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Last Updated on December 3, 2020

How to Develop a Strong Goal Setting Mindset

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How to Develop a Strong Goal Setting Mindset

When you are feeling stuck with your goals, many solutions come to mind. Perhaps you need to read some books or consider other strategies to complete your goals. But another avenue to consider is to develop your goal setting mindset.

Like with everything in the self-improvement world and beyond, mindset matters. How you view your problems and your overall belief and thinking process can dictate many things. Some are more direct while others we won’t see further down the line.

With this in mind, here are some things you can consider when you are developing or growing a goal setting mindset.

Why Does Mindset Matter?

Knowing your mindset is one thing, but it’s another to know why it’s worth the effort. Why is it worth investing your time and effort into it?

The biggest reason is what was mentioned above: your overall path is dictated by your mindset, which is influenced by how you see the world. It is your overall mindset that is going to dictate your success or failure, how you cope with challenges, and more.[1]

It’s not to say all you need is a mindset to achieve success, but your mindset will affect every aspect of your life and will guide you forward.

If your mindset states that your job is terrible or that you won’t get very far, you’ll act accordingly. You won’t be working as hard or have little energy because you spend so much time dwelling on the fact your job is tiring or unfulfilling.

On the reverse, if you believe your work is purposeful, energizing, and fulfilling, you’ll wake up with potentially more energy and be generally happy to do work. There is always going to be some action – or inaction – based on your mindset.

How this translates to a goal setting mindset is that how you set, work, and achieve those goals is based on your view of the world. The actions and the specific details of those actions are all dictated by your view of your goals.

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It’s why some people who achieve a big goal feel stuck after they achieve it. Some people were only focused on one goal and didn’t diversify or have other things to aspire for.

All the same, some people will struggle because somewhere along the line, how you view yourself, your process, your goal, or any other aspect may not be ideal for you.

How Can I Develop A Goal-Setting Mindset?

As mentioned before, chances are likely that part of your goal setting mindset is flawed or it’s not serving you well. It’s used as a mental roadblock, and you use excuses to either ignore it and try to move on or feel paralyzed. You want to complete it but end up getting frustrated or come up with some excuse to not do it.

Like with most things, this is something that you can fix, and part of it is to develop your mindset further or differently. The series of actions you can do for this are numerous so there’s no superior method. Select one – or more – from the suggestions below and see what they can do for you.

1. Rethink Your Purpose

This can be broken into two sections: the goal itself and the reason to pursue this goal.

It’s these two particular aspects that shape your goal and can dictate your overall attitude.

Are you setting this goal because it makes you feel good? Or are you setting this goal because you want or need to achieve this?

Once you set goals that mean a lot to you and that you want to work towards, you’ll be able to tell the difference between these two aspects better. But the most notable difference between feel-good goals and actual goals is the desire to complete them.

This is where the second aspect kicks in – your reason, your why for starting. You’ll find feel-good goals don’t have a strong reason. It’s something that you can delay and you don’t consider the consequences. It’s something you can do later.

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But if your reason is deep enough, you’ll consider the goal and the tasks associated with it critical to your life. It’s the difference between you feeling satisfied with yourself at the end of the day or down. It’s something you always have to do no matter what.

Goals, in the end, are your purposes in life. They shouldn’t be dictated by outside forces. Make sure that the goals that you have are things that you really want to achieve.

2. Don’t Try, Make It Happen

Even the way you word things in your head or your speech can dictate your actions as well. Many people will say for their resolutions that they will “try” to do something. They never use “I will.” What happens after that is predictable. Three months later, they’re nowhere near their goal.

The problem in this case is the level of commitment one has to their goals in the first place. Like the previous point, if you’re lacking commitment, you’re not going to dig deep for a personal reason to do something. You’ll say things but not mean any of it.

My suggestion is to shift your mindset where you are more focused on making things happen. If you are committed to something, take the action and trust that you’ll get somewhere with this.

3. Look for Progression in Many Places

Naturally, progression towards a goal is great, and people want to see themselves moving the needle. But checking progress all the time can be bad as well.

What if you’re not progressing as quickly as you want or your expectations are too high for the results you received?

These things can cause people to lose motivation or feel like they’re wasting time going nowhere and give up. It’s during this time where I suggest that you look for progress in other areas.

For example, people can often get demoralized when their goal is to lose weight and notice that the weight scale isn’t changing much or at all despite their efforts. While most people give up or get discouraged, consider looking at other areas of your life. Do you find certain movements to be easier? Have you made any lifestyle changes? Are specific tasks easier to do?

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The point is by exercising, you may not be losing weight right now, but you are developing your muscles further and making them better than before.

Another way to look at this is to remind yourself that you are making more progress than someone who is still thinking of doing something rather than doing it – even if it doesn’t seem like it.

4. Upgrade Yourself

Sometimes you set ambitious goals – goals that are seemingly impossible to achieve right at this moment. That’s okay. The key to set larger goals is to understand that some goals demand a certain level of quality from you.

Recognize that to achieve some goals, perhaps you need to refine your skills in certain areas or to acquire new skills altogether. Whatever the case is, look at the various aspects needed to achieve what you want. Don’t be afraid to do some research and see what other people are talking about on the matter.

5. Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Fail

Another key aspect of a goal setting mindset is to understand that failure is okay. As much as you want to achieve a goal in one try, chances are you won’t. You’re going to fail or stall out or something.

The key is to not see these moments as something really bad. They’re setbacks sure, but it’s not the end of the road. All that’s needed from you at this point is to make some changes to your existing structure – how you are planning goals, setting goals, and taking action on them.

Remind yourself that failure is an opportunity for you to make things better than they were before. It’s a chance to regroup and make things better for you and that much easier to achieve your goals in the future. The only real downside is that failure can be a harsh blow to you at first.

6. Have Healthy Habits

While your goals are definitely important, it’s also worth looking at the other habits that you are developing.

For example, if your goal is to run a successful social media business or anything that demands you to be in front of a screen, chances are you’re exposing yourself to a lot of screen time.

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It’s easy for people to overindulge in those aspects and develop habits that cause them to be unproductive or distracted by other things. Furthermore, committing to time on a screen can translate to other aspects of their life declining as well.

The idea with this strategy is to look at what healthy habits do you have in your life and how much are they addressing your other aspects of life. This doesn’t just apply to things like eating healthy or exercising. Look at how much time you spend time with your partner, other people, and yourself.

7. Believe in Yourself

The last suggestion to develop a stronger goal setting mindset is to believe in yourself. As cheesy as it is, there is weight placed on your belief of yourself. It all comes back to your mindset.

If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to be as committed to something. You might even look at your failures as reasons to never try something like that again because it ended horribly due to your supposed lack of skill.

It’s easy to think that way and lead to a downward spiral of negativity, but deep down, you know that negativity isn’t true. All that you have to do is find a way to believe in yourself more and to keep working at it.

It’s surprising what sheer persistence and adaptability can do for you in accomplishing a goal. And it all starts with believing in yourself.

Final Thoughts

The ways of developing a goal setting mindset are endless, but each one is powerful in their own way. They can bring all kinds of revelations and understanding of how you are setting goals and how you can do them better to serve you.

From these methods alone, it’s easy to see how a mindset can change your entire attitude towards goals, so do consider trying these out. It could very well lead you to new heights and achievements.

More Tips for Building a Success Mindset

Featured photo credit: Franciele da Silva via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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