5 Tips For Setting Motivating Goals

Goal Setting + Productivity, Goals, Motivation, Personal Growth

This post may include affiliate links.

Are you undermotivated by your goals? So much that you pump yourself up like “yes I’m going to go home and smash out a post” or “today I’m going to work out for a whole hour”.

Then that time comes around and suddenly procrastination is our best friend!

Yes, we need to get the post done or workout but there’s time right? Like tomorrow. Definitely. Tomorrow sounds good.

Until never starts sounding better.

And you know what – we all do it. Not because we’re not capable but more because our goals can overwhelm us and under motivate us.

Writing a post isn’t just writing a post is it?

It’s research, it’s writing answers to questions we’re still trying to figure out ourselves.

Working out isn’t just working out. It’s hard. It’s sweat and a little bit of trying to figure out how to use gym machines properly (we’ve all been there!).

So what can we do to stop the overwhelm of our goals and get them back to motivating us.

 

 

 

Set a number

 

We’ve all been guilty of setting a numberless goal.

According to the Comres studies 8 our most common New Years goals include:

  • Exercise more (38 per cent)
  • Lose weight (33 per cent)
  • Eat more healthily (32 per cent)
  • Take a more active approach to health (15 per cent) =
  • Learn new skill or hobby (15 per cent) =
  • Spend more time on personal wellbeing (12 per cent) =
  • Spend more time with family and friends (12 per cent) =
  • Drink less alcohol (12 per cent) =
  • Stop smoking (9 per cent)
  • Other (1 per cent)

The problem here? None of these specific numbers.

When there’s no numbers there’s little to work with. There’s nothing for us to aim for.

As Michael says in his book Life in Half a Second: How to Achieve Success Before It’s Too Late “for goals to be effective – for your mind to be able to focus on them – they have to be precise”. Without a number to aim for, the goal is “difficult to grasp”. 9

Which was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. I now realised why setting a goal to eat healthily was always a tomorrow goal.

A great story for the goal number theory is Jim Carey.

He wrote himself cheque specifically for $10 million dollars for “acting services rendered” with a 3 year time frame.

He dated it, put it on his wall.

3 years later – he received $10 million for Dumb & Dumber.

 

 

Having a figure and a time frame gave him the focus he needed when he sat in his car and imagined it.

So it’s worth sitting down and asking if your goal is specific enough?

Do you have a number to it? Should you? How can you add one?

And as Michael says in his book “cut through the fog”. 10

 

Be flexible

 

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. – Tony Robbins 11

Life happens. Nothing goes our way all the time, right?

I can see you raising your eyebrows like “you think so”.

Yes we’re all well aware. Shit happens.

So when you miss your workout even though your goal was to workout 5 days a week –  that’s okay.

Stay flexible.

If you can’t afford gym – workout at home?

Think outside the box in whatever you do.

Sometimes we set a goal and think there’s only one way to achieve it. Like freedom and flexibility in our lives.

A lot of the time people think that the only way to achieve that is by working for yourself. Putting your letter of resignation and saying “to hell with it!”.

But there’s never one way to go about things.

A perfect example of this is in Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity.

His story of Allan Bacon tells how Allan loved his work but hated the environment he was in.

While most of us would sit and whine (myself included), Allan resorted to “life experiments” 12 (that impressively did not include telling co-workers or his employer where to go).

He did things like go the Museum on his lunch break. He took a job that was lower than his current position because it had more opportunity.

Within 12 months the job opened doors (doors that had higher pay and more responsibility).

He even whisked his family off to live the Parisian life temporarily.

With his building confidence from all his “life experiments” 13, he returned to the States and asked to step down to part time.

He still had benefits and a decent salary but he also had time to start consulting part time.

 

“This change allowed him to receive the freedom he craved without sacrificing a relationship with a company he enjoyed – and it helped that he could continue to count on a reliable part time income” 14

 

Related posts to goals, flexibility and freedom:

 

Choose ONE thing

 

It’s no secret that having too many goals can focus the shit out of us.

And demotivate us.

With too many goals comes too many tasks.

And we all know the longer the list, the better Netflix looks.

I’ve noticed I’m a serial goal setter and task setter.

I set myself so many things to do (in an impossible time frame) that the only reason Netflix is so appealing is because I’m delusional about much I need to do and how quickly.

Hold your horses.

Ask yourself what actually needs to get done to achieve your goal. Because guaranteed there were a few things on my list that made no sense – are there on yours?

Cutting tasks does not make you lazyit makes you productive.

You can read more about how to choose what to focus on and how to cut down your work to be more productive here.

 

Visualize the process – not just the end game

I read this somewhere and now I can’t find the study to prove this.

But then I realised that common sense can play its part here.

I’ve spent time picturing my goals, doing everything the books say.

Feel it in your bones. Smile. Feel the joy.

But by visualising the goal we are romanticising it. And forgetting the work that has to go into it.

This was something that helped me with sticking to working out.

Instead of picturing myself feeling strong, healthy & energetic at the end of a workout, I pictured myself working out.

Motivated, but working out.

I visualised the process. It motivated me to get up and do it because it wasn’t just the goal, but the process that became important.

Visualise your journey. The ups AND the downs.

 

 

Keep your goals to yourself

 

Yes! No accountability partner.

No yelling to your family that in a few years you’re going to be debt free, sailing the Caribbean and wishing all your haters the best.

Apparently sharing that info with your loved ones tells your mind you’ve already achieved it.

So avoid telling the fam about your endless amounts of cash and big boat until your on that boat, throwing that cash like you’re the Wolf of Wall Street (with better morals).

 

What have you done to stop goal overwhelm? What strategies have worked for you? I’d love to hear them!

Notes:

  1. http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BUPA_NY-Resolution_Public-Polling_Nov-15_UPDATED-TABLES.pdf
  2. Matthew Michalewicz, Life in Half a Second: How to Achieve Success Before It's Too Late
  3. Matthew Michalewicz, Life in Half a Second: How to Achieve Success Before It's Too Late
  4. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tonyrobbin176913.html
  5. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
  6. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
  7. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
  8. http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BUPA_NY-Resolution_Public-Polling_Nov-15_UPDATED-TABLES.pdf
  9. Matthew Michalewicz, Life in Half a Second: How to Achieve Success Before It’s Too Late
  10. Matthew Michalewicz, Life in Half a Second: How to Achieve Success Before It’s Too Late
  11. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tonyrobbin176913.html
  12. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
  13. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
  14. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)
previous post
next post

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Share
Pin
+1