Getting in the Goal-Setting Mindset: 6 Steps to Success
You are ambitious, smart and passionate. You wouldn’t be here, on this blog post, otherwise. So let’s start this guide to goal setting with that positive mindset. Although goal-setting is looking to the future, it helps to begin with a sense of pride and hope in your own current situation.
There are any number of reasons to NOT set goals - fear, lack of faith, stress - are all powerful barriers against setting goals in the first place, let alone achieving them. However, let’s make it really simple. Let’s take it step by step and focus on getting that goal-setting mindset so solid that the fear doesn’t have space to take ownership.
Chances are that you know exactly what goals you want to achieve. You’re just not sure how to really, honestly set them for yourself with intention. I think it’s all about mindset, and this is how to get yourself into a really positive place to set goals, work towards them, achieve them and exceed them.
Does this sound like the missing piece to your puzzle? Then you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.
How many times have you felt on fire? Like there is an energy within you that proves you are on the right track, that you are going to achieve and like you probably couldn’t stop working if you tried?
When you experience this, it is amazing. But it is not sustainable. No matter how powerful you feel. It is important to acknowledge that drive and energy and use it, but also to be patient with yourself when it runs lower.
With any major peak in energy, there will be a dip. Know this. Don’t allow it to take away from the high intensity periods in your motivation levels, but don’t be surprised when they start to fade. Be thankful for the time you had on overdrive, and look forward to a new part of working towards those goals you set. The novelty might wear off but you set those goals knowing they are what you want, and you deserve to see them through.
Be patient with yourself. If, a few months into your latest plan, you feel tired out, then give yourself time to rest without giving up. Extend yourself the same patience you would give to anyone else who you know is working hard to achieve their dreams. Self care is necessary at every step.
Justify To Yourself
Believe in yourself. Three little words. Easy to say, not so easy to put into practice sometimes.
So let’s make it easier to generate that self-belief, through justification. And let’s also do it entirely through focussing on YOU. Sure, sometimes it’s helpful to think:
Well, if this person can do it, why can’t I?
But goal setting is a deeply personal exercise. Your reasons and drive behind what you do will never be quite the same as the next person’s, no matter how similar you might seem.
So let’s keep the focus on you. How do you justify achieving your goals?
I want to get a new phone so that I can take better quality photos on the go. I love taking photos and I believe that achieving this goal would help me enjoy that even more.
I want to get a new job, with a company I have been watching for a long time. They allow for flexible working so I can spend more time with my family.
I want to make the time to read for 30 minutes every day. I find it a really helpful way to relax whilst still feeling productive.
I want to earn the biggest ever profit for my business in July 2018. I have some clients lined up for the beginning of the year but I don’t want to lose momentum, and I want that goal to motivate me throughout the next six months, no matter how hard it gets.
These are all very different goals in terms of scope, size and intention. Some of them, like reading every day, are clear. The goal has been set out in a practical way and you know exactly how to achieve it: by reading for 30 minutes each day.
Other goals are a little more complicated. Take the new job goal. You have an endpoint, and a justification, but how do you get there?
By working backwards from your goal. Let’s move on and find out more about this.
Anticipate Hardship (With Positivity!)
Goal-setting is less about predicting what will go wrong, and more about having a strong enough sense of direction that when you do come to those barriers, and you will, you don’t get put off.
Set a time limit on how much time you want to spend on the ‘what if’s’, because it is not fruitful at all to allow yourself to get caught up in imagining possible scenarios that might never happen. However, do take a little time to think about this question: on a daily basis, how can I keep my motivation high when things aren’t all smooth sailing?
For example, let’s say that your goal is to save enough money to get out of your overdraft within six months. Working back from that goal, you work out that you need to be putting away £200 per month as savings, to be sure that you will reach your goal.
Then, you get an unexpected energy bill in month 3, and that prevents you from being able to put aside your £200 for that month. You don’t want to be preparing for this in the sense that you expect to fail, but could you anticipate the need for more money to achieve your goals by:
- Having freelance work available to dip into and top up your month 3 balance.
Finding a more cost effective way to get places for a few weeks and save a little.
Giving up one little luxury that will go towards resaving your £200 for that month?
Have a plan B. Think of it and then put it away and hope you never need it. But having that plan B will help you get back on track faster if something happens to get between you and your goals. We said this would be simple, not easy!
Share your Goals With People You Trust
Accountability is a hugely powerful thing. If your goal is to get out of bed every morning by 7am, no matter what, for a month, then is there someone you can call every morning to confirm that you are up?
It’s like going to the gym. It’s very easy to fob it off when it’s raining and you’re tired - but if there’s someone else equally tired waiting for you out in the rain to do that work-out? It’s more likely that you will go.
Share your goals. Share them with a close friend or post about them on social media, just tell someone. It’s not to make you feel bad if you don’t achieve it, it will just make you accountable.
If there’s one thing you know already it’s that your goals ARE achievable. You can do it. It’s to make sure you have plenty of people to celebrate it with when you get there.
Prioritise Your Goals, and Yourself
Once you’ve found those accountability partners: talk to them, tell them what you’re doing and listen closely to support their goals and dreams. However, don’t let anything they say affect your positive attitude.
This is a tricky one to navigate, for sure. There will be people in your life whose feedback and ideas you value above others, but that doesn’t mean that they are always right.
When you are working towards something that hasn’t materialised yet, positive mindset is everything. It’s easy for someone to see how hard you are working, and start to suggest that maybe you’re doing too much, you’re prioritising the wrong things, or you’ve made a mistake choosing these goals.
If you experience this, take time to think carefully, alone, about how you feel. These are your goals and dreams, not anyone else’s. Of course, they might think you are doing too much because nothing worth doing was ever easy. But have some faith in your own abilities and don’t be too quick to be swayed by what other people are doing or saying around you. Stay in your lane.
Set Them, Remember them, and Let Them Go
Miracles occur naturally, and when they are not occurring, something is going wrong.
That quote is from manifestation magician Gabby Bernstein. She educates people about the power of manifesting our goals. Whether you are a passionate manifester, or wary of the potential for wooliness, there is a lot to be learned from manifesting.
Just setting your goals isn’t enough. You have to live them in the tiniest moments of your day, be incredibly patient, and move towards them in every single decision you make, from what time you get out of bed, to what you eat for lunch.
Seriously! If you were to over-think it, you’d probably lose your focus.
Set goals, work towards them in every moment, but don’t be afraid to relinquish control over to the universe.
Its got your back, and so do I.
To find out more about getting in that goal-setting mindset for 2018, you can check out my The Creative Marketer Community on Facebook where we are kick-starting the new year with a Goal-setting Challenge on the 4th of January. Get involved!!