesday’s, and Thursday’s. I based this schedule decision on when I would be most successful at writing in my journal.
- The journal I use is Soul Therapy that has daily journal prompts for 365 days
- A cork board on my wall that displays my goals for me to see as I sit at my desk
How to Stay Consistent with Your Goals
Reward yourself when you reach your goals
Have you ever thought of rewarding yourself when you reach your goals? It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you’re busy with other things. However, it’s important to reward yourself when you reach your goals. This helps keep you motivated and focused on reaching your goals.
If your goal was to journal 10 times in a month and one week in, you journal 2 times, that’s a victory! You’re on the right track and should be proud of yourself.
- Here’s a list of self rewards you could do: pick what works best for you or make your own list!
- Have a lazy day, take a nap, do absolutely nothing
- Go for a walk
- Re-organize a closet, pantry, etc. I enjoy organizing so this is a fun task
- Have a night out with friends
- Have an at home spa day
- Go on a trip to the library
- Do your favorite hobby (knit, read, crochet, etc)
- Treat yourself to anything you have been wanting
Be consistent with your actions
You may be feeling discouraged and tired, but don’t stop. If you have a goal, keep going regardless of whether or not it seems like the right time to be doing so. Don’t let other people tell you what’s best for your life—that’s up to you!
Where I struggled was when I didn’t stay consistent; example is with journaling. I would miss a few days and just say forget it. Same with changing my eating habits.
Having an accountability partner is another way to remain consistent. It’s hard to set goals on your own. Ask for help, if you need it! There is no shame in it. Keep in mind that it’s not easy for anyone, so you are not alone.
Why Goal Setting Is Important for Success Conclusion
- Staying consistent will require you to create habits and build your mindset to continue to work towards your goals.
- Setting SMART goals helps you identify your objectives and create a plan for achieving them. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Develop your action plan. For each goal, come up with the 3 steps needed to get there and put a date on when it should be accomplished by.
- Write down your goals so that they become a part of your daily routine.
- It’s important to reward yourself when you reach your goals.
- Remember: failure is nothing more than feedback on how far away from success you are currently standing at any given moment in time—and neither failure nor success can ever make you truly happy unless you constantly strive towards improving your state of being every day (or at least once per week).
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