We know that the people who succeed in sport, business and life all set goals AND write them down. Having written goals focuses your attention, helps you to prioritise your efforts and follow the path to success.
There are a few tips and tricks to goal setting that can mean your goals will not just be words on a piece of paper.
Positive psychology theory tells us that our actions follow our thoughts. It is important when we want to change to have a positive mindset, and be future focussed. Defining your goals for change will shifts your thinking about what you do not have / or have not done (ie: skill/knowledge gap) to focus your attention on what you want / your vision for the future.
According to a University study quoted by Forbes those who write their goals down accomplished significantly more that those who did not write their goals down. How can that be? The action of writing down a goal requires energy and focuses our mind to get clear and precise. And as “energy flows where attention goes”, once we are clear our thoughts and our behaviour will more easily aligned to that goal. A clearly defined intention will bring more success than just a general idea. For example, deciding you’ll do a 30 minute run every Monday at 7am will succeed more than just the intention to go on a run during the week.
MAKE IT MEASURABLE
What we now is that our motivation for change decreases overtime if we cannot see our progress. If you set benchmarks with achievable timeframes this will support you to persist. And don’t forget to pause to celebrate (in what ever way works for you!) when you meet a benchmark before moving on to the next goal.
SHARE WITH OTHERS
Just like writing a goal down, speaking a goal aloud to a supportive ear (or group) has also been shown to improve the chance of success. This may be your manager, mentor or coach, partner or colleague. Someone who has your back, will be honest with you and can help you to think about the actions you might need to take to get there is an important resource to have around you.
VISUALISE THE RESULT
As sports psychology has shown – visualising (seeing yourself meeting that goal) can have the impact of increasing your chance of success. We recommend after completing your Personal Action Plan that you pin it up in a place where you see it everyday and create a regular daily practice where you can visualise yourself in the desired state / meeting the goal. There are plenty of You Tube videos that can help you to visualise your goal.