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Published on July 6, 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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Published on August 4, 2020

How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

SMART goal setting is one of the most valuable methods used by high achievers today to actualize their life goals time after time. SMART goal setting is the inverse of random or carefree goal setting without strategy.

Perhaps, you’ve always wished to get back in shape, get an annuity, or take control of your finances, but you failed to act. When you approach your goals with a care-free and nonchalant attitude, you’re less likely to achieve them.

You should have a strategic goal setting method in place, and learning how to set smart goals is imperative in this case. The method is time-tested and purposeful, meaning it can help you achieve your goals now.

To achieve your goals consistently and join the pack of high achievers out there who have consistently achieved many of their goals, you must be prepared to do what these people have been doing, and be ready to do the right thing: SMART goal setting.

What Is the SMART Model for Setting Goals?

SMART goal setting is a goal-setting method that considers certain factors about a goal relative to the person setting it. These factors are simply the five different letters in the SMART acronym for goal setting.

It is relative to the person setting the goal because what is true for A may not be true for B; or what is possible for A or within A’s ability to achieve may not be possible for B or within B’s ability to achieve.

What does the goal setting acronym SMART stand for?

  • S—Specific
  • M—Measurable
  • A—Achievable
  • R—Realistic/Relevant
  • T—Time-bound

Is it possible that this acronym can make a long lasting impact in your life?

Is it possible that a mere goal setting metric like SMART can help you achieve so many of your unfulfilled goals?

Is it possible that if you practice SMART goal setting, you will be able to have faster results, understand your goals better, overcome the habit of procrastination, and achieve a lot?

The power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

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It is important to extend the inquiry by asking: How many times have you said you’ll do “X,” but failed to do so?

We all have goals, and we all have 24 hours each day at our disposal. While some people find it easy to achieve their goals without procrastinating, some find it difficult to do so.

For some people who have succeeded again and again in achieving their goals, they have simply found an easy way of doing this. Is there something they know that you don’t?

How Smart Goal Setting Makes a Lasting Impact

Smart goal setting examples can be found all around you. Through SMART goal setting, Stephen Cooley was able to grow his real estate business to the point of closing at $110 million in sales when the average price point of homes was between $100,000 – $200,000 in South Carolina[1].

Through SMART goal setting, Steve Jobs was able to improve the fortunes of Apple and prevent the company from going bankrupt, even when it had barely 90 days left before being declared so.

SMART goal setting can make a lasting impact in your life in several ways.

Make Your Goal Clearer

When you use the SMART criteria to set goals, it is easier for you to understand the various phases of your goal.

By using SMART goal setting, you’re able to ask yourself relevant questions pertaining to your goal.

Motivate You Into Acting on Your Goals

When you use SMART goal setting and break down the goal into smaller goals or milestones, the bigger goal no longer looks intimidating or impossible.

Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, wrote in his book How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be about how they applied the rule of five in marketing their book, Chicken Soup, and were able to make the book a best seller after some months[2]. The rule of five simply means doing five specific things every day that will move you closer to achieving your goal.

In order not to be overwhelmed, you would have to measure your performance using the right metrics. Here we are considering the Measurable and Achievable aspects of the SMART acronym. It is critical that you measure yourself in terms of lead measures.

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What are lead measures? They are the things you do that leads you closer to your goals. On the other hand, you would have to avoid “lag measures.”

While lag measures mean a successful outcome that you wished for and got, they can be emotionally draining and deceitful because, whenever they don’t happen, you can become discouraged.

Therefore, it is better to stick to lead measures.

Help You Save Time

You can achieve more when you use SMART model goal setting.

To be strategic, your goal would have to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If you can’t identify any of these points in your goal, you probably will be wasting your time on a wild goose chase.

When your goals are written down, it’s easier for you to go into action mode.

Improve Your Self-Discipline

Self-improvement is an important thing for everyone to do periodically. When you set SMART goals, it makes you realize that you have to sit up and work on achieving them.

How to Set SMART Goals

See the source image

    To make your SMART goals work, use the following tips:

    Specific

    Every goal ought to be specific. It is important to guard against making vague goals because even when they have been achieved, you may not know. This is because you weren’t specific enough.

    For example, “I will start planning toward retirement” is vague. Rather than write that, you could say, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan.” This is more specific.

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    When you are specific on your goal, it’s easier for you to identify all its components and work accordingly toward achieving it.

    Measurable

    Your goals must be measurable. When they are measurable, it’s easier for you to follow through.

    A goal like this is not measurable: “I want to make millions of dollars.” You can make it more measurable by saying, “I want to make one million dollars selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each.”

    Also, using our SMART goal setting examples while explaining the Specific acronym, you can make the goal more measurable by saying, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month.”

    Achievable

    How realistic or actionable is your goal? Is it practical enough to fit into a given time frame? Is it something you are able to achieve in your capacity?

    You would only be setting yourself up for failure if you sets goals that are not reasonable.

    A goal like this is highly unrealistic and, therefore, not achievable: “I want to be the Governor of Texas in six months,” especially since the elections will be coming up in three years.

    Goals must be written down relative to the experiences of the one setting them. They must resonate with you. It is important that you have at least some of the resources needed to actualize this goal.

    It is also important that you consider your time frame. When the time frame to achieve a complex goal is too short, it is rare that such goal will be completed.

    Thus, using our previous example, if you write “I want to make one million dollars in ten days selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each,” you would only be setting up yourself for failure.

    This is especially true if you’re not a popular author or if you’ve never sold even up to one thousand copies of any of your previous books, whether e-copy or in print.

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    Realistic/Relevant

    Before you proceed to making the commitment toward that goal, you need think about how realistic and relevant it is.

    Being realistic means you should be willing to make all the commitments required for that goal to be achieved. If your goal is relevant, it fits into the life you’ve imagined for yourself.

    Time-Bound

    Every goal must have a commencement date and an end date written down. It is also important that you break down your goals into phases, chunks, bits, or milestones.

    The act of having deadlines set to your goals is ample motivation that drives you into action. Without a deadline, it is not possible for you to know if you’re making headway with your goals.

    “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month for the next twenty five years” is a time-bound goal.

    Remember that some goals are short-term while some are long-term. It is important to always bear this in mind, because this will help you in making a clear and realistic strategy when SMART goal planning.

    Without SMART goal setting in view, much of our goals may likely end in our minds, on paper, or just midway into implementation. SMART goal setting reveals to us all the action points of our goals and helps us to have an awareness of every aspect of our goals.

    The Bottom Line

    What matters at the end of the day is what you do with the contents of this article because the power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

    It is not enough to have a goal. It is not enough to put it down in writing. It is important to have a strategy in mind while putting it down. This strategy is a guideline or set of rules that point you in the right direction. It is SMART goal setting in the given circumstance.

    After writing down your goals, you will have to be ready to take action. There should be a clear action point. Write down what you need to do on daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

    When your goals are realistic, they make them worth the chase. One of the things to bear in mind is that, in order not to be overwhelmed by the daunting nature of your goals, remember to always break them into milestones, chunks, or bits. In fact, take one day at a time.

    Do not bother yourself with the one-year, three-year, five-year or ten-year plan as this may likely overwhelm you with fear and doubt. Let your focus be on each day. What will I be doing today? Consider this and go for it.

    More on the SMART Model for Setting Goals

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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