making changes - getting past the goal 'failure' zone
If you've been on social media in the past two weeks, you've probably been inundated with thousands of ideas around goal setting, New Years Resolutions, and plans for radical life changes as a new year rolls in.
Whether your energy vibe is all about setting goals and smashing them, or you find this all rather exhausting and overwhelming, we are breaking down the need-to-know details about setting goals, to help you have a more successful pursuit towards change (whatever that might look like for you).
Goal Setting 101
1. Setting goals is an important step. But it isn't the only step.
When we write things down, they become more likely to come to life. But writing them down doesn't mean that they will radically come to fruition. We need to make changes, get uncomfortable and do things differently than we have been thus far. So when you decide you want to achieve something, write it down. But then, look at what needs to change from where you are now. Start with one little step that will get you closer to where you want to be, and once you've mastered it, add in the next step.
2. Success comes from compounding, not radical shifts.
Let's face it - most of us cannot radically change something overnight and see it stick. So when you find something that you want to change, focus on each day and doing your best. Small steps add up to a big goal. Even little efforts add up, versus no effort at all. If you miss a day, don't consider your goal journey over. Do what you can today, and start over tomorrow. It's the small incremental changes that will keep you going for the long-term.
3. The journey is more important than the destination - even with goals.
Grade 9 Physical Education class taught us that you need to have a quantitative goal for success - but often, in reality, that can lead us astray because we view hitting a "number" as success, and missing it as failure. The problem is that in life there are many things we can't control, so if you exercise and improve your health but don't hit a goal weight, that doesn't mean you have failed, despite what your goal setting logic tells you. This means when you decide what you want in life, you need to pay attention to the important habits that will help get you to the end, rather than worry too much about what the end looks like. Effort is important. Final outcome is not.
4. Your mind will try to stop you from going through with change. Notice it, acknowledge it, let it go.
We all have the voices that tell us we can't, we shouldn't, we aren't enough. When you are on the verge of shift, the voices will get louder. They exist to protect us from failure, embarassment, or discomfort. The problem with them, however, is that the things we most want in life likely require us to take on the chance at any of those feelings. So when they come up for you, acknowledge them. Thank them for protecting you, but remind yourself that you are in pursuit of something that your best self wants. Then let them go and move forward.
Goal setting is different for everyone, and to each of us, it may very well mean a very different thing. Whatever it is for you, if you are looking to change something in your life, identify where you want to go, and what you will do to get there. Don't give up on yourself - you are capable, you are worthy, and while we all have setbacks, you are strong enough to keep going.
Looking for something to help you plan what is ahead? Download our free reflection and goal setting guide by clicking here.