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Last Updated on December 3, 2020

How to Develop a Strong Goal Setting Mindset

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

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

9 Steps To Stop Dreaming and Start Doing

9 Steps To Stop Dreaming and Start Doing

Having a dream and being a dreamer are two different mindsets. Dreamers are drifters just floating through life with no real plans. One who has a dream, is a doer on the path towards achieving their goal.

Once you decide to remove your head from the clouds, tackle the obstacles that faceyou, and organize a plan of attack, you become a doer. If you are ready to put in the work, here are 9 steps to stop dreaming and start doing.

1. Accept responsibility for your own actions

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe

It is the most unattractive thing to hear someone constantly wine and complain about their life. Especially when they blame the world for their problems. The whole universe is probably against you, does not care about you, and will deceive you. This does not make any actions, or lack there of, on your behalf their fault. Say this statement out loud, “I am in control of my behavior and choose how to react to circumstances.” Say it everyday. Nothing is more true than that statement.

You can, and need, to start actively controlling your thoughts and emotions. Learn to control your rage when you are angry. When a negative thought slips in, push it right back out. This takes practice because we have been programmed by our environment to behave and think in certain ways. Fight to change your negativity, or you will remain a bitter and miserable person. Use your aggression in a positive way by working out, or put it into your work.

2. Give and receive love and forgiveness

“Learn how to fill your day with POSITIVITY. Think of how your ideas CAN work, not how it won’t work.” -Steve Harvey

Once you harness your inner power of controlling your thoughts and emotions, it is time to start focusing on positivity. The best way to start is by accepting others and forgiving the people who have caused you pain. Giving love and forgiveness really isn’t about giving at all. It is about you healing by letting go of negative relationships. If these people really love and care about you, they will fight for you. If you walk away and never hear from them again, you know they never cared, so why should you? Your grudges make you focus on people who do not deserve your time or attention. Anger leaves you feeling irrational, depressed, deceived, sad, regretful, and lonely. Learning to truly forgive those who hurt you will lift a thousand pounds of burden off your shoulders. You will free your mind and be able to start working on your dream.

3. Accept yourself

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Now that you are focusing on living a positive life, it is time to look in the mirror and love what you see. Physically and mentally. No one is perfect. It is time to accept that you will never be what society expects you to be. Follow your intuitions. Do not let someone else dictate your life. That only leads to a boring, predictable, miserable, and mediocre life. Do what makes you happy instead of just dreaming about it. Love yourself flaws and all.

4. Choose who you surround yourself with wisely

“We met for a reason, either you’re a blessing or a lesson.”

This journey will end many relationships in your life. The people who are not supportive, who are negative, and who use you, need to go! At first you may feel lonely and insecure. If you focus on you instead of them, these feelings will go away. It is time to move on. It is time to let go. The ones who truly care about you, respect you, and accept you for who you really are will stay. They will support you throughout your journey. These relationships will become more valuable to you than ever before. If you have given your all to a relationship, and they do not give back, stop chasing after them the next time they leave. You will thank yourself in the long run.

5. Learn to ignore the negativity from others

“I don’t know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” -Bill Cosby

Now that you are starting on your journey, you will have people who will try their best to pull you down. That’s why the steps above are necessary to complete before starting. If you have prepared yourself for the haters, you will be able to rise above. It is easier to criticize others than work on yourself. Knowing this gives you peace about where you are in life and where they are. You are obviously ahead, even if it doesn’t look like it to others. Keep moving on and let them talk.

6. Carefully layout your plans

“Failure is not the opposite of success, inaction is.” -Rois Liano

Freeing your mind from your emotional baggage gives you room to focus on your dreams. Now that you have a clear picture, it is time to take action. To be a doer, you need a game plan. Write your end goal at the top of a sheet of paper. Below, write out the steps you plan to take to get there in an organized, realistic fashion. Say your goal is to become a nurse. Your first step should probably be volunteering at your local hospital to see if you would really enjoy it. Next maybe list the schools you are interested in applying to. The third step could be to gather your necessary paperwork to apply to colleges. See what I am doing here? The sum of all the little tasks you do equals your goal. Lay it out in daily, weekly, monthly tasks that will get you closer to your dream.

7. Do SOMETHING, ANYTHING

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” -Henry David Thoreau

Many people will get to step 6 and stop. Your plan does not come to fruition magically. You have to now take action to get yourself there. So start researching, traveling, volunteering, writing, calling, interviewing, working out, or whatever opportunity you can find to get you moving forward. You may have to take on many different hats to get you there. Start where you can, do whatever you can, this is where the physical work begins.

8. Embrace failures and detours along the way

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison

We all have epic failures in life. It is time to stop viewing these failures as an end all. Failure is an inevitable part of success. Ask any highly successful person if they’ve ever failed, and they will tell you they have 100 times. Failure only means to try a different way. Start viewing failures as a positive experience. How can we learn without failing? Failures result from trying. People who avoid failures at all costs are content with a mediocre life. We are not these people. We want true happiness and inner peace. I remember going to work in a past career and absolutely dreading it. I now think about work and feel peaceful and happy. It’s still hard work, it’s just work that I am passionate about.

As you begin the journey of pursuing your dream, it may change a little, or a lot, along the way. Your passion is already programmed inside you. Uncover your God-given gift through this process and keep moving forward no matter what may come.

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9. Network and use resources to your advantage

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” -Chris Grosser

You will realize, eventually, that you need others to help you get to your goal. Whether it is in absorbing information and experience from them, or getting recognized for your talent. Look online for good informative websites, look for classes or lectures where you can learn and connect with others. Drop the pride and shamelessly promote yourself with your work and/or knowledge. Whatever you can find, whoever will help, take it seriously. Opening one door can lead to many more opportunities.

Start at step one. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. If you commit to these 9 steps to stop dreaming and start doing, you are facing your fears head on and taking a leap of faith. Congratulations, your life will now truly begin. Please note this will be hard and sometimes not fun. Stay focused, but don’t forget to take time to clear your mind and relax along the way. I hope you now feel inspired to step out of your comfort zone, and risk being happy.

“Dreams are like floating down a lazy river. The path to success is like riding a roller coaster. Find the courage to get on the roller coaster, and stay on the ride until you puke.” -Margaux Daughtry

Featured photo credit: Artem Bryzgalov via unsplash.com

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