We can all find it challenging to achieve the goals we set ourselves at times. This can be overcome by following some simple tips to give us a far greater chance for success.
1. Ask ‘Why do I want to achieve a particular goal?’
When creating goals, it is important to ask yourself the question, why? If we understand why we want to achieve a goal, it has greater meaning and we’re more likely to stay committed to achieving it.
For example, my goal is to get fitter. Why do I want to get fitter? Because I am conscious of feeling out of breath doing simple tasks and this makes me feel uncomfortable. You can keep asking why until you get clarity.
2. Plan for success
Planning helps us to be successful. If we foresee the problems or obstacles that may arise, we can take steps to overcome them.
With my goal of getting fitter, I can plan simple things to help me work towards my goal. For example, I can park further away from my destination to increase the distance I have to walk. And if I only have healthy options in my fridge, there’s less chance of going off course.
3. Be mindful
Being mindful means being in the moment, being present, and being conscious of what we say and what we do. All too often in life we drift into sub-conscious behaviour or auto-pilot mode! This is my favourite tip, since it’s so simple, yet makes such an impact.
If my goal is to get fit, when I feel hungry or an urge to eat something, I can choose not to act immediately. Instead, notice this urge and then ask, am I actually hungry? If I am, do I have a healthy choice? If I don’t, ask myself, is eating what I have available going to help me achieve my goal or take me further away from it? How will I feel in an hour’s time if I do eat it? Will drinking a glass of water reduce the urge, until I can make a healthier choice.
4. One thing at a time
Try not to make too many changes all at the same time. Each week aim to change one thing and give that one thing your focus. For example, in my quest to get fitter, week 1 – focus on reducing sugar intake, week 2 – focus on eating more vegetables etc.
Try to turn negative language or thoughts into something more positive. Rather than say “I should or I need to get fitter” use more positive language. “I am choosing to get fitter because I want to feel healthier and have more energy”. Rather than say “I’m not allowed chips” say “I’m choosing to have salad or vegetables with my dinner because it is helping me get to where I want to be”.
6. Remind yourself of your goals daily.
When you wake up each day, remind yourself of what your goals are and why you want to achieve them. Ask yourself what you need to do today that will help move you closer to your goals. This keeps goals, tasks and your motivation for creating them fresh in your mind.
7. Create a mantra.
Whatever your goals are, turn them into a daily mantra. In my case, my daily mantra is “I am fit, I am strong, I am healthy”. Mantras can be created from goals, from things you want to be, feel or have.
8. Review your goals.
Regularly review your goals, are they still important to you? Do you need to reset your goals? What have been your successes so far? Where might you improve?
This simple process of being mindful, questioning and reminding ourselves of our goals and why they are important to us can be really helpful in achieving them.