Sunday, February 28, 2021

Tips for Reaching Your Goal

Motivational Wheel of Planning

Maybe you intend to lose thirty pounds. Or perhaps you want to finish writing the next Great American Novel, clean out the garage so you can get the car inside, or chart your family tree. Whatever your goal is, here are a few tips to help you reach it.

Think about your goal as an end product. Then think about the process of achieving that product. Now you can change your thinking from reaching the end result goal to working your way along the process.

Divide the procedural path toward your goal into several smaller subgoals or intermediate endpoints along the path. Create a map that follows your process path and gets you to the final goal. Write it or print it out and post it where you will see it often.

Make a To Do list of tasks along the path to each subgoal from the prior subgoal or from your starting point. Put those items into your daily calendar. Check them off as you do them each day. You are trying to establish these actions as habits.

Think of appropriate rewards. These can be tiny for accomplishing your daily To Do. Maybe sitting quietly and listening to one song by your favorite artist after you have filled one trash bag of discards from the garage. Rewards can also be more substantial for reaching an intermediate goal point. How about downloading a new novel for your e-reader once you have written and edited three more chapters? Rewards should not interfere with your progress. If your goal is weight loss, don’t reward yourself with a candy bar.

Find your motivators and use them. This can be inviting a friend to exercise with you every day on Zoom. It could be attaching your goal to a cause, such as choosing a charity to support as you use your treadmill. It could be posting your progress on Facebook or magneting a snapshot of yourself in a swimsuit to the refrigerator door.

Allow yourself some flexibility. Things happen, situations change, and you may need to adjust your subgoals or even your goal. Remember, some progress is better than none.

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