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The simple secrets of setting goals and actually sticking to them

Life Direction

Instead of sticking to dream goals it is better to set a life Direction.

How to figure out a Life Direction? Ask yourself these fundamental questions:

  • What energizes me?
  • What do I look forward to?
  • When do I feel the happiest?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • What kind of places or people inspire me to strive for more?

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The simple secrets of setting goals and actually sticking to them

The simple secrets of setting goals and actually sticking to them

https://www.jotform.com/blog/secrets-of-setting-goals-and-sticking-to-them/

jotform.com

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Key Ideas

Destination Goals

While we set our personal goals, we make the common mistake of setting a 'destination goal', focusing on the end result,  without considering the hardships and daily challenges.

When a few hindrances and setbacks come, we are easily abandoning the set goals too.

Life Direction

Instead of sticking to dream goals it is better to set a life Direction.

How to figure out a Life Direction? Ask yourself these fundamental questions:

  • What energizes me?
  • What do I look forward to?
  • When do I feel the happiest?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • What kind of places or people inspire me to strive for more?

Action Plan

Determine and plan in advance all the critical parts of your goal, and break it down in small, actionable tasks.

The small, divided tasks keep you motivated by providing a feeling of progress on a daily basis.

Constant Review

Keep assessing and reviewing your progress towards the goal, constantly checking upon yourself and providing self-feedback.

Good Strategies

Embrace strategies that make your goal more achievable.

  • Specific planning helps you implement with intention and drive.
  • Habit stacking: Undertaking a task repeatedly results in a habit by getting it ingrained in our brains.
  • Associate goals with other tasks to form connections.

Align your Environment

Our surroundings play a key role in shaping our motivation and willpower.

We should keep in mind that we normally choose what is easy for us, instead of what is good for us. For example: If we have a stock of chilled beer lying in the fridge, we are more likely to drink it rather than having something healthy.

Not too hard, Not too Easy

If a goal is too hard or too easy there is a chance it won't be accomplished. The trick is to work on tasks that are on the edge of our current abilities. 

Keep tasks challenging but not impossible, and you will remain invested in them for long.

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Internal vs. external motivation
Internal motivation, the drive to achieve that comes from inside a person is the kind of motivation that can lead to life-changing improvements and well-being.

External ...

Self-Efficacy

It means believing in your ability to perform a task and achieve goals. There are 3 ways to build self-efficacy:

  • Ensure early success. When first starting out, choose activities you're certain you can do successfully.
  • Watch others succeed in the activity you want to try.  This is particularly effective if the person you're observing is similar to you (friends, neighbors, co-workers).
  • Find a supportive voice. Personal trainers and coaches are skilled in giving appropriate encouragement, as are good friends (usually).
Fundamentally Independent Thinking (FIT)

A fundamentally independent thinker understands that nothing makes a person upset, angry, or depressed; rather, what a person thinks about the world determines how they feel

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The Fresh Start Effect
The Fresh Start Effect

During the new year, our birthday or even the start of a school year, most of us have a feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning.

These 'fresh start' moments provide us with a temporary m...

Unrealistic and Sudden Goals

We decide to suddenly start to follow our new daily routine, incorrectly assuming that suddenly we have changed, and are now a completely different and new person.

It is unrealistic to suddenly change from today to tomorrow; it's better to change in a gradual manner.

SMART Goals are Not Smart

Most of the books dealing with goal-setting talk about S.M.A.R.T. goal framework - goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

While this is a good start, being time-bound in our new self-commitments has its drawbacks.

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Goals vs. systems

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement: We thi...

Goal setting and survivorship bias

We concentrate on the people who end up winning 🥇 —the survivors—and mistakenly assume that ambitious goals led to their success while overlooking all of the people who had the same objective but didn’t succeed.

Goals restrict your happiness

The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.” The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone.

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Goal setting
Goal setting

Is the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve.

Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay t...

The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
  • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow
  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”

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15 minutes a day for making changes
15 minutes a day for making changes

Devote at least 15 minutes a day to your change.

Even if it’s just a walk around your neighborhood, one less cigarette, reading an inspirational article, do it. Mix it up, too. No one wants t...

Fork over the truth

Behavior modification teaches us that we repeat behaviors that make us feel good. What’s your payoff for not changing? 

Until the goal becomes larger than the payoff, you’re always going to choose feeling good over feeling uncomfortable.

Set realistic goals

Start with one behavior at a time.

Instead of concentrating on losing 20 pounds in 20 days, for example, make a goal to simply begin by eating five fruits and vegetables a day.  

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The essence of motivation

Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.

In other words, at some point,  it becomes more...

Active inspiration

Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

The Physics of productivity

Newton’s First Law applied to habit formation: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. 

Once a task has begun, it is easier to continue moving it forward. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

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How to Develop Habits
  • Focus on just one habit, for 30 days.
  • Put it on paper, together with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them.
  • Commit fully, pr...
attributed to Aristotle
attributed to Aristotle
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Confucius
Confucius
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

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The Stages of Change
  1. Precontemplation: Not ready. Not now.
  2. Contemplation: Maybe soon — thinking about it.
  3. Preparation: Ready, taking small steps.
  4. Action: ...
The "fresh start" effect
The "fresh start" effect

The fresh start effect is defined as the feeling all individuals know at the beginning or end of an experience, week etc. It says that people are better at tackling their goals when they st...

Keep track of your performance

In order to reach your goal, learn to rely on performance metrics, in order to understand where exactly you stand in terms of performance. To allow a successful tracking of personal progress:

  • Define a deadline
  • Use a simple system to track your progress
  • Ask for help from a trustworthy person if you cannot do it yourself.*
Think big

After a period of success, you most certainly want to keep doing the things in the same way, as it has allowed you to achieve everything that was on your list, rather than starting all over again.

In order to make sure that it does happen like this, consider making a visual that can enable you to go over your past progress while keep your motivation alive or keeping track of your progress by means of monthly reports.

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Look at the Big Picture

This is the foundation of keeping track of your progress and also accomplishing your goals.

Where do you see yourself in the future in every aspect of your life?

Plan and Organize Your Time

Take your calendar and plan on organizing your time around achieving all your goals. 

Each week you will have specific goals that you want to accomplish. Throughout each week, you will have a To-Do list that you will work on every day.

Look for Accountability

Share your goals with your spouse or a good friend. 

When there is someone else other than yourself holding you accountable, you are more likely to get your tasks completed throughout the week. 

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