Have you started every new year with a list of important goals, but lost your motivation somewhere around Valentines Day? Goal setting can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it correctly, or if you don’t know how to stay motivated until you are successful. However, when you understand the process, suddenly goal setting becomes easy and exciting. Here’s how…
Imagine you are planting a garden
You, decide how you want your garden to look, what you want to plant, buy the necessary seeds, fertilizer, and equipment, put on your gardening clothes and your gardening gloves so your hands don’t get all muddy, and you start digging.
When you have a garden you plant the seeds, nurture them with water and fertilizer, keep the weeds out and trust the plants will grow and blossom when the time is right for them.
It works the same way with goal setting. Follow these steps for your personal or professional goals and you will soon be living a life that becomes a bountiful harvest.
Choose Your Seeds
Writing down your goals is like planting the seeds. Write a detailed description of each goal – the more detailed the better. Most goals fail to materialize because they are too vague. So, instead of writing “I want a new car,” describe your new red convertible with the black leather seats.
Make sure your goals are realistic, and that they are not in conflict with each other. You should be able to believe that they are attainable.
Feelings are Important
When you understand the feelings you will get when you achieve your goal, you will become more motivated to stick with your goal setting tasks. Next to each goal write the feeling you hope to get from reaching your goal. For example you might want:
- Success or accomplishment
- Social acceptance
Win the Battle with Your Mind with Visualization
When you feel that you deserve your goal, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it, you have won the biggest battle – the battle with your mind.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself as if you already have attained the goal and are experiencing the feelings that go along with it. Feel the joy and satisfaction of owning your new home, the prestige of having attained your college degree, the excitement of your new red convertible.
Then start acting as if you already have your goal. If your goal is a new home, start shopping for furniture. If your goal is a college education, call the college for an application.
Nurture Your Seedlings
Now that you are clear about your goals it is necessary to nurture them. You must water and fertilize your seeds.
- Decide what tasks need to be done, and what tools and training you will need.
- Each evening simply ask yourself, “What can I do today to get closer to my goal?”
- Then make a list of three to six things to do, and schedule time to do them. If you don’t accomplish them all in one day don’t beat up on yourself. Simply carry the unfinished tasks over to the next day.
- At the end of each day write down what you accomplished in a notebook or calendar so you can keep track of your progress.
- Ask for encouragement, but only from people who have a personal interest in your progress and who will be thrilled about your success.
Celebrate as You Reap Your Harvest
Celebrating your progress is a big part of staying motivated on a daily basis. As your garden grows celebrate each step along the way. Celebrate the first bud, the first flowers, the tiny little green strawberries, and finally, the delicious, sweet, ripe, red strawberries.
Plant a garden of goals today, so that tomorrow your life will become a delicious feast.
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