Reasons Why We Should set Goals
Setting goals are fundamental to success regardless of what walk of life we come from. They are positive affirmations of targets we wish to aim towards. Targets that if we reach will help us grow and expand in directions we want to. Want to be the best footballer in the world? You’ll need a plan! Want to climb Everest? Likewise, time to break it down into achievable steps.
Goals allow us to measure progress
Because there is always a fixed endpoint or benchmark to advance towards or measure ourselves against. Are we on target or does something need to change?
Keep us focused
You may have all the talent in the world but without focus, you may be in for a bumpy ride. Having goals keep us on track so we are where we need to be. Goals give us drive. They are tools to help us direct our energies in positive directions. An endpoint to push us forward.
Help us overcome procrastination
Goals make us accountable to finish what we need to do. If we have not undertaken our objectives the feeling of letting ourselves down can be a powerful motivator.
Create positive habits/behaviour changes
Help us sustain momentum
Whenever you are ‘ In the zone’ or ’On a roll’. That is momentum. The dopamine effect of the reward of achieving your goals is incredibly addictive and spurs you on to keep going. It helps create an optimal state of mental performance.
Goals are character building. They promote self-efficacy, and help us develop as ‘goal achievers’.
Ultimately, goal setting provides us with the foundation for our drive. By making goals we provide ourselves with a line on the horizon to set a course for; an endpoint to progress towards and to feel a sense of achievement once we have reached. Goal setting triggers positive behaviour and creates momentum. The more we put into achieving our efforts, the bigger the return we get. Setting and sticking to our goal is essentially the law of attraction ‘the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on’.
You’re much more likely to put time and energy into something that excites you, so your goals should reflect that same level of momentum. You need to create goals that have you leaping out of bed in the morning with the one track mind focus of a zealot.
Common Problems with Goal Setting
Before we move on, let us address the issue of unrealistic goal setting or goal short-sightedness. Its very common for people set lofty goals and sadly give up through lack of progress. After only a few months of struggling to make progress, they fall off the bandwagon and never quite achieve what they were after. Prime examples of this are Post-Christmas weight loss plans.
Example Post-Christmas goals
- Wanting to fit into a pair of trousers by summer.
- Signing up to run the London Marathon.
- To begin into weightlifting and bulk up.
These seem fairly straightforward enough right? Which is where the problems lie…
Often the problem is that the goals they have made are not measurable or specific enough. The fat doesn’t fall off quick enough or the marathon they want to run seems too great a distance. It becomes all too easy to concentrate on the finish line rather than the shorter steps you need to take to get you gradually from A to B.
As a result, things become frustrating and overwhelming, they become distracted by irrelevant details and begin to perceive themselves as not making progress. Sadly, after a few weeks of failing to see any significant results materialising, people return to their pre-Christmas lifestyles.
Knowing how to set clear, precise training goals is an effective and efficient way to measure your success and identify obstacles. When time is taken to set goals up properly, you’ll have a clear and defined blueprint or plan of attack. You’ll know exactly step by step each stage you are going to undertake en route towards your individual goals.
You will possess a clear and measured time frame, an effective strategy with seamless stages that flow from one to the other. This will ultimately empower you and motivate you towards those goals. In time, these methods of goal setting will become habits and an automatic part of your routine.
Having a Vision - Setting Long-Term Goals
Now that we have assessed where things can go wrong. Identifying worthwhile Long Term goals to go after is the logical next step.
Reach for the stars
The goals you create are your long-term vision. It might be something such as to participate in the Crossfit Games, but aim high!! As high as you think you can push yourself!! Decide on what is achievable for you and write them down.
...but keep your feet on the ground!
Most of us will never be world class athletes, however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself!! Think about your time, your resources and ability, any obstacles, finances and commitments. Take all the above into account and then plan away
Personalise your goal
Choose a goal that is meaningful and important to you. Not to anybody else. For example, if your partner wants you to lose weight, but you’re happy as you are. You may find it difficult to commit to your exercise routine in the long term based on using this as a prime motivator. What do you want to do? Develop or learn a new skill? Improve your game in a certain area?
Do your homework
Now you have to sit down and do your research about how you are going to progress from A to B. Do you need to join a group or club? What equipment and resources will you need? Any further costs? Consider budgets and time available. You have the internet at your disposal to get your homework done!
Develop your Vision
Where is your goal going to take you?
Call your war council!! It’s time to come up with that grand strategy!!
Setting up the ‘Right kind of Goals’
It is important that the goals that you set avoid leaving you overwhelmed so that you:
- Stay committed.
- Keep inspired and motivated enough to push yourself forward and challenge yourself.
- Are your actual goals rather than ones that other people have set for you (goals should have personal meaning).
- Empower you to take charge of your own life.
- Will improve your life in some way.
- Are attainable (Competing at the Olympics after not having swum for ten years is a bit of a jump).
- Can be broken down or ‘Chunked’ into specific time periods to make them realistic and quantifiable.
- Place emphasis on you the individual as the sole person responsible for achieving the goals. You must be responsible and accountable for your actions.
Our next posts will look at different areas of goal setting:
- Goal-setting strategies. Types of goals.
- Setting SMART goals. Breaking down those goals to make them SMART and obtainable.
- Strategies to Fine Tune your Goal Setting.
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