10 Ways to Supercharge Your Goal Setting Efforts

Maybe you have previously struggled with achieving your goals. Maybe you have never set any to begin with. If either is the case then you should be able to take some of the advice in this article to aid your goal setting endeavors.

English: University Motivation Scale
English: University Motivation Scale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These tips are all slightly different. What they do have in common however is that they are all linked to increasing motivation towards achieving a specific goal. I'm a firm believer in that if you want something badly enough you will get it.

1. Choose a Goal that You Really Want to Achieve

This might sound obvious, but the goals that you set for yourself should be personal and should not be made to impress others. The idea of setting goals for yourself has two benefits. Firstly, once the goal is achieved you will have a much greater feeling of accomplishment and overall happiness. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you will have more motivation to take steps towards completing the goal. Having the motivation to accomplish something is half the battle. So make sure your goal is something that would add a lot of value to your life.

2. Make Sure that the Goal is Achievable

The idea behind this notion is that you don't want to set yourself a goal that is so difficult to achieve that you become discouraged. I'm sure you might have experienced this before. I recommend erring on the side of setting a goal that is 'too easy' rather than one that is 'too hard'. The idea is that you need to stay motivated to keep taking baby steps. More difficult goals can come later after some initial success.

3. Keep the Goal in Mind

Write the goal somewhere that you will see it everyday. I have it on my computer backdrop. This way I see it a few times each day and therefore I am thinking about achieving it often. I want my goal to always be on my mind. It makes me happy and it adds to my motivation.

4. Break it Down

Again, we don't want a goal to become so overwhelming that we choose not to complete it. Break a goal down into its components and focus on each of these one at a time. Alternatively, set a sub-goal each month that will take you closer to completion. Then each week set a weekly goal that will move you towards completing the monthly goal.

5. Use a Deadline(s)

Have a specific date in mind that you wish to complete your goal by. This will help motivate you to take consistent action towards achieving it. You can apply deadlines to the sub-goals of your main goal too.

6. Measure Your Progress

Measure the progress that you have made towards your goal on a daily or weekly basis. A visual tool can be very motivational. For example, line graphs or 'thermometer charts' can be used for weight loss or savings goals. Put specific milestones and deadlines on your chart too to motivate yourself over the short-term.

7. Plan Rewards

Plan rewards for when you hit a milestone. This will give you the motivation to reach that point. Additionally, when you celebrate your small successes you will have more gusto to keep on going to the next 'pit stop'.

8. Tell Others When you are Half-Way There

Being publicly accountable by telling your friends and family about your goal can definitely help with your progress. It provides an incentive for you not to give up (because then everyone will know that you have failed) and provides the benefit of any moral support that others can confer on to you.

However, others can also be jealous and/or doubtful of your success. These people might undermine your efforts and mess with your motivation. This is why I recommend only telling others when you are halfway towards your goal (or after you have made substantial progress towards it). This way people won't be able to doubt you because they will see that you are clearly intent on completing your goal.

9. Visualize

Try to spend some time each day thinking about your goal. Focus on the benefits that will come from its achievement and the sense of accomplishment and joy that it will bring. This doesn't require meditation or anything that you might be uncomfortable with.

Stuck in traffic? Think about your goal. Do this once a day to keep yourself motivated. If this is a goal that you really want to achieve then this should be occurring automatically without much effort on your part.

10. Daily Action

In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of goal achievement. If you take a step towards your goal every day then you are almost guaranteed to succeed. The good news is that it doesn't have to be a big action. Just putting 15 minutes each day towards your goal with payoff big-time in the long run. I recommend making this the first thing that you do each day so that you don't forget and/or give more priority to other tasks.

Personally I have an 'action system' similar to that outlined in the Power of Less. I set a monthly goal that will take me closer to my long-term goal. Then each week (on a Sunday) I set a weekly goal that will form part of the monthly goal. Each night I set one task for the next day that will complete some part of my weekly goal. I try to get this task done before anything else (except making a cup of coffee).

It might seem like a big task to do every single morning but it really doesn't have to be. If you focus on taking a baby step towards your goal for 30 days straight then you most likely will put 'daily action' on autopilot afterwards. Imagine how powerful that is... automatically taking steps towards goal achievement every single day.

The Daily Inch is all about this habit of daily action and I have personally experienced the tremendous results of taking one step towards goal achievement each and every day.
Make sure you head over to dailyinch.net
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