The motivation to set a goal usually stems from recognizing that you would like to make a change in a certain area of your life. Making the decision to set a goal is a great way to break through your barriers, but a plan is not an action and it is only by taking action that you can truly get the results you are hoping for.
Here are five steps to turn your goals into results:
- State the motivation for your goal
Understanding WHY you want to change a situation, habit or pattern provides you with the fuel to push through to the finish line in the moments you may feel lacking in willpower. For example, if your goal was to become healthier, this could be for a multitude of reasons; do you want to exercise to get in shape, so you can have a bikini body for your holiday? Are you addressing a medical concern and keen to make changes in your dietary habits? Do you want to use food and exercise to provide more energy or help you to manage stress? Really define what it is that you want to achieve as a result of setting your goal – the clearer you are the easier it becomes to stay committed to your goal. You can also keep photos or reminders of your ‘why’ on the screen saver of your phone, on your fridge or somewhere that you will see it every day to act as an extra dose of daily motivation.
- Break it down into steps
When we break our goal down into smaller action steps we’re more likely to maintain momentum so that we can achieve them. For example, one of your goals may be to take part in a 10k marathon and maybe you haven’t exercised for a while. You could break this goal down into smaller chunks, one part could be researching marathons that you would like to take part in, the other could be committing to exercising daily to increase your stamina, another part of the goal could include eating healthier foods to provide you with more energy and maybe another part of your goal could involve raising funds or sponsorship to donate to a charity which could also require some planning. When you break your goal down into smaller chunks of things that you can do, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to sustain the belief that your goal is achievable.
- Set a timeline
So, you’ve set a goal and broken it into steps, the third step is to set a timeline for your action steps, being realistic with how much time you can commit allows you to get an accurate idea of how long it will take to achieve your goal. Your long-term goal may be to live abroad, your short-term goals may include research, applying for a visa, booking flights, packing, finding somewhere to live and deciding what career you would like to pursue. Writing down your goals and putting a deadline on them not only maintains your motivation, it also keeps your long-term goal at the forefront of your mind. You could add your timeline and action steps onto a calendar on your wall or on your phone to remind you of your intentions. You could also download time management apps which can help you to keep track of your action steps and milestones.
- Write a list
When you have set your goal, broken it down into action steps and set relevant timelines – you could also consider writing a list of all of the benefits of attaining your goal. What will it look like? How will you be feeling? What difference will it make to your lifestyle? How will you celebrate? Having a list of all the reasons you want to accomplish your goal and keeping it somewhere close to hand such as in your wallet, in your car, on your fridge, desk or bedroom mirror will continue to affirm the results of achieving your goal and help you to visualise your success until you’re able to attain it.
- Maintain accountability
When you set a goal remaining accountable for your actions can seem easier when others know about your plan. This could be with a life coach, a trusted friend, a fitness instructor or with an accountability buddy. When others know about your action steps, you have a higher likelihood or remaining committed and also have someone who can provide you with a different perspective in any moments you may face challenges or experience a dip in your willpower. Maybe you could set a challenge with a group of friends to maintain accountability as a group, have a weekly session with a Life Coach to bust through any resistance or maybe having a fitness trainer will assist you to push past your limits if you feel like giving up. External motivation and companionship is a great way to achieve our goals whilst feeling supported and it also provides you with someone to celebrate your achievements with. Celebrating every milestone not only makes you feel great it also helps your subconscious mind to associate action steps with celebration which incentivises you to set even more goals!