Tips for Setting Great Goals

2 min read

Goal setting is everywhere in our world. We set goals for our careers, our health, and our lives in general. It seems modern society is always encouraging us to think about the next milestone. Yet, what we don't think about enough is the science and strategy of how to accomplish your goals. That’s why we've asked one of our Experts, Dan, to give us some simple tips to consider when setting goals.

First we wanted to go over a clever metaphor from James Clear:

"When setting goals think about sitting in a small rowing boat."

Imagine your goals as the rudder. They set the direction and determine where you go.  Now, if you commit to one goal the rudder will stay in place and you’ll move forwards.

However, if you flit between goals the rudder moves from side to side and you can end up going in circles. More importation the boat has oars; these oars determine your progress.

Rudder = Goals

Oars = System to get there

For example: If you’re a swimmer and your goal is to swim the channel. Your system is your training schedule for the month.

Goals are useful for setting the direction. Systems are great for actually making progress.

Simple tips for making great goals

1) Don’t Try, Make It Happen

Even the way you word things in your head or your speech can dictate your actions. Many people will say for their resolutions that they will “try” to do something. They never use “I will.” What happens after that is predictable. Three months later, they’re nowhere near their goal.

The problem, in this case, is the level of commitment someone has to their goals in the first place. Like the previous point, if you’re lacking commitment, you’re not going to dig deep for a personal reason to do something. You’ll say things but not mean any of it.

Our suggestion is to shift your mindset so that you are more focused on making things happen. If you commit to something, take the action and trust that you’ll get somewhere with this.

2) Rethink Your Purpose

Broken down into two sections: the goal itself and the reason to pursue this goal.

It’s these two particular aspects that shape your goal and can dictate your overall attitude.

Are you setting this goal because it makes you feel good? Or are you setting this goal because you want or need to achieve this?

3) Look for Progression in Many Places

Naturally, progression towards a goal is great, and people want to see themselves moving the needle. But checking progress all the time can be bad as well.

What if you’re not progressing as quickly as you want or your expectations are too high for the results you received?

A prime example here is chasing a number on the scale. Without focussing on any other markers of progress.

4) Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Fail

Another key aspect of a goal-setting mindset is to understand that failure is okay. As much as you want to achieve a goal in one try, chances are you won’t. You’re going to fail or stall out or something.

The key is to not see these moments as something really bad. They’re setbacks sure, but it’s not the end of the road.