Joanne explains, ‘I think I’m a bit lazy because I haven’t achieved the last few goals I’ve set myself.’ Whenever I hear this line from clients, I know that chances are, those goals weren’t the right goals for them and that’s why they failed to achieve them, not because they are inherently ‘lazy’ or a ‘procrastinator’.
Are you lazy or do you just need clarity on what you truly want to achieve and on the factors that can help or hinder you when pursuing your goals? In my new book, Resilient Me: How to worry less and achieve more, I share a wealth of research-based insights that have helped my clients achieve their goals in a short space of time but for now let me share just a few quick tips with you as you embark upon your new year goals in 2018.
Rule 1: Set Goals You’re Truly Motivated To Achieve
When we set goals we’re not truly motivated to achieve, we can begin to associate our lack of progress with our abilities or our personality rather than recognising that it just wasn’t the right goal for us. It’s incredibly difficult to put in all the blood, sweat and tears for a goal you don’t really care about that much so avoid setting goals for these three flawed reasons:
- Because it’s how you were raised. Don’t let how you were raised in the past dictate where you’ll consider going in your future. Times have changed, opportunities have changed, society’s attitudes have changed, and real world risks have changed (e.g. jobs aren’t necessarily any more secure now than self-employment). Life is about taking calculated risks: ensure you have a driving motivation to achieve your goal and know you can handle the worse case scenario.
- Because your biological clock is ticking. Always look at the whole picture; don’t just pursue one goal at the cost of other goals. For example, your biological clock may be ticking but that doesn’t mean you should commit your life to a partner who doesn’t treat you right just because you’re 40 years old and want to have a baby. You also need to consider other factors such as how it will impact your life and your well-being, and the child’s, if you are raising a child in an unhealthy relationship.
- Because others are achieving those sorts of goals. Just because others in your life are achieving certain goals doesn’t mean goals of the same type or the same magnitude are right for you right now. Be thoughtful about where you are in your life at this moment, where you realistically want to get to and when by, and that you are setting those goals because you are desperate to achieve them for you, not because others think you should or because others are achieving similar things. If you can easily live without a thing, you won’t have the motivation to see you through all the challenges and so you’ll struggle to achieve that goal anyway.
Rule 2: The Support Of Significant Others Matters
A large body of research demonstrates that when the significant people in our life have a positive attitude towards our behaviour, for example, the methods we employ for achieving a goal, we experience greater motivation. So, it’s important to ensure the important people in your life support the methods you intend to employ for achieving a goal, otherwise their discomfort may lead to your demotivation. If they don’t currently support your choices, find out why and what would need to change for you to get their support. For example, they may be more inclined to support your weight loss methods involving exercising at home or in a gym than you going running outdoors in the dark.
Rule 3: Emotion Regulation Is Vital
If you’re frequently in a negative emotional state, you’re going to find it very difficult to achieve your goals for a number of reasons including a lack of motivation, a lack of self-belief, and an inability to problem-solve, plan actions and make decisions well. Whilst I cover a whole range of research-based emotion regulation strategies that are quick, easy and enjoyable, here are three of them, with examples included:
- Socialising – seeing family/friends at home, going for a meal with your partner, going out dancing on the town, attending a meet-up or interest group;
- Indulging interests or hobbies – arts and crafts, computer games, hiking, dancing, reading, playing a musical instrument;
- Being spiritual – praying, meditating, attending places of worship, reading religious books.
Achieve your 2018 goals with help from my new book: Resilient Me: How To Worry Less and Achieve More (paperback, Kindle, audiobook, ebook)