Mental Health
Setting the Perfect Goals, the Key to Staying Motivated

Setting the Perfect Goals, the Key to Staying Motivated

There are two important steps in setting the perfect goals one you may be familiar with and the other may come as a surprise. Both will put you on the path to staying motivated.

  1. Make sure they are >SMART< goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-orientated, Realistic & Time-bound)
  2. Analyse your identity – I cannot stress this enough

The importance of analysing your identity comes from the importance of your core values. Much the same as a business needs to understand core values to achieve their goals.

The side benefits of understanding and creating values and goals is that it will influence the nature of your lifestyle.

The heirachy of setting the perfect goals has a flow on effect, that’s why it works so well.

Without the foundational support, the rest of the ‘growth’ cannot be achieved – see what I did there

Your goals Have to be aligned with your values or you will never be satisfied with your accomplishments because you will be neglecting the things that matter most – even if you are unaware at the time.

The other things that can happen from not creating clear goals is that you could find yourself busy doing daily tasks that do not actually reflect the intermediate goal. Therefore creating unproductive momentum towards your goal.

Think of it as swimming upstream. In a storm. With a weighted vest on.

Not happening.

You will find this will happen most when you complete tasks based on a matter of urgency rather than your foundational values.

The flow on effect experienced is stress and frustration, all in the name of skipping a few steps.

Setting the perfect goals is also the key process of self-regulation and refers to the process of establishing a standard for your performance. Research backs this one too, stating that people who have goals outperform those who do not.

This may all seem too obvious but how does it actually happen I hear you ask…

These people outperforming others are taking control of their own fate, and although it may sound all squishy, it’s very much true. People setting goals and developing plans to achieve them are taking responsibility for their own lives. They are setting up positive expectations for achievements and putting meaning back into their adult lives.

It can become a very difficult task to stay motivated without setting personal goals, it wouldn’t even be frowned upon if you were to carry those documented goals around with you [easy to get to on your phone].

What makes a good goal?

Well only you can be the judge of that, but there are some important facts to consider when making your goals.

The effects of your goals on your behaviour will depend on 3 major points

  1. specificity
  2. proximity
  3. difficulty

And they will be the deciding factor in your performance through effort, persistence, direction of attention, strategic planing and reference points.


Steps to set the perfect goals

Identify and define goal

Think about all the different goals you would like to achieve in life.

Make sure they are SMART [see above] goals

Describe what you want to accomplish with as much detail as possible – vague goals will lessen the possibility of attaining them

Describe the context (course, situation, setting)

Specific outcomes – be very specific

Timelines can be a good tool to establish the smaller steps and how much time each step will take to reach your final goal.

Generate and evaluate alternative plans

How would other people achieve this goal?

Who can help me achieve this goal?

How have I achieved similar goals in the past?

Ask yourself questions that make you think about alternative ways to attain the goal and the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

Making Implementation Plans

Set deadlines for each task

Aim to change old, ineffective habits

If you can predict that you will come face to face with distractions then create an “if-then” plan

Break up major goals into several smaller ones

Implementing the Plan

Check your progress as you implement the tasks

Do not hesitate to make changes if you miscalculated

Evaluate Progress

After attaining your goal, ask yourself…

How well did the plan work?

How many tasks did I complete?

With which tasks did I have the most trouble? Why?

What strategies worked well?

What problems came up?

What did I learn about myself?

What didn’t I plan for?

Check out this post

Have you lost Motivation?