Top Tips for Smashing your Future Goals
Last week, we discussed how cognitive tunnelling is holding many back from achieving their long-term goals. The three key fears: Fear of Failure, Fear of Starting and Fear of Success, work together to stop us taking those important steps to success.
If you think cognitive tunnelling is impacting your goals, how do you move past it? Recognising and understanding what's happening is the first step, but these practical tips can help you finish the journey!
Are they YOUR Goals?
Many people set their goals without really thinking about why they want to achieve them. Whether it's a result of societal conventions, external expectations or simply not knowing what you really want, outside pressure can leave you with future goals you actually don't care about.
If you're not personally invested in your ambitions, the likelihood is you'll never reach them. That might not seem so bad. If your goals weren't really yours, surely it doesn't matter that they weren't successful?
Unfortunately, it doesn't make a difference to the negative impact on morale. Most people that aren't truly invested in their goals struggle to recognise this themselves. The same emotions of disappointment, shame and guilt rise up regardless. These demoralising feelings can affect your motivation, mental health and ultimately future success.
To combat this, try analysing each of your long-term goals in-depth. Are they linked to the real core of who you are? How do they align with your key values? Rooting your ambition in what makes you YOU ensures the motivation and drive you need won't falter.
Another important factor when you're setting your goals is how realistic they actually are. Of course, we all know the phrase: shoot for the moon, you'll land in the stars. It's a good principle and sometimes being overly ambitious can be exactly what you need. The trick is recognising this.
All goals are future aspirations, but knowing the difference between your biggest dreams and your goals for the next few years is key. That doesn't mean be pessimistic. You never know what great things you can achieve! However, manage your expectations. Setting unrealistic goals with high expectations will leave you doomed to fail and have a massive impact on your morale.
Break it Down
Long-term goals can be overwhelming because they're so far in the future. You know where you want to be, but the journey there is almost inconceivable.
Tackle this by breaking it down into baby steps. What can you do right now to take a step towards where you want to be? You might not be able to answer that question right now. Try working backwards. If your goal is 5 years in the future, where do you need to be in 1 year, 2 years, etc. to make that a possibility? Now you have your 1 year goal, where do you need to be in 3 months, 6 months, etc. to make that a possibility?
By breaking long-term goals down in this way, the route becomes clear and the journey, far less overwhelming.
For some, motivation might come naturally regardless of a schedule or a deadline. For others, it can be a real struggle.
Particularly for self-employed people and entrepreneurs, but also in the case of personal goals outside of a traditional workplace, a lack of accountability can stall your progress. Luckily, setting your own deadlines, or creating a schedule with key milestones, can keep you driving forwards.
If you struggle to stick to these on your own, try getting a friend or colleague to help. Keeping others in the loop and setting times to check-in can keep you on track and gives you a chance to return the favour.
Not Perfect, Not a Problem
Perfectionism can be considered a real advantage. Holding yourself to a high standard isn't necessarily a negative, but expectations of perfection can stop you making any progress at all.
Whether you're waiting for the 'perfect' moment to get going, or struggling to progress to a later stage until your current project is perfected, holding out for an ideal can actually have a negative impact.
That doesn't mean we should be complacent, but striving to do your best won't always equal perfection. It's here where you learn invaluable lessons to improve in the future. Find the positives in imperfection as opportunities to grow.
If you find your long-term goals overwhelming, you don't have to do it on your own. Projects that Deliver helps individuals and businesses find clarity and see the road-map ahead to their successes. Give us a call on 020 3286 2866 or check out more about how we can help on our website. Let's achieve your goals together.