As a coach, I work with people to help them understand what they really want; to test what is realistic enough to achieve and then create the confidence, time, and support to get started and keep going. Here are my top 5 suggestions to help you set your own personal or professional goals.
- Write down what you want—use positive statements. Generally, people are more motivated by what they want than by what they don’t want. For example: “I want to exercise regularly so that I am healthier and have more energy.” Once you have written your goal down, put it where you can see it often.
- Make your goal realistic. For example: “What do I mean by ‘regular’ exercise? How much time/money can I afford to spend on my goal? When, specifically, will I work on it, and when do I think I will achieve it by?”
- Break your goal down into achievable chunks. Big goals can seem overwhelming and this makes them difficult to start.
- Think about how you will know that you are making progress towards your goal—i.e., the “evidence”—and make it as measurable as possible. For example: “I will go to the gym twice a week. I will be able to walk up the stairs in my house without running out of breath. I will start to feel more comfortable in my clothes.”
- Reward yourself. With the example of exercise, this can be something as simple as giving yourself a little pat on the back every time you step into the gym, or treating yourself to a nice meal when you achieve a significant goal.