The Importance of Writing Down your Goals
Ink it Don't think it!
You have probably heard before how it is very important to set goals for yourself and write them down. In fact there are many studies referenced online that show how people who write down their goals are more successful than those who don't. Below are the results from one such study conducted by Gail Matthews at Dominican University. Her study clearly showed those who wrote down their goals were significantly more likely to achieve their goals than those who just thought about what they wanted.
To improve your chances of achieving your goal even further you must vision it, measuring it, break it down and reward yourself along the way. At Vitale we use these tools to help people make positive health and lifestyle changes. Whether its to lose weight or to gain health the same goal setting tools are key to our clients success. Below is a summary of whats involved in goal setting. These principles can be used in any area of your life that you'd like to change.
Visioning for Success
One of the first things you have to do when you're setting yourself any goal is to vision it. In your minds eye you need to see what success looks like. If you can't imagine it and see it clearly then it will be so much harder to reach. This is about knowing exactly what you want and spending a bit of time making that desire a reality in your mind. This part can be difficult for some people but if you spend a bit of time at it you might even enjoy it. Its basically day dreaming but with a purpose. See yourself at your goal, imagine how you'll look, how you'll feel, what people will be saying to you. Basically anything that will make it feel more real. You can use all your senses to make the vision come to life. Visioning allows you to enjoy the feeling of success even before you achieve it.
Make it Measurable
Once you've created your vision you must now work out how you'll measure it. In other words how will you know when you've achieved it. If your goal is weight related then you might think measuring it is as simple as stepping on a scales but many of my clients see results in their clothes long before they see it on the scales so try using other measures, for example a favourite pair of jeans that are just that little bit too tight. Watch as they start to fit comfortably and then watch as they start to look too big. Then you've a new problem of where to buy them again but this time in a smaller size. Now thats a good problem to have :-) If your goal is health related then take note of your physical symptoms (bloating, heartburn, dry skin, tired all the time) and each week look back on your week and see how far you've come. Write down the time frame in which you want to achieve your goal. Make sure that your time frame is realistic.
Break it Down
Our goals often can't be achieved in one step. We need to break them down into smaller goals. So for example if you'd like to lose a stone in 7 weeks then this is a loss of 2lb a week. Breaking your goals down makes them less daunting and more manageable. If you image your goal is at the top of a ladder, you can't jump from the ground to the top of the ladder you have to take each rung one at a time. The same principle applies to your goals. You will reach your goal if you take it one small step at a time.
As you go through this journey you shouldn't wait until the very end to feel a sense of achievement. Each step of the journey should be rewarded and celebrated. When you set your smaller goals tell yourself what you'll do for yourself when you achieve them. Think of things you like doing but maybe you don't get to do enough and give yourself permission to do that and enjoy it guilt free when you achieve your goal. E.g. taking a long bath. Avoid using food or alcohol as a reward :-)
As you move through each small goal its important to keep reminding yourself of your vision and why you're doing this. This will provide motivation and determination to keep going. Remember if things aren't going to plan then you can change the path but don't change the destination. Each day remind yourself of something you achieved yesterday. Don't focus on your perceived failures but instead focus on your positives. This way you are far more likely to achieve your goals. It can be tough doing all this alone so if you'd like the support of an expert coach then please contact either myself or Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.
Thanks for reading.