How to Set Goals
Many of us set ourselves tasks and goals to achieve what we feel will make a difference to our lives. Sometimes we find it difficult to achieve these goals as the journey becomes too long, too hard or it simply gets overshadowed by other ‘higher priority’ tasks and therefore these goals are pushed to the side.
Start by asking yourself some simple questions that can help you take control of your life and achieve your goals:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What are your habits and what do you want to change?
- What have you achieved in life?
- Do you live in the moment?
What are trying to achieve and what is your ultimate goal? Is it to live cleanly, train for a 10km fun run, sleep better, lose weight, drink more water, change careers, start a new relationship, enjoy your work / life choices, raise a supportive, nurturing family, or simply be happy.....? It may even be all of the above! Perhaps start with one area that you feel has the most positive effect on your life– many of us try and do too much and things get lost, so select one or two and aim for a 10% change rather than a complete overhaul. Have a look at some of the barriers that may possibly get in the way of you achieving your goals. These may be quite numerous, with the largest being our own voice in our heads – because WE think it, we assume it’s right! Perhaps even questioning yourself as to whether decisions made or goals set actually suit your ultimate goal. For example, if you value wisdom, or the thirst for knowledge, does it suit me to start a career where you will never be intellectually challenged or pushed to develop, learn and grow?
What are your habits and what do you want to change?
Review your habits – do they suit your goals? Do they create barriers and what can you do to set strategies to get around them? Habits are with you always, sometimes they serve us well and sometimes they present enormous burden. Be firm with the habits you choose (and yes, we choose our habits, they are after all, simply actions) mould them to suit your purpose and let old habits go when they don’t.
Note your own achievements, skills and talents – what are you really good at? We are often so busy that we fail to stop and simply look at how much we’ve managed to achieve in life. Take a moment to record all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished. It is so much more rewarding and motivating than the ‘never enough’ culture of constantly reviewing what we haven’t yet managed to achieve and be proud of those accomplishments. Write a list and keep it handy as a constant reminder of the great things you have achieved. And remember to be mindful, mindfulness is living life as it happens, being aware of what is going on around us and doing one thing at a time. Also, be completely honest with yourself, take responsibility for your journey and enjoy your decisions.
“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” (Kofi Annan)
Written by Melissa Ingram