We all have things we want to be better at, do more of, and accomplish. It can be useful to spend time thinking about the things which are important in our lives, and focus more of our attention to doing them.
Once you’ve discovered what these things are, you can set some goals to help you achieve them.
What are your goals?
You don’t just have to think about your goals at 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve! Take some time to think about what you’d like to achieve.
Here are some broad goal categories:
- Becoming healthier
- Advancing your career
- Improving your relationships
- Learning and education
- Travelling and discovering
- Supporting your community.
We’ve all got strengths – discovering yours with the al can be a great help when it comes to goal setting. You can focus on getting better at using your highest level strengths, or conversely you can focus your attention on your lower level strengths. Either is great!
Make your goals SMART!
Once you know what you want to focus your attention on, make sure the resulting goal is clear and reachable. Goals should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
The science of achieving your goals
- Write them down and tell your friends: write down your goals or tell them to your friends and you’ll be more likely to achieve them.
- Fantasising can undermine goal achievement: Even though it’s tempting, research suggests that fantasising too much about your dream job or any other major goal can undermine success. It’s all about expectations.
- Try to stay optimistic: While easier said than done, keeping an optimistic mindset appears to enable people to deal with stress more effectively, cope with difficult life events, and recover more quickly from disappointments — all key to goal achievement. Looking on the bright side actually is good for you, and an effective way to help reach your goals. For tips on becoming more optimistic explore the Mind Your Head section of our website.
When we face a daunting task, sometimes the hardest part is getting started.
To help you overcome that big initial hurdle, goal visualisation asks you to describe a short-term goal and to visualise the steps you will take to achieve it.
In the process, it helps build your confidence that you will be able to reach that goal.
Try some goal visualisation