Many people have goals, and while they are great to have it can be very difficult to achieve them. Look at New Year’s Resolutions as an example! Have you ever set some New Year’s Resolutions and after, I don’t know, three months not only have you not achieved them, but you no longer focused on them? Procrastination may have taken over, or perhaps other factors came into play where they were no longer important. The same happens for those who set goals for many people the world over it becomes a sort of hit-or-miss objective for many.
In my experience, the best way to achieve your goals is by changing either conscious or unconscious behavior that doesn’t support you in achieving your goals. When I was younger I wanted to work out more, so I set myself a goal to do so. unfortunately, I was not getting anywhere with my goal because I just didn’t have enough time during the week to get to the gym. I became frustrated and gave up the goal of improving myself through exercise almost as quickly as the original desire had arisen. It wasn’t until a friend of mine asked me how my resolve for betterment through exercise was going and I had to reply with “I gave the idea up”, did it dawn on me that I was only letting myself down by not striving for a better outcome in my health. I sat down, wrote a list of all I did in a day and found I had been wasting time on trivial things that were not at all beneficial in my day to day activities. I decided if I could stop my day to check my phone 20 times during a work day to see what was happing on Facebook, I simply left it to the side and finished my tasks so that I could be done with my day and generate time to focus on my health. By allowing my 500 friends on Facebook to wait for my intrigued eyes until the end of the day, I ultimately created time for me to finish my work in a timely manner and head to the gym for an hour a day, four days a week.
Changing behaviors can be a daunting task. People frequently dissociate goal setting and behavior change, yet the two go hand-in-hand. It takes desire and willpower combined to achieve a suitable outcome. Changing our behaviors in order to achieve our goals is something most of us want to do, yet forego due to it being such a formidable task. I am guilty of noticing a behavior I find undesirable within myself and assuming I will address it in the future rather than immediately: generally waiting until later makes it worse. Prolonging the inevitable ends up creating more work for yourself, therefore finding a realistic approach straightaway is harmonious to success.
How To Change Your Behavior
How you do one thing is how
you do most things…
One great thing you can do to get started is by creating a Goal Setting Plan.
While you are writing your Goal Setting Plan make notes of your general behavior. For example, with our goal to save money, you should ask yourself questions. What do you spend money on? How often? Are you an impulse buyer? Asking yourself questions can generate a lot of insight. Pay close attention to the behavior which contributes to your over-spending and find productive ways to deter your impulses.
When laying out our goals, decide where your focus is and begin writing down what exactly you want to achieve. Once this is done, write down what you think it will take to achieve your goal. Be sure to include common obstacles that could arise and tentatively accommodate for them. I have found it helpful to be as specific as possible when mapping out my goal setting plan. For example, if your goal is to save money, decide on an amount (it’s important to set a practical amount as your goal) and write down how you plan to save. This plan should include a reasonable breakdown of weekly goals you’ll need meet in order for your goal to come to fruition.
Some tips that can help you when designing your Goal Setting Plan
When we are honest with ourselves verbally or in written word, it is easier to make changes. Facing who we are and how we behave is daunting as previously stated, but we provide for ourselves a unique opportunity to grow and excel in life by doing so.
Nothing is worse than setting an unattainable goal, not reaching it, and giving up entirely. If you set an unrealistic goal the likeliness of achieving the goal is tremendously slim. When we set ourselves up for failure we often tend to become too discouraged to reconfigure our original desire for change. By setting realistic goals we can then find a groove or niche by which to reach the destination of success. If you set a realistic goal and can’t achieve this, do not be disheartened, this may simply mean you need to make a new adjustment to your chosen behavior change or tweak your goal to accommodate for unforeseen influences that may have deterred you.
Give Yourself Deadlines
Setting a goal is great, as well as changing your behaviors to achieve your goals, but if you don’t give yourself a timeline you run the risk of falling short. If you want to quit smoking be sure to have a date that you are quitting and be sure to plan for what it will take throughout the days or weeks you have until that date. Understand that planning ahead can not account for those hidden things which may arise causing you to light-up more on one day and not the next. This is not a failure that should stop you from quitting, but rather a reminder that you have to keep the desire to quit and the willpower to do so close at hand. If something like this happens simply remind yourself that not every day can be a win and there is nothing wrong with learning from that heavy smoking day an adjust your plan accordingly.
Ask for help. Enlist the positive people in your life to give support to your cause. Yes, ultimately it is entirely up to you to change your behavior and achieve your goals, however you may be surprised to see just how many people in your life want to see you succeed. Often collaboration is the key to success.
Nothing lasts long without incentive to push it along. Reward yourself for your smaller accomplishments as a reminder how well you are doing in your pursuit of your end goal. Paying yourself greatly improves your chances of success. Otherwise, you run the risk of “burnout”.
In summary, achieving your goals by changing behavior is a tricky thing to do, but with the understanding of its difficulty and how to use it to our benefit gives us the upper hand when working toward our goals. There is always something to change, to make better, to focus on, it’s getting there that is the tough part. We can all have what we want, as long as we focus on the attainable and never the unreachable. Remember to be honest with yourself and always set yourself up for success by accepting the need for change.