Are you feeling stuck? Don’t you know how to reach your goals? Are you having a hard time motivating yourself? In today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing my 7 tips to reach your goals! In a couple of months, I’ve reached multiple goals like graduating, getting a new car, a new job, creating a growing blog and maintaining happiness and health. You want this too? Then keep on reading.
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For years, I’ve been feeling stuck. I felt like I just weren’t able to reach my goals. The things I said to myself so many times were “I’m always unlucky”, “My life sucks”, “I don’t want to do this anymore”. But I was doing it all wrong. The first mistake was my mindset, the second mistake was not setting any goals. If you want to succeed you need to set goals. Without goals, you lack focus, motivation, and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding.
To accomplish your goals you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In today’s blog post I’m sharing 7 tips to reach your goals, just so you can reach your goals just like me.
It starts with motivation
As you might know, I’m a gratuated HR Professional and I’m very interested in pyschology but also in people’s motivation. In my opinion, motivated employees are the most important people for your company. Motivation is seperated in two different catagories, internal motivation and external motivation. During my education, I learned about these two types of motivation and I’ll explain this to you before I start sharing my tips.
Define the Purpose to Find Motivation
Simon Sinek preaches the power of “why” and its transformative role in defining the purpose of an individual’s career. “Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best.”
It’s easy to see that a well-defined WHY can bring a sense of purpose to your work, but it can be hard to find its relevance in the day to day minutiae. Productivity wanes when there is a glacial gap between the task in front of you and long-term career goals.
Defining a more immediate, attainable, and satisfying reward can jumpstart the release of dopamine and boost motivation. Consider the framework of the motivation mojo model, which is inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs model. It provides an approach to finding a tangible purpose for a project that ultimately relates to a larger, future goal.
They are transformed into needs relevant to progressing any career, no matter the WHY. When you’ve identified the WHY for your career, a similar question can be asked to address a single project. Simply ask: What is the purpose of this project and its tasks?
Trigger Productive Behavior
When productivity is low, the motivation model can provide a clear direction toward an attainable reward. The simple act of imagining the reward puts the productivity addiction loop in motion, which influences behavior. Motivation and productivity are important parts when you want to reach your goals.
7 Tips To Reach Your Goals
1. Set Goals That Motivate You
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are small. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life.
Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. When you understand why you’re doing something, it’s easier to picture the end result. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This, in turn, leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind. This is the type of mindset I was in before I started setting goals and it’s so demotivating.
2. Set SMART Goals
Every time I see the word SMART it makes me think about school. During my college time, I kinda hated this word since my teachers ALWAYS talked about SMART goals. Later on, I realized they were right. If you’re not setting SMART goals, goals can stay vague and not measurable which can make the process less motivation because you can’t really tell if there’s any progress. Moreover, setting goals without a time frame isn’t really helping you reaching them because ‘you have all the time’ and you might start procrastinating. Alright, I gave you a little sneak peek of what SMART means but here’s the actual definition:
Setting up SMART Goals truly helped me reach my goals a lot faster. For example, I set myself Blog Goals every month. I make them very specific and measurable, like this: I want to reach 1000 Twitter followers by the end of September. This is specific, measurable, relevant to my bigger goal (growing my blog), attainable (because I grow around 70 followers every month and I’m not at 970 Twitter followers) and time-bound because I want to reach it before the end of September. At the end of the month is super easy to see if I reached my goal or not.
3. Change Your Mindset
I already said it before, but one of the mistakes I made, was my mindset. An important part of achieving goals is having the right mindset. It is important to remember that although some things are beyond your control, you make your own destiny.
Many people believe life is something that happens to them, rather than something they create for themselves. This is called an “external locus of control.” It is a mindset that blames chance or other people when things don’t work out. An external locus of control is a self-defeating mindset. Strive instead for an “internal” locus of control. This is a mindset that says you control your own destiny. This is an empowering mindset that will help you stay motivated to achieve your goal.
Pay attention to your self-talk. When you find yourself thinking: “there’s nothing I can do about this” or “that’s just how my life is,” ask yourself if that’s really true. You may indeed face a difficult situation that you did not create. But if this is the case, think about what you can do to improve it rather than accepting defeat. Try to remember that you always have a choice.
4. Create The Right Environment
A challenging goal is more easily achieved if you create an environment that encourages you to stay focused on your goal. I think this is one of the most important parts that helped me reach my goals. I have people around me that encourage me all the time, even if it’s a little baby step. They help me, keep me focused and celebrate the victories. I’ve had a couple of people in my life that truly held me back from reaching my goals and the moment I cut them out, I felt relieved and even more motivated to reach my goals.
5. Read About Others Stories
One of the things that motivate me reaching my goals, is reading about other peoples successes. I love to read motivational books with tips and stories from others. I also truly love to read books about personal development, because this will help me grow as a person and in the end, this helps me reach my goals too. A couple of books I loved reading are The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, How To Win Friends & Influence People, and The Gift Of Imperfections. I also loved reading Queen Of Jetlags (which is a Dutch book though) by Noor de Groot and On Top (which is also a Dutch book) by Anna Nooshin. Two amazing Dutch influencers, who share their stories and tips.
6. Stay Motivated
Stay motivated (and keep making progress even when you aren’t). Because your hardest goal is going to be a major challenge, it will be easy to lose motivation or give up. There are some things you can do to prevent this.
Use reinforcement. Give yourself rewards (positive reinforcement) when you reach subgoals. Or, allow yourself to skip out on something you don’t want to do (negative reinforcement). Buy yourself a new pair of shoes, or skip vacuuming your house once as a way to reward yourself for making progress. These little rewards can keep you motivated. They help your mind learn to associate good things with working towards your goal. Reinforcement is much more effective than punishing yourself for failure.
Sometimes, no matter how much reinforcement you use, you just won’t be able to get motivated. Maybe it’s because you are sick, tired, or something bad happened at work. If you can’t stick to the routine sometimes, try to look for other ways to make progress that are easier for you. For example, if you just can’t force yourself to open your physics book and study for an exam, try a task that’s less mentally taxing. Organize your notes, work on a study guide, or watch a science documentary that’s relevant to the topic. This way, you still make some kind of progress even when your motivation just isn’t there.
Read More: How to Stay Motivated?
7. Track Your Progress
A great way to stay motivated is to regularly keep track of your progress. Use an app, a calendar, or a journal, and make note of the work you’ve done and the subgoals you’ve achieved. When you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, look at your notes. You’ll see how much you’ve already accomplished and this may help boost your motivation. It can also help you stay accountable to yourself and your plan.
When working on very difficult goals, you might experience a lot of stress or anxiety. A good way to counter this is to note your progress in a journal. Use this journal to write about what you have done and your feelings about the process. Letting your feelings out in this way can ease your anxiety. This can help you stay focused on the task at hand.
If you liked this post, I’m pretty confident that you’ll like Toptal’s post as well. I loved this post as a base for my own post, as well as seeing results from research about this subject.