A Harvard study showed that roughly 83 percent of people living in the United States do not have goals. That is a statistic worth looking into! The purpose of a goal is to give you direction to reach the desired result. Without goals, you can find yourself in the proverbial “reaching for straws” mode. If you do not have something you are aim for you will get no return. With all the benefits of goal setting you may be wondering why so many people are not setting goals. There are a multitude of reasons why people do not set goals and one of the biggest ones is FEAR. The fear of failure is one of the main reasons why you may not want to set goals. Fear handicaps your potential especially if you tie your identity in what you do or accomplish. You have to separate “who” you are from what you “do”. A way to manage these feelings is to recognize that failure is an event and not a person. Once you can separate who you are from what you do it will become easier to set a goal. If your self-esteem is reflected in a goal it is harder to out yourself out there if there is a potential to be a “failure”. Another thing people may be afraid of is humiliation, rejection or how others may view them if the goal is not met. Let’s push fear aside with these 8 tips to help you make goals that stick.
- Overcome fear. Move fear out of the way. Fear tends to be the number one reason why people either do not have a goal or do not reach them. Fear of failure and fear of the unknown will paralyze you from reaching your goal. Visualize your fear, see yourself defeating it, and obtaining your goal. The more you let fear come to the forefront the less likely you are able to think rationally. Control fear before it controls you. Leaving fear left alone will bring you closer to fight or flight rather than rationality. In fight or flight you are more apt to make a kneejerk reaction rather than set realistic or rational goals. Furthermore, when filled with fear you will not be able to see the achievement of your goal in a realistic way. Fear skews everything so learn to cope with it and take it captive! Facing the fear is going to be a helpful force to move you forward. Enlist the help of others or coping skills to be able to process what your fears are and where they are coming from.
- Write your goals out. The act of writing things down is very powerful. It is easier to rehearse a goal if you see it daily. Make your goals attainable and give a time frame for completion. You also want to write your goals out in a positive way. Instead of saying, “I will not lose any clients this quarter” Say “I will gain 5 clients per quarter”.
- Affirm yourself. Make daily affirmations and congratulate yourself for steps made along the way. Sometimes people are looking for the big win instead of looking at and celebrating over the smaller victories. Thinking positively helps get momentum rolling towards achievement.
- Challenge your negative beliefs. Many times we live with our thoughts instead of challenging them. We do not think about what we are thinking about. When you are able to rationalize your thoughts you are able to better challenge fear and other negative beliefs and emotions. Write out your beliefs ad challenge what makes them true and what makes them not true. Many times the negative thoughts we are thinking are not rationally based, but are based out of emotions.
- Make targeted goals. Have clear, direct, and concise goals to cut down on confusion or self-sabotage. Sometime we may set unrealistic goals which set you up for failure. Having a clear direction helps you more easily attain your goal because you know exactly what you are shooting for. If your goals are scattered your thoughts will be also.
- Have supportive people around you. Share your goals with people who will believe in you, affirm your goals, and cheer you on. If you feel lonely or isolated in your endeavors it can lead to anxiety depression or other negative effects. The people you share with should be positive and uplifting so as to not squelch your dream or confidence.
- Have an accountability partner. It is easy to follow through with a goal or objective if you feel someone is going to be checking in on your progress. Accountability is a huge motivating factor. Set up a consistent time to check in so it has another added level of accountability. Consistency and stability build trust and increase follow through.
- Visualization. Guided visualizations help you to foresee what could happen in the future. Athletes use this technique to visualize how they are going to perform. The mind is a powerful force. It is important to not only visualize finishing our goal but the potential obstacles and outcomes. Taking out the “grey” can help you to feel more comfortable and at ease. Some people do not want to think about the negative aspects. However, it is the visualization of the obstacle then overcoming it. Once you can play out differently scenarios where you win you will walk out feeling more empowered and equipped to achieve your goal regardless of what may try and get in the way.
The best way to accomplish your goals is to move them from your mind into paper. It is easier to solidify plans when you can see it right in front of you. It is empowering and you can take more ownership once you can see it, feel it, and believe it. It is important to make realistic objectives that have action steps to get to the end. Maintain a positive attitude and a positive group around you to help propel you to your goals end. You are the average of the people around you so take that into account. Ask yourself will the people around me help me reach my goal or block me from progress. The most influential things you can do to help attain Visualizing what life will look like when you complete your goals is also a powerful motivator. Take time out today to visualize you on the other end of your goal. Share a goal that you are wanting obtain.