What are your goals
Imagine you are floating in a boat on the open sea. With you in the boat: a map, a compass and oars. Would you take a map and compass to hand in order to then consciously head for a destination? Or would you sit back and relax and keep drifting in front of you?
Few people would choose passivity in such a situation. Even if the compass, map and the physical strain of rowing seem strange to us at first, we prefer the challenge to doing nothing. And that's just as well.
Unfortunately, it looks different in everyday life. Although we could take the helm at any time, we drift along and live more or less aimlessly into the day - even though almost every one of us has dreams and visions. And so a large part of our dreams remain just that: dreams.
It often doesn't take much to turn a dream into a goal and hopefully soon into reality ...
Why are goals so important?
As the boat example shows, goals give us direction above all else. In fact, the conscious goal setting has a number of other advantages.
First and foremost is reflection. If you set yourself a goal or several goals, you also deal with yourself, your own life, wishes and ideas. Goals help us to focus and give us the motivation we need to overcome obstacles on the way to our goal. Goals also help us track our own progress.
Goals help you reflect
Goals help us to better understand ourselves and our needs.
Goals give focus & direction
Anyone who works towards a goal acts in a focused and, accordingly, goal-oriented manner.
Goals increase satisfaction
Those who know and pursue their goals live more consciously and happily.
Ultimately, we only have a very limited time on earth - and this time must be used. The conscious goal setting is a great instrument to live as consciously, successfully and thus also happily as possible. So? Are you ready to make your dreams a reality?
How do I set myself a goal?
Those who set goals take the first step towards a more conscious and satisfied life.
Whether you actually achieve your goal depends largely on the formulation of your goal.
An unfavorably formulated goal can in the worst case even reverse the positive effect of the goal setting into the opposite. Instead of motivation, there is a feeling of frustration.
You are what you do Not what you say what you will do.Unknown
Accordingly, it is also important to focus on the process when setting goals. Those who set themselves long-term goals have the opportunity to know the way to the goal as development to experience. Because even if you have not yet achieved your goal, you always have an eye on how much you have already achieved.
We'll tell you how you can set sustainable goals. These can be applied to every conceivable area, whether private, professional, sporting or personal.
1. The first big question: Why do you want to achieve this goal?
Once you have a goal in mind, the first big question should be "Why?" Only when you understand the motives behind your goal setting can you understand your emotions and then develop the necessary motivation from them. The goal of “losing weight” can, for example, be based on the desire for a better body image and a more active lifestyle. These wishes already have a lot more emotional pulling power than a mere number on the scales - and are therefore better suited to motivating us.
Don't think "I have to". Think "I want".Unknown
This rethinking can be essential, especially for people who feel they do not have enough self-discipline. The aim is not to control one's own feelings, but to understand them in order to be able to act accordingly. In place of compulsion comes will, in place of discipline comes motivation.
In everyday life we like to forget about long-term goals and prefer to give in to current needs. The result would be, for example, that we eat too many sweets because of us currently after that - although we actually know that sweets only make us feel happy for a short time. In the long run, however, this feeling of happiness turns into exactly the opposite.
Enter into a dialogue with your feelings and become aware of what you want for your life and what you want to achieve. In this way you can develop the strength to resist temptation in everyday life.
If you are looking for tips to increase your satisfaction in everyday life in the long term, visit our blog post on 15 tips for more happiness & satisfaction in the office!
2. From daydream to vision: time to visualize!
Close your eyes and imagine what your life will be like when you reach your goal. Be calm emotional & passionate. Sober restraint is out of place here. Feel your pride, your joie de vivre, your success. Imagine how your environment will react to your success, how your everyday life will change, how your quality of life will improve.
Assuming your goal is to run a successful photography blog, imagine how the reach of your blog increases and your pictures also gain attention on the various social media platforms. Imagine what it feels like when your parents proudly show their friends your pictures. Imagine how it feels for you when your name is firmly linked to photography and you receive regular inquiries for shoots and workshops.
Don't hold back and let yourself be fully immersed in the idea of your success. Our feelings are a catalyst for our motivation. And that is absolutely essential for achieving our goals. The rule is: the stronger our positive emotions, the stronger our motivation.
3. Enter into a contract with yourself and do it in writing!
The next big step is putting your goal in writing. By writing it down, you make your goal concrete and thus already tangible to a certain extent. You can see this writing as a contract and thus a promise to yourself.
When writing down your goals, pay attention to the following points:
1. Formulate your goals in "I" form.
It is your goals. This should also be clearly evident from the wording. Do not ignore yourself and take the time to formulate your sentences personally and concisely - keywords are not enough.
Example: Instead of “Eating healthily” write “I eat a healthy and balanced diet”.
2. Use perfect and present tense instead of future tense.
When formulating your goal, make sure to use the past and present tense. In this way you reinforce the feeling that your goal is already a reality - much more than a possibility or a vision. The motto is: Fake it, 'til you make it!
Example: Write “I have written a book and publish my texts online” instead of “I will write a book and publish my texts online”.
3. Avoid negative formulations and describe your goals positively.
The sound makes the music. Those who use negative formulations also intensify negative feelings. Try to avoid dissatisfaction and self-criticism in your goal formulation and use positive emotions to motivate yourself.
Example: Instead of “I'm finally eating less fast food and no longer feeling so disgusting” say “I eat healthy and fresh and feel fit”.
Whether you set your goals by hand or digitally is of course entirely up to you. Both variants have advantages. While the handwritten version is more emotional, the digital version has the advantage that you always have it with you. Decide on the variant that makes more sense for you personally.
4. The journey is the goal: Define smart (intermediate) goals.
The more vague and general your goal, the more important it is to have clearly defined intermediate goals.
The SMART principle, which comes from project management, can help you to concretise your (intermediate) goals. The principle states that a goal is only smart if it is also sspecific, medible, aattractive, realistic & tis erminated. But what does that mean in practice?
Specific: Try to define your goals as precisely as possible and avoid abstraction. The point here is to be as precise as possible.
Example: “I go to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Sunday” instead of “I go to the gym several times a week”.
Measurable: Try to make your goal measurable and set values for yourself.
Example: "I win at least 2 new customers a month" instead of "I win new customers."
Attractive: The question of the attractiveness of a destination is directly linked to the question of "why". If you do not consider your goal to be really worth striving for, sooner or later you will probably struggle with motivation problems and thus have difficulties in achieving your goal.
Realistic: A goal should be challenging, but not overwhelming. Try to set goals accordingly that you can actually achieve.
Example: “I apply for five jobs a week” instead of “I apply for fifteen jobs a day”.
Terminated: Give your goal a clear time frame to keep track of the success or failure of a goal. Again, stay realistic and adjust the time frame accordingly to your goal.
The application of the SMART criteria to goals is a big step towards their concrete realization. On the basis of smartly defined intermediate goals, concrete tasks and to-do lists can easily be created to help you get closer to your goal.
5. Words must be followed by deeds.
After you've set goals and intermediate goals, it's time to put your plans into action. Create a task plan for yourself. Think about the steps you need to take to work towards your goal.
And then: To start.
Success has three letters: DO.Unknown
If you're looking for tips to overcome procrastination, check out our blog post on Using These 3 Strategies to Increase Your Productivity. James Clear's “2 Minute Rule” in particular can help you with your first steps towards your goal.
Make sure to give time to your goal in everyday life. Ideally, you should do something every day to get closer to your goal - even if it's just a small thing. If that is not feasible, it makes sense to reflect at least once a week. This way you can keep an eye on your progress and recognize any obstacles and delays in a timely manner. And above all else: celebrate progress.
So? Here we go!
Sources & further reading:
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