In Health on Sunday 21st May, 2017

Be a goal-scorer to keep low feelings at bay

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Research shows that people who have goals to achieve are healthier, have a greater sense of self-confidence, and enjoy better social relationships.

Sometimes life gets in the way of pursuing a goal, or more pressing matters temporarily take your attention, so not always racing toward an outcome you want is natural.

But experts believe that some people avoid setting goals entirely due to a fear of failure.

However, if you think about it, while trying and failing to do something doesn’t feel that good, the only person you’re letting down is you, you’re more likely to be disappointed in yourself if you never tried at all.

So, if you’d like to try goal-setting to get some more direction in your life, here are some simple tips.

Setting goals

Starting with reasonable goals will start you down the path of achieving what you want.

Writing down your goal or goal is a great first step for a few reasons; not only will you better remember what you hope to achieve, it helps you visualise the steps you need to get there.

Write down those steps, plus the emotional outcome you expect from goal being achieved. Put in as many details as you can – the more details you add, the more ‘real’ the goal feels and the less likely there is to be a surprise that will stop you from achieving it.

Share your goal

The next step is to tell someone, because you’re are more likely to finish a task if there is someone to hold you accountable for doing so.  

If you’re feeling confident, spread the word wider than family and friends by sharing your goals on social media, so people can support you with ‘likes’ and keep you on track by checking back with you for progress reports.

Break your goal into steps

Now you have your high-level plan and have talked to people about your goal, it’s time to get down to the detail.  Break each goal down into individual steps and set a timeframe for achieving each one.

Make sure that the first step is something that you can do today – getting started straight away will help keep your motivation up and cut the chances that you’ll procrastinate.

Check back on your planned steps every day to make sure that you are ticking them off the list. But don’t be afraid to rework the steps if need be because you might have to come up new ones to get around unforeseen obstacles – just make sure you act on them as quickly as possibly so you don’t lose momentum.

Celebrate your achievements

Don’t forget to celebrate your completion of a goal or reward yourself in some way. You can go big with a party or just buy a little something you want or enjoy a special treat at home.

Whatever it is, rewarding yourself is important because doing so trains your subconscious to be more goal-oriented.

No goal is too large or too small to fit within this framework – some may just require more steps than others. The more things that you can achieve today also helps ensure that you will have the drive to achieve what you need to tomorrow.

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