Monday, June 29, 2015

STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS



1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress -- if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence.

5.  Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed -- that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. If you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body -- when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

8. Don't tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time).

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. 
-Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.

No comments: