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Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

Setting and Achieving Your Goals

  • Step #1: Take Your Emotional Temperature, around the most important areas of your life.
  • Step #2: The Neurology of Ownership: When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it.
  • Step #3: Outcome + Process: Most people set an intention or an ideal outcome and try working toward it, but that gets you only halfway there. You have to pick an outcome and a process.
  • Step #4: Identify Blockers: When we first set our goals we are super optimistic and filled with hope–and that’s great. One thing that happens, however, is we fail to identify possible blockers.

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Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/goal-setting/

scienceofpeople.com

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Key Ideas

Not all goals are created equal:

  • Merely fantasizing about your goal is de-motivating – it actually tricks the brain into thinking you already have achieved it.
  • Goals that aren’t set up properly can end up having the opposite effect.

Setting and Achieving Your Goals

  • Step #1: Take Your Emotional Temperature, around the most important areas of your life.
  • Step #2: The Neurology of Ownership: When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it.
  • Step #3: Outcome + Process: Most people set an intention or an ideal outcome and try working toward it, but that gets you only halfway there. You have to pick an outcome and a process.
  • Step #4: Identify Blockers: When we first set our goals we are super optimistic and filled with hope–and that’s great. One thing that happens, however, is we fail to identify possible blockers.

#1. Find Your Emotional Temperature

Rate these areas of your life on a scale from 1 to 5 and plot it on your Goal Wheel. (1 being extremely dissatisfied, 5 being extremely satisfied)

  • Business: How do you feel about your work, career or business effectiveness and success?
  • Friends: How is your social life? Your friendships and support system?
  • Family: How are your personal relationships? Your partner or spouse?
  • Personal Passions: Do you have personal passion projects, hobbies, or fun activities that fulfil you?
  • Spiritual: You can interpret this one any way you like. It could be your faith, mental health, personal journeys or mindset.
  • Health: Are you happy with your physical health and wellness?

#2. The Neurology of Ownership

When we take ownership of something, we work to keep it.

This step is about owning your intention. Look at your Goal Wheel and set an intention for that area.

For example:

  • Business: Level up my business efforts so I can reach and help more people.
  • Friends: Set aside time to support.
  • Family: Dedicate real family time more often.
  • Personal Passions: Learn how to paint and spend more time reading.
  • Spiritual: Start meditating to create mental space and slow down at the end of a workday.
  • Health: Get more toned and increase my endurance.

The “endowment effect”

It happens when we take ownership of something and it becomes “ours,” thereby integrating it into our sense of identity.

When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it

#3: Outcome + Process

Outcome: The ideal result, hopeful conclusion, best end for your goal.
Process: The skills you need, the method required to get you there.

Write down the skills, process or methods you need to achieve the outcomes in Step #2

For example:

  • Business: Level up my business efforts so I can reach and help more people.
    Hire a marketing agency.
  • Friends: Set aside time to support and reach out to friends more regularly.
    Join an exercise class with friends. Plan a weekend getaway.

#4: Identify Blockers

Answer these questions truthfully in your Goal Worksheet:

  • What logistical constraints might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?
  • What behaviours might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?
  • Who might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?

When you know what our blockers are, you can work to plan around them.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Goal setting
Goal setting

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

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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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The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 %...

Procrastinating

Procrastination, or the way we let pending tasks linger on, just avoiding them, is one of the main reasons our goals don't materialize.

The longer any work is avoided the harder it becomes to eventually do it.

Like dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, they get harder and harder to do as the load increases.

Fear as the Cause of Inaction

Fear causes us to procrastinate. It can be:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of leaving our comfort zone
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what other people would think of us

We justify these fears by imaginary different reasons, but the root cause is not related to our invented reasons, it is our inherent fear.

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Why Set Personal Goals
  • You are in charge. Personal goals force you to take responsibility for the actual efforts and progress.
  • You see the small steps leading to a big picture: big goals c...
“Which? Why? What? How?” Technique

... for choosing personal goals. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Ask yourself which aspect of your life you would like to change most.
  2. Think about why you want to change this.
  3. How will that change make you feel? Determine what exactly will make you feel this way.
  4. Ask yourself how you can make this happen and then make it your personal goal.
The Life Balance Chart Technique
  • Draw a chart. Write down each of the various areas of your life (family, health, self-development, career, relationships) in a new column or line.
  • Assess your current happiness level in each of these categories by giving it a score from 1 to 10.
  • Think what will make you be fully satisfied with these areas. Write down your ideas – you will be able to transform them into personal plans.

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Goal setting gives focus

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. 

Setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives.

Practical goal setting
  • Evaluate and reflect. Regularly write down where you are right now, and if you are happy with your current level of satisfaction.
  • Define your dreams and goals. What do you want? Schedule some quiet “dream time” and think about what really thrills you. Then prioritise those dreams.
  • Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive)
  • Have accountability. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals.
Your resolve

The secret to effectively setting and achieving your goals is to have a large vision and an achievable plan.

The pursuit matters

The pursuit matters just as much as the goal.
Consider why you're pursuing your goal and how the journey to achieve it will help you grow as a person.

The right scope

People often give up on their resolutions because they set unattainable goals.

Try to set a goal that you can reasonably achieve within one year. If it is challenging to complete it in your set timeframe, you might become overwhelmed and give up. If the goal will take more than one year, try and set a benchmark for what you'd like to accomplish in a year.

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New Year Resolutions that Stick

Whether it is a resolution to lose weight, to do more exercise, or to consume less sugar, we all have encountered hardships trying to stick with them.

Health-related New Year Resolutions are ...

One Thing At A Time

Making resolutions requires no effort, but if we decide to suddenly shift towards improving too many of our behaviors at once, it can backfire.

Focus on one thing that you want to change, at a time, and commit to it.

What You Can Control

You may not be able to change the external circumstances, stressful situations, or work environment. What you can do is control how you react to negative forces and stressful situations.

For example: If you get unhealthy food at your home, you can control how or when you eat it.

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Clarity

Writing down your goals will force you to clarify what you want. It will drive you to pick your destination.

Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. Ho...

Motivation to take action

Writing down your goals will motivate you to take action.

Because articulating your intention is important, but it is not enough. You must execute your goals. 

Filtering your opportunities

Writing down your goals will provide a filter for other opportunities.

The more successful you become, the more you will be deluged with opportunities. But these opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course.

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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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SMART Resolutions
SMART Resolutions

Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.

Make specific, realistic plans for your New Year Goal using the time-tested SMART Te...

Creating a Plan

Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.

Quitting Bad Habits
If you want to quit a bad habit, start by identifying its 3 main parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. After you check the cue and your routine that follows it, you can swap the routine with something good (or less bad) to do.

For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.

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There are no such things as secrets when it comes to personal success
Every piece of new advice you hear has been said before. The real secret lies in how well you execute the advice.  🤔

Doing something is better than saying you’re going to do something.

Doing something is better than saying you’re going to do something. No one can argue with that.  🏅
Practical Tips To Make Your Resolutions Stick Even Better ⚓️
  1. Keep It Small — It’s about thinking big and acting small. You’ll achieve those big goals in time.

  2. Measure Your Progress — If you don’t measure your progress, it’s safe to say that you are not making any. 

  3. Be Accountable To Yourself — One of the most important skills you can learn in life is to be self-reliant.