So, here we are. A week into the New Year, and how are those goals coming along? Hmm. Maybe you need to look at them in a different way.
Here are six fresh perspectives on goal setting.
1. Start at the Finish
This might sound a bit backwards, but you can better understand the journey from the perspective of the finish line. If you know what you want in the end, you can reverse engineer all of the steps you need to take to get there. Not sure what the finish line looks like? Search out someone who’s been there and ask (or read about) them. Then, create a series of mini-goals that you know lead straight back to that finish line.
2. Free Associate
Are you constantly setting goals and missing them? Maybe the problem isn’t you, but rather the goals. Perhaps you don’t really understand what you want.
Let’s play a psycho-analytical game to see if we can’t get you a little closer. With your eyes closed and an audio recorder rolling, say your goal, then let words that you associate with that goal roll out. Don’t edit, let it go. Try not to think, simply speak until you have nothing left to say. Finish with saying the goal again. Listen back. Does the middle match the beginning and end? If not, then somewhere in the middle is what you’re really after. Freaky, right?
3. Set an Alarm
Creating a new habit (often what we are doing on our way to our goals) requires jarring yourself out of your old way of doing things. What better way than with a big, obnoxious alarm – the funkier, the better.
We’re not talking about the one at 6 am to get you up for yoga, we’re talking custom alarms that go off at a set time of the day as a simple way to bring your awareness to your intentions. It’s like an audible version of the red twine around your finger. Ding Badaling Ding – don’t forget, it’s time for success.
4. Line Them Up, Don’t Stack
With the New Year, we can feel a bit invincible. We pile on the goals and look ahead to a year of fixing everything in our lives at once. Go. Too bad you can’t see the road ahead over all of those stacked up goals. Instead, consider the year and your goals, then tackle them one by one instead of trying to change everything all at once. Otherwise, all of your goals might come tumbling down like a Jenga pile.
Big goals can sometimes seem intimidating. Instead of setting out on a long journey, set out on a short journey to a checkpoint along the path to your final goal. By breaking your goal down into bite-size chunks, you’ll feel more successful and be more likely to keep going.
6. Skip the Reward
Often people will create some sort of reward for accomplishing a goal. Do a trick, get a cookie. The motivation becomes the cookie and not the trick. And since we’re not dogs, and most of our goals are more about building better habits, creating a better lifestyle or improving ourselves, the motivation should be the long term, sustainable improvement (the trick) not some singular reward at the ‘end.’
If you’re down in the dumps because your goals feel like they’re slipping away, fear not. Goals need readjusting and revisiting constantly. Maybe you haven’t failed at your goals; maybe your goals failed you.
Take these fresh perspectives into the new year and give your goals a makeover.