Successful Goal Setting 101

dreams workIf you decide to take up running, do you just run in place in whatever clothes and shoes you happened to wear that day? If you did that would your confidence in your ability to become a more skillful runner increase? You did something after all and it may have been more than you had done the day before. But if your goal was to eventually run a marathon, would those activities have been enough?
Goal setting is much the same way. Often we write down just a few key works or put up one motivational quote on our mirror and believe a significant change in our actions will occur. One day you may reread that quote and in discouragement that you haven’t accomplished the goal, rip the quote off the mirror and make the decision, “I will not set goals anymore. I’m tired of how I feel when I’m not successful.”
Let’s return to the running example. What if you purchased high quality running shoes, then you chose some attire that supported you both when you’d be cold and warm during your run. You might even take the time to get some advice from someone who has been successful at running. A game plan as to where and when you’ll run is drawn up and you find a partner to be accountable to. Will you succeed 100% of the time, no, but the likely hood is much greater.
A goal can be set in similar fashion. We can first take the time to write it in a full sentence and say it in the present. “I am running a marathon.” Add a date and a description to how it feels, and you are dressed for success. Read inspiring stories of others who have accomplished a similar goal daily. Make the attempt to find a partner or group who is working on a similar goal to be accountable to. Continue to read your motivational quote, in fact add a new one to your mirror daily and read them out loud. How have the odds increased?
If you feel like you’ve failed at goal setting in the past, try again and take the steps it will take to run your personal “marathon.”

Michelle Withers

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