3 Essential Goal Setting Rules
Goal setting is essential for success. When setting a goal for yourself – be it weight loss, quitting a bad habit, or changing your lifestyle – good intentions can lead you to be ambitious in what you want to achieve. And why? Sometimes, extreme goals involve radical expectations that go beyond current capabilities and performance. Is normal to want to push yourself and reach that target but take a second to consider how will you get there and what exactly entails to achieve that goal.
Big goals require big commitment and that involves changing behaviour. And changing behaviour often means radically changing your routine. The bigger the task you set, the more commitment it will require. For example, if you want to completely change your physique you’ll need to stick to a strict diet and workout schedule. This means less time and energy for socialising and other leisure activities. By being trapped in a diet with a low-calorie allowance it means that you have to constantly turn down dinner invitations, abstain from alcohol, and will probably end up eating very repetitive meals. You can quickly find yourself bored, overwhelmed and frustrated which can lead to you giving up altogether affecting your confidence and mental health. If you enjoy socialising, then is important to ask yourself whether the goal is worth achieving or find ways to make it more manageable and it might mean adjusting your timeframe.
Is it worth it?
Committing yourself to achieve a big goal reduces the time you can spend on other areas of your life so you need to ask yourself whether it’s worth it. If your goal is very important to you or absolutely necessary to improve your health, then accept that things will be tough and go ahead. Otherwise, you ought to reassess the situation to avoid putting yourself under unnecessary stress.
Part of this will involve questioning what you can realistically achieve and, yes, accepting that some goals are out of your grasp. This isn’t to say they’re impossible or that you’re not good enough, but that you won’t be able to reach them without making yourself miserable.
Make goals manageable
If you’ve recognised that you’re chasing a big goal, consider what you can do to make it easier on yourself. Remember, whatever you’re aiming for needs to be sustainable and this won’t be the case if you make yourself unhappy. Taking a long-term approach can strike a balance between progress and wellbeing, helping ensure that you don’t relapse later.
It’s also important to regularly reassess your goals because we often underestimate how difficult something will be. Always track progress and assess the results you’re achieving. Are you succeeding or failing? Is the process enjoyable or is it stressing you out? Should this happen, take a moment to ask yourself why.
As you progress is the time to ask yourself if your goal is realistic, it is the right one for you or that you still want to achieve it. Or perhaps, the way you’re going about achieving it isn’t right and needs readjusting. The answers to these questions will come once you start working on achieving your goal. Don’t worry about having all the answers or all figured it out. Answers come as we go. Never be afraid to readjust your goal, either by reducing it or extending how long you have to achieve it. This isn’t the same as admitting defeat or quitting, it’s choosing your wellbeing and happiness over an unrealistic target. Remind yourself that perfection doesn’t exist and any goal you set yourself ought to be within the confines of your ability, time, and mental energy. Make sure you set out to achieve what you truly need, now that’s smart!