The power of goal setting and having expectations for yourself to keep yourself motivated and moving
Setting goals are important. We’ve always heard it, but why is it important, and how do we get the most out of it?
Setting goals help create new behaviours, patterns and help build focus towards your desired end product. As a result, goal-setting can create new routines, purpose, motivate us in life, improve our mental wellbeing and our lives in both personal and professional settings. 1
Rather than having resolutions for the new year instead, try setting goals. Goals are more valuable than resolutions as they’re more specific and action-oriented.
Start by reflecting on the past year, evaluate where you are in life, how you got here and where you want to be by the end of 2022. From there, create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based goals. Increasing the specificity of your goal allows it to be easily approached and forces you to be accountable.
“A Theory of Goal Setting & Task Performance” published by Locke and Latham underline 5 important factors in setting goals. 2
Clarity is important when it comes to goals. Setting goals that are clear and specific eliminate the confusion that occurs when a goal is set in a more generic manner.
Challenging goals stretch your mind and cause you to think bigger. This helps you accomplish more. Each success you achieve helps you build a winning mindset.
Commitment is also important. If you don’t commit to your goal with everything you have it is less likely you will achieve it.
Feedback helps you know what you are doing right and how you are doing. This allows you to adjust your expectations and your plan of action going forward.
Task Complexity is the final factor. It’s important to set goals that are aligned with the goal’s complexity.
Our mindset plays a vital role in motivating us to stay on track. Life happens sometimes therefore, allowing yourself to be flexible and kind to yourself along the journey is vital. Celebrate every milestone that gets you closer to where you want to be. Rather than limiting yourself to ‘I have to achieve this,’ it’s more supportive to use the phrase ‘I would like to achieve this.’ That way, if you don’t reach your target, you can still appreciate the effort you had made towards achieving that goal.
You don’t need the new year to start fresh, but it makes for the perfect time to reflect, appreciate and move forward with our lives.