blog & articles

Career Insights Blog & Articles

5 Tips for Setting Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

Posted by on in Career Management
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 468
  • 0 Comments
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

So how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? 


We’re almost at the end of January and I’d be willing to bet that for some of you, they’re not working out that great.  For those of you who are well underway with making them happen, go you!


Now I can’t say I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because in the past I’d get carried away with the excitement, set way too many of them and give no thought as to how I was going to achieve them.


Result: epic failure!


Don’t get me wrong, I believe in setting goals and I can see how the New Year is an opportune time to pause and assess where you’re at.  I just don’t think the resolution setting always needs to happen on January 1st.  It can happen any day. Today is good, so is tomorrow and any day next month would work too.

 

Changing behaviours is hard.

 

The thing about setting goals is that we are ultimately asking ourselves to change our behaviours.  And because we’re creatures of habit, changing behaviours is hard.


When attempting to make any kind of positive change, it can be easy for our existing habits to creep in and derail our efforts.  Neuroscience tells us our habits and thoughts are firmly implanted into our sub-conscious and impact how we see the world, the choices we make and the results we get. 


Something like 70% of the way we behave is habit and these habits have been reinforced over time through repeated use. 


Neuroscience also tells us it’s practically impossible for us to deconstruct this deep hardwiring in the non-conscious part of our brain.  Our habits and behaviour have become automatic, allowing us to do things without even thinking.  This part of our brain has a massive capacity, requires minimal effort to operate and is not easily distracted. No wonder change is so hard!  You could be forgiven then for failing at the first hurdle and giving up on your resolutions. 


But fear not.  It seems the biggest single reason people fail with their resolutions is because they fail to form new habits. Yes, that’s right, it is much easier to build a fresh new habit than it is to change an old one. 


So with this in mind here are our top tips for making goals that you’ll actually achieve.


1. Don’t set to many
Our brains can only really work on one or two changes at a time.   So it pays to focus on one new habit and get that bedded down before moving onto the next one.   Too many resolutions at once is overwhelming and a recipe for failure.  If you’ve got a long list of things you want to achieve, pick the one that resonates the most and work with that first.


2. Remember your why
When choosing your goal it needs to be something you really want to do, not something you think you should do. Ask yourself why you want to do it.  Understanding what the goal means to you and your life is mission critical when it comes to achieving it.  You’re less likely to fall off the wagon when life gets in the way – as it inevitably will – if your why is strong.

 

3. Make them inspiring
Goals need to move us forward in our life or work in some way.  They are far more powerful if directed toward what’s possible as opposed to fixing something that’s wrong. “Happily leaving work at 5:30pm 3 days a week to see the family” and “earning $1000 more per month” are examples of goals that are more visionary and inspiring than “stop being disorganised” and “quit my lousy job”.  Both of which are more problem focused.   Having some specific measures in there are also going to make it easier to hit your goals. 


4. Replace the habit with something else
Keeping the hardwiring in mind, rather than simply depriving yourself of something you like, such as a glass of wine after work with your work colleague, substitute it with another activity like having a walk on the beach on the way home.  The post-work walk becomes the new habit.  Or break the habit of always running late for everything by creating a new habit of always being prepared for every event. Being solution focused as opposed to focusing on the problem makes the goal far more achievable.


5. Create a plan and find someone to keep you accountable
Don’t underestimate the challenges.  Life gets in the way and it can be easy to get off track.  That’s where a coach can come in handy. Not only will a coach help you with setting your goals, they’ll also help you with setting the strategies and step by step actions you’ll need to achieve them.  Regular catch ups will help to keep you accountable for what you’ve agreed to do.  And if for some reason you’re not completing an action, they’ll work with you to understand why and if necessary find an alternative action to move you forward.


Achieving your goals and building new habits takes time, so don’t beat yourself up when life gets in the way.  And if you’ve already fallen of the wagon - remember this - every day is a great time to start again!

 

 

0

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Archive

January
March
May
July
September
October
November
December
January
March
April
June
July
August
November
December
January
February
April
May
June
August
September
October
November
December
March
May
July
August
September
October
November
December
April
May
June
August
September
October
November
December


Visit Electric Escape Web Design