Three Mindset-Shifts about Goal-Setting
How many times have most of us set goals but not achieving it? Have you ever wondered what went wrong? I have been in the search for the science of goal-setting for many years while I am studying what went wrong throughout the journey of achieving goals that I have set.
I think there is no shame about admitting to it. I am definitely one of them. Lost count throughout the years. Setting goals about weight-loss, to kick start the healthy and active lifestyle, to manage finances, to be able to invest regularly, to do this and that and the list goes on.
Setting goals is popular not just during new year resolution. Setting goals is often linked to the moment when we wanted to restart, reset, refocus and repurpose in our life.
We set goals to give new hope to ourselves in life.
Goal is the beginning of change.
Goal sets the direction that leads to the destination that we desired for.
Question: How do you usually set goals?
There must be a trigger or an event. It is that trigger that makes us want to get that piece of blank paper or the journal to just write. And it usually will come with a figure, deadlines, and more specific description. Probably most of us will just google about goal-setting and we get to know so much about SMART goal-setting and many more motivational-based techniques to guide us on goal-setting.
Throughout the years of resetting goals, I found out the following three useful mindset shifts about goal-setting.
These three mindset shifts have helped me not just staying on course but these three mindset-shifts have helped me progress better than before.
Early of this year, I have set a goal, again, I have been setting this goal almost every year which is to lose weight but this time I have changed my goal to — which is to stay active, I wanted to maintain a sustainable healthy and active lifestyle, thus I have written a goal that I wanted to stay consistent with my regular fitness training session throughout the year.
So far, I have been progressing pretty well. I have been consistently showing up to my training sessions three to four times a week without failed. So this is what has shifted my mindset to keep me on track and heading towards the direction I have set earlier.
Mindset Shift#1: Stop Setting Goal — instead setting the one thing you will do everyday that is going to lead you closer to where you want to be.
For most of us, we have been taught or we have read somewhere about sticking our dream board in front of our bed. Be clear and be specific with what we want. Well, this did not work well with me after I’d tried many times. I did not stick with the goal. I failed half way through.
Sometimes, resetting the goal makes me feel demotivating and having low morale to keep working towards the goal set. But what makes it different this time is that I did not set the goal of a specific weight-loss target, for example to stand on the weighing scale to check whether I achieved a certain weight that I had set earlier on.
Instead, I started by just scheduling the fitness training sessions that I am putting myself into.
I focused on sticking to that scheduled session. To follow a fixed schedule everyday, I found it magically encouraging every time. Starting from showing up minimum three times training a week, I have managed and feel even more encouraged to show up four times a week and then slowly five times to even six times a week to the fitness training sessions. I have been consistently completing four fitness training sessions every week for more than three months now.
I was inspired very much by [Atomic Habit] written by James Clear. In the first chapter, he mentioned forgetting about goals, focusing on systems instead. His profound realisation in the goal-achieving journey — he realised that results had very little to do with the goals he had set and nearly everything to do with the systems he followed.
What’s the difference between systems and goals?
Goals are the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. — learned from Cartoonist behind the Dilbert Comic — Scott Adams
Mindset Shift#2: Stop doing things that are NOT working previously while we are setting the same goal.
It is normal that we tend to fall back to the previous or old way of doing things, especially based on the past experience. This is completely okay because that is how we learn.
But after having tried several times, there will be the timing we are going to tell ourselves “Alright, that is enough, I have to start approaching my goal differently this time”.
This is the time we will source out alternatives and new ways to approach our goal.
[The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results — Albert Einstein]
This is when we will look for new guidance and people around us that we are going to share our most vulnerable sides in order for us to do it differently this time. Environment and people around us are the crucial factors contributing to whether or not we are able to sustain through the process to achieve the goal.
In my case, I am very grateful that I had connected with my trainer. He understands my goal and intention — which is to maintain that active and healthy lifestyle. And we have been openly communicating very frequently about my feelings and progress throughout the journey. Finding a coach and mentor if you are serious about making a serious change, fair enough right?
As long as you are willing to try a new way of approaching the same goal, it is already a new progress!
Goal is not the ultimate destination, shifting the focus to learn and enjoy throughout the process of realising to where we want to be.
Emotion is the ultimate fuel to keep us going everyday, every single day. It sounds easy to type about it, trust me, I do understand the struggle of keeping it up every single day. This is why I mentioned earlier that we need the environment, we need someone that we trust to keep us accountable, not just that, but to remind us that we are here to learn every single day.
I found out to sustain through, what I tricked my mind was the breaking down of the numbers of completing the tasks given during the process. I enjoyed tricking my mind by breaking down large chunks of tasks into bite-sized numbers that my mind conceived is doable. I am referring to the reps and rounds that I have to complete in my fitness training session.
And do find out the joyous element throughout the process. The easiest way of setting us into the state of flow, achieving or completing a particular task is playing music that will give you a certain emotion and feeling. Anchor that feeling with the songs or music played every single time while you are pushing through the process of goal-realisation.
I hope these three mindset shifts about goal-setting are going to help you to regain your confidence and start on the journey once again with these three total new mindsets that are going to keep you on course!
Can’t wait to hear from your progress! Happy Goal-ing! And share your goal-ing journey with more people around!