We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using personal goals as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Personal goals arouse and sustain motivation.
Everyone dreams of success, but some struggle towards it. They don’t know what to do and when to do it. They feel motivated, but don’t know how to translate motivation into action.
What do they need? Personal goals.
Your personal goals perform like a To Do list. A To Do list usually outlines daily chores like walking the dog, fixing the car, etc. It’s the normal plan you tick off throughout the day. On the other hand, personal goals outline the distant future. They show not only today and tomorrow’s plans, but next year or decade’s.
I know planning your future seems like a scary prospect, but personal goals work wonders for motivation for two reasons:
1. An Action Plan
You will afford a long Caribbean holiday this time next year. How? You will pay off the mortgage within 10 yrs. How? You will top the career ladder in 20 yrs. How?
A vague goal like ‘I’ll get promoted soon’ is pointless. If you aim for success by ‘winging it’ then you’ll be disappointed. Disappointment hurts motivation. Feeling demotivated, some people give up their goals and dreams. They accept their current existence, and plod along for the rest of their lives feeling ‘okay’.
You won’t do this.
Planning ahead outlines how the little things add up to something big. I’ll demonstrate by using the work promotion example.
‘Wing it’ Method: You wait around for the next promotion, even if it takes years. When a new role becomes available, you spend the week sucking up to the manager. Didn’t get promoted? Don’t worry. There’ll be another promotion one day…
Personal Goals Method: You impress the boss all year round by going beyond the call of duty, but you maintain your self-respect and self-worth. You network with colleagues so you know about future vacancies before the boss does! Even better, you’re smart enough to cast your net further! You’re impressing your current employer but also looking at other companies to see if your next role lies elsewhere. No need to be loyal to one company when your career is at stake. You’ve got a career ladder to climb!
See? Having no plan or personal goals is pure laziness and quite demeaning. It’s like you have no control over your life. Whatever happens will happen. On the other hand, being proactive with a personal goal plan ensures you’re in control of your future. Even if the hard work doesn’t pay off, you can still hold your head high because you did your very best.
2. A Breakdown
Lose 100 lbs this year. Sounds huge, doesn’t it? Earn $4000 a week within 3 yrs. Sounds hard, right? Start a business and generate 5 billion euros in 20 yrs. Oh dear…
But people do this. It is possible.
How? By breaking down personal goals.
Instead of aiming to lose 100 lbs, lose 10 lbs. When you’ve lost 10 lbs, lose another 10. Eventually you’ll reach 100. Always break down your personal goals until your ultimate goal looks easier. We give up too easily when things seem impossible, so make the job easier to boost your motivation! Break down your goals as much as you like.
Personal goals in a detailed Action Plan make success manageable. Manageable goals are achievable. Soon those little achievements add up to major success short and long-term.
Now you are ready to create your personal goals. Before you put pen to paper, keep the following in mind:
Failing to meet a deadline hurts, so avoid this disappointment. Make every personal goal doable and give yourself lots of time to meet it. This ensures that unexpected events won’t throw you off schedule because you’ve already factored extra time into your plan.
Every goal should be rewarded. It doesn’t matter whether you saved 50 cents or generated 50 billion dollars, celebrate your achievements. More celebrations mean more motivation! The rewards can be big or small, expensive or cheap, private or public, just for you or shared with loved ones.
Make sure the goals escalate so you’re always motivated to continue. There’s no point in earning the BIG ONE at the start and then tiny things towards the finish line. Your excitement and motivation will build over time, so let your rewards do the same.
Uh oh! The unforeseeable has happened and now you won’t meet your deadline.
What now? Change your personal goal.
No matter how much you plan, life intervenes at some point. Instead of panicking or stressing over your goal’s deadline, step back and reassess the situation. Change dates, goals, places, etc until your journey to success is mapped out. Flexible personal goals and plans mean you’re always prepared for the worst. Even better, overcoming those obstacles will boost your motivation!
Make lots of copies of your personal goals with their deadlines and useful notes. Hang your goals wherever you can but consider how public you make them, for example, hanging a ‘Find Another Job ASAP!!’ personal goal list at work won’t look good when your boss walks by…Display your goals where you’ll need them most, for instance, stick your ‘Gain Muscle’ goal list on your barbell. You’ll see your goals every time you lift!
If you make your personal goals public, why not help others write their own? They’ll provide support if you fall off track, and vice versa, which may increase the chance of meeting your ultimate goal.
1. Personal goals are life’s To Do list.
2. Personal goals must suit YOU, not others.
3. Personal goals should be broken down into an Action Plan.
4. Personal goals must be doable, rewarding, and flexible.
5. Personal goals can be linked with other people’s.
When you are ready, move on to next week.