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Did you know that just simply writing down your goals can greatly increase your drive to follow through with them? According to a study carried about by Dominican University of California, people who write down their goals are more likely to complete said goals.
I’ve always been one to write down annual goals, but up until the last year, I always wrote them in a random notebook that I wouldn’t pick up again for 6 months. The key to achieving your goals in not solely in writing them down. If it was, we would all be millionaires at our ideal weight with our ideal career.
You have to write down your goals in a place you will see them very frequently. For me, this place is my bullet journal. My morning routine involves sitting down in a quiet place in my house [if the children are being compliant], drinking a massive cup of coffee, and planning and reviewing my day/week. My goals are staring me right in the face every morning.
But, that’s not all you have to do to become your ideal self and crush your goals. The following goal setting strategies have not only worked for me, but allowed me to thrive in my personal and career life. I’ve dropped 50lbs. and kept it off, created two profitable websites that greatly increase my family’s income, and started to make a dent in my early adulthood financial mishaps.
My Top 5 Goal Setting Strategies
I take a few minutes every day to visualize my perfect life. I do this in the morning before my kiddos are awake and the house is still quiet. Sometimes I do it in the shower, sometimes it’s just while sitting on the couch or at the dining table.
Compare it to daydreaming. Close your eyes and literally picture your ideal life, with as many specifics as possible. Where are you living? What does your house look like? What do you look like? Are you smiling, laughing, enjoying being with the people you are with? Visualize a day at work, and what that’s like. Try to make these visualizations as real as possible, with as many details as possible. Then, repeat this every day, or a few times a day.
Why It Works: According to Psychology Today, a study found that weightlifters activate the same brain patterns when they lifted extremely heavy weights as when they just visualized lifting heavy weights. Big time athletes, like Tiger Woods, have used this method for decades and seen great success in surpassing their expectations. Your brain and thought process plays a huge role in your motivation and overall success.
Write It All Down
I know; this is rehashing the first part of this post. However, I wanted to put it under a bold title to make sure you read it. I’m a blogger, and I know the majority of people skim articles and look for bold headlines. Did I get you? Anyways, you need to write down your goals.
Do write them in place you will see every single day. For me, it’s in my journal. You may choose to write yours on sticky notes and hang them on the bathroom mirror, or on a piece of paper that you will hang on your refrigerator. You can make an image and make it the wallpaper on your phone. Write them in your planner. Don’t put them in the notes section of your phone or some random notebook that you are just going to throw back in your junk drawer.
Why It Works: When you write down your goals, you are forced to look at them and reread them. It also makes them become “more real” because they aren’t just a thought in your head anymore, they are on paper. It’s will motivate you to keep working towards your goals.
Pick a “Game Changer”
I credit this goal setting strategy to Matt Mayberry. I read an article he wrote, where he talked about identifying your goals and then picking the one that would change your life and make all your other dreams and goals a reality.
For me, my game changing goal revolves around my blogging career. Once I am established and bringing in a steady, solid income from blogging, most of my other goals should be much easier to achieve. For example, I will be able to start paying off my debts, buy a house, hire a virtual assistant to give me more time with my family, and therefore be a better wife and mom.
Why It Works: Because the majority of us have a lot of goals in different areas of life, this strategy helps you focus on your most critical goal. It’s also the stepping stone to being able to achieve all your other ambitions.
Make Your Goals Your Own
This may sound harsh, but one of your goals should not be “find the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend”. While you can take action on this goal and start your hunt with Tinder or bar hopping, it’s not guaranteed that you will be successful. Why? The success of goals like this depend on someone else. You are putting your life ambitions in the hands of another person, which is pretty risky.
Instead, if you do want to find a significant other, you could make goals that you alone can control. Maybe you want to attend more social events, work on your physical health, take a class, etc. These are all actionable goals that you, alone, can achieve.
Why It Works: It’s in your control and success is totally dependent on you. You aren’t risking that someone else will come up short or fall through.
Have a Game Plan
Having a goal is great, but not knowing how to get there is a surefire way to fail. Once you have written down your goals, you need to write down how you are going to do it. For example, if your goal is to be debt-free, some of your steps may be to create a monthly budget, cut out your cable television subscription and put the money towards your debt, put $50 a week in a savings account, quit buying unnecessary stuff, sell unneeded/unused stuff in your house and put the money towards your debt, etc.
Break your goal down into small things that you can achieve quickly and that will contribute to the overall success of your big goals.
Why It Works: You need to know what you must change in your life to achieve your big goals. Breaking it down and making an action plan allows you to see those steps and start making the small changes necessary to reaching your goals.
This post will be part of a larger series of posts dedicated to setting goals and reaching your potential. Stay tuned, and subscribe for more self-care and personal development posts to inspire and motivate you.