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Setting and reaching your goals–Guest Post

Posted Aug 19 2011 5:31pm

Hey everyone! While I’m traveling and making my way back to Japan, I have a wonderful guest post for you from Jesse at Cooks and Travel Books .

Everyone is always looking for a way to better themselves. American society itself is goal-oriented so much that we create lists to check off our goals and stay on track. We all want to accomplish our goals, but often we find ourselves falling behind or forgetting about them entirely. Let’s to look at five questions to ask yourself when goal-setting and answer ways to stay motivated to finish and cross those items off your to-do list.

Why is this a goal in the first place?

Ever do or say something and then realize you had no idea what you were thinking? It has happened to all of us at some point in our lives. Often times we set goals, whether for our careers, health, education or financially with no idea why. Use the SMART tool to identify your goals—specific or smart, measureable or meaningful, attainable or action-oriented, relevant or rewarding, and time-bound or track-able. There needs to be a reason or benefit for the goal, otherwise you could be doomed from the start.

What is the first step?

Perhaps just as exciting as coming up with a new goal is starting to work on it. We usually start off on the right foot anyway, but keeping a positive attitude in the beginning can go a long way. Do a quick search for some tips or ways to reach your goal. For example, for a career goal, maybe look up some ways for online training or ways to further your education. Also, don’t just keep the goal to yourself—let others know what you are trying to do so they can ask and help you along the way. The other necessary thing to do in the beginning is have a way of reminding yourself to stay on track. Putting a post-it note on your bathroom mirror or on your steering wheel can serve as a daily reminder to put you in the right frame of mind to start the day.

What can I do to make it easier?

We always want things to be easier in America. That is why we have TV remotes, drive-thru’s and microwaves. Well, when it comes to goal setting, there are a few steps you can take to make it easier on yourself. Sleep, a healthy diet and exercise, even if your goal is not physically-oriented, will give you the right frame of mind and help distract you from some of the challenges life causes to deflect you from reaching your goal. Also, be optimistic in your approach. They say attitude is everything, so if you don’t think you can do it, you probably won’t. One final tip is to not over think your goal. Don’t let it consume your thoughts all day and night.

When it gets tough, how do you stay motivated?

The excitement always seems to wear off after a week or two and then many people stop working towards their goals. The second motivation becomes really difficult, you need to count on others to push to the end. When you start losing motivation there is only one word that comes to mind—accountability. It’s tough to reach a goal without encouragement and support from friends and family. Surround yourself by people who will help you stick to the plan you make so they can hold you accountable for reaching your goal.

What do I do once I finish?

Once you finish a goal, it is time for a celebration. Have some kind of reward ready for yourself for all of the work you put into getting to that point. Also, work on keeping that goal you set a reality or move on to a new goal related to that, like train for a marathon after completing a 5K or work towards that promotion now that you are in a career that you are passionate about. If you don’t take the time to enjoy your goals, why even set it in the first place?

Thanks so much for the post Jesse. All of these tips are helpful when making any type of life change or tackling a new challenge!

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