Setting the right goals

Setting the right goals

This weekend I uploaded drawing number 100 to my Sea Life Art website – woop woop! It was a goal of mine that naturally evolved; in January 2019 the mission was “draw once a week”, then in January 2020 I said “let’s reach 100 sea life drawings”. Boom, job done!

Now I am all for setting goals that test us, goals that scare us. Goals that make family and friends raise an eyebrow or say “good luck with that”. People will often project themselves on others, so if they can’t imagine doing it, they won’t see you doing it. Disbelief or doubt is a great motivator, but it can add an element of pressure. That said; pressure forms diamonds, and as that old saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again”. Goal setting is an ongoing process, the bigger your goals, the more time and planning you should allocate. Never let failure or a setback keep you down, brush yourself off and get back to work.

Breaking down bigger goals into smaller ones can really help, I’d suggest you do this. It is a fact that some tasks will be accomplished much quicker than others, this helps generate momentum. For example; I didn’t say “draw 100 pictures in 12 months”, some momentum was needed first. I also didn’t say, “draw 100 pictures and add them to a website”, the idea of a website came later.

Setting goals is important, however we all need to celebrate and acknowledge our achievements, taking stock is important too. We should also adapt and develop our goals, thus keeping momentum and forming good habits. So once you have climbed that first mountain, set your sights on the next.

Goal setting tips

I thought I’d list out five tips for setting goals. Please note; this is what works for me. Everyone is different, so keep experimenting and find out what works best for you. So, in no particular order (drum roll please);

1. Write down your goals

This one is pretty obvious and every “how to achieve your goals” blog post / book will probably mention it! It’s important to have your goals written down somewhere you can see them. I have had 100’s of notepads and journals over the years, however over the past few years I’ve used Apple Notes as it syncs with my iPhone, Mac and iPad. Utilising technology is advised, maybe experiment with apps. I’d say use what works best for you, just make sure your goals for the week, month and year ahead are listed somewhere you can access them…

2. Form good habits

There is a saying in computer tech “rubbish in, rubbish out” which covers many things in life. Be it food, fitness, mindset, business, relationships etc… Forming good habits can really help with other areas of your life, a healthy body and mind is better equipped to deal with challenges and keep you focused on your goals. Take a look at your habits and daily routines, will any of them hold you back? For example; you want to quit smoking but all your friends smoke. Or, you want to loose weight but your work lunch is a Mac Donald’s. We can all do little things each day to help us achieve our goals, but great rewards often require great sacrifice…

3. Make time for visualisations

Get your end goal crystal clear in your mind, how will you feel, how will you look, who will you thank, who will you help etc… I often think about a future time and place, this tends to be when I am out on a run. The gurus say that visualisations can really help to motivate and keep direction clear in your mind. When researching business, success and personal development, the process of visualisations crops up a lot. Here is a quote from the great Muhammad Ali, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it”…

4. Zoom out!

Don’t judge your performance or successes based on a day or even a week, zoom out and take stock of the bigger picture. It’s important to accept that not every minute of every day will be productive. It is a fact, there will be many temptations, failures and distractions along the way. A devil and an angel sits on all our shoulders, whispering sweet nothings. But when we zoom out we can better view trends and patterns in life, what has worked, what went wrong etc. If you feel low or are questioning your goals then try zooming out 12 or 24 months. What has changed for the better, what has held you back…

5. Find your anchor, your purpose, your why

Most of us do things for a reason, maybe it is to provide for our family, put dinner on the table, prove the doubters wrong, obtain a better quality of life, escape our past etc… Identifying your why can help to channel energy and make goals tangible. Picking the right anchor is also pretty important, if your goal in life is “make loads of money” then I wish you every success. But I’d suggest focusing on something more than a future bank balance. If a bag of money sat in the middle of the road and a lorry was driving at speed towards it, I would not risk my own life to grab it! But if it was my two boys in the road, there would be no hesitation or doubt. Now this is the kind of anchor I’m talking about, seek out something bigger than riches, something you’d die for…

Goal setting conclusion

Don’t wait for 2021 or a New Year to set your goals, start when you are ready. Make sure you set aside some time for reflection and ask “are my goals aligned with my vision of the future?”. Most importantly, find your why and make sure this forms part of that vision, it will become your motivation! Remember that goal setting is difficult, so don’t worry about failure or bumps in the road, these will form part of your journey.

Ok, I think that’s that! I hope you found some value in this post? What ever you decide to do next in relation to your goals and dreams, I wish you every success! We are all in this together, so feel free to ping me a message via the social media accounts below, it would be cool to connect. Until next time…

P.s. please check out Sea Life Art

Posted: 6th September 2020.

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