This could be one of the most important posts you have read about goal-setting in a long time. That is why I ask for a little bit coorperation! Think about the last time you were setting a goal for yourself. You probably have one right now. What is that goal? What kind of a long-term goal do you have right now? Write that down, right now, before you read any further. I will add a nice picture of a thesaurus (and a real dinosaur) here, so you don’t know yet why you have to write it down!
Alright, done? I’ll bet you have written down anything like: Exercise more/Study more/Eat healthier/Spend time with family more/become leaner/play less video games.
This means not a clear goal, just a vague discription. If this is correct, read on. If you don’t have a vague goal, you can skip this post.
What is the problem with a vague goal?
What’s wrong? Everything. When you are writing a goal down, and it isn’t concrete, you can never control it. You can never look back at the week and ask yourself ‘Did I exercise more?’ because you can always answer with yes! ‘Yes, I’ve walked to class instead of taking the car’. So what? That is exercising more, but not nearly enough. ‘I didn’t took that pizza slice the other day.’ Ok, but what did you take? If you don’t have anything you can control, it won’t work!
The other thing is that you will tell people about your goal (‘I want to study more’), but they can’t control you! When they are asking you: ‘Did you study enough this week?’ You can say: ‘Yeah, I’ve been paying attention at the lecture monday.’ ‘But you haven’t studied chapter 5?’ ‘No, but I did study more because I have been paying attention, right?’ Foolish.
Start defining your goals
Stop with the vague goals and start defining it in hard number you can control and get feedback on. ‘I want to exercise more’ becomes ‘I want to run 2 times a week’. ‘I want to study more’ becomes ‘I want to read 4 chapters a week’. ‘Eat healthier’ becomes ‘At least 4 meals with vegetables’ and so on. This makes your goal controlable. You can check yourself if you have completed the goal or not. Other can ask you whether you are doing good on the goal or not and they can help you.
Giving a good definition to a goal isn’t easy, but it makes completing the goal way easier. Take a little bit of time right now to define your goal. Look at what you have written down and make the goal a nice goal with numbers and everything. Start execute it and have fun reaching and completing the goal!
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