My friend Dr Jessamy, super psychologist, author and TED speaker has kindly written some tips on goal setting.
How to set goals and keep them
Having goals that we can meet is essential to gain the most from life. They are a source of so many good things, helping us to set our intentions and make a conscious choice to ensure we’re living and working towards the life we want.
They help define our life, giving it purpose and significance. They act as an external measure of what we want like a map, telling you where to head. Providing focus and direction and giving us motivation, hope, increased positivity and confidence.
Carrying you through the darker days and teaching you that you can tolerate frustration, learn from mistakes, that it’s worth persevering as you see and feel the satisfaction in sticking with something and succeeding.
But, to gain these benefits they’ve got to be the right kind of goals, set in the right way:
Make a positive change
Goals work best when their aim is to make a positive change. Keep them simple, ensure they are realistic and achievable and make sure they are not pass or fail. Take time making them, if you make them too hastily they may only reflect how you were feeling at that time.
Think about your values
Ensure they fit with your values - the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. The easiest way to think about this is to consider what matters most to you? What you value in life and what makes you feel good?
What you do is as important as how you do it
Goals should be an addition to your life, rather than feel a burden. It’s important not to suffer in the pursuit of your goals or feel they are some kind of test of your self-worth.
Step out of your comfort zone
It's good to do things that mean you take a step out of your comfort zone. New experiences, new hobbies and challenging ourselves on a regular basis are massively important for maintaining good mental health, personal growth and improving self-esteem.
Have a mix of goals
Include small, medium and big goals. If it's a bigger goal, break it down so that it's clear what you'll need to do to achieve it. Have some goals that are outward focused - charitable, community based or involving others, so it's not all about you.
Enjoy the adventure
Planning a goal, should be like planning an adventure. It’s so important to enjoy the process, explore and gain from what you’re doing, learn and make mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you stop along the way or go off course - it’s about the adventure the goal takes you on rather than the destination. If you're only focused on the end point, you won't gain the full benefits.
Reserve the right to change your mind
Your goals don't need to be set in stone or last forever. I always reserve the right to change my mind! If it's not working or you don't like it, you can be pleased you tried it, but know it's not for you.