When is the last time you had one of 'the talks' with yourself?
You know the kind.
You have been on autopilot for months, putting the stuff off you need to get to for too long. You've become a walking metaphor for the email box that keeps piling up with unread junk.
The pressure to make some changes is finally breaking through. You decide it's time and tell yourself, 'Starting Monday, I'm doing X. I'M READY TO CHANGE.'
Depending on how bad things have got, you might actually stick to your new aspirations – for a week or two. Then slowly but surely, you give in to old habits. Smaller stuff at first, but before long you're right back where you started.
Again?! What happened? You were ready this time.
Chances are you didn't fail because of your lack of motivation but more possibly because you didn't understand how to set yourself up for success.
That is what this article is about: The 3 Keys to set goals properly–followed by an Easy Goal Setting Formula to help you actually achieve them.
Let's get into it
Key #1. Clarify What You Want
Sounds simple. And it is. But you have to think about it.
You need to specify what you want with as much clarity as possible.
Think of your goal like a target and your objectives as the crosshairs you're using to aim.
Your objectives being: What do you want? And Why do you want to do it?
What is it you really want? What are you trying to accomplish? Specify as much as you can. No detail is too small here.
Next, Why do you want to do this specific thing? Better yet, Why do you NEED to do this?
It's essential to get these two points dialed in as best you can.
Here are two examples of the same general goal.
- Example 1: I want to spend less time mindlessly scrolling social media.
- Example 2: I'm going to take responsibility for my life and take small, actionable steps to reduce my screen time so that I can become a happier and more focused person.
Example 1 has a too broadly defined What and no Why at all, which makes it no more significant than another passing thought.
Example 2 has a definite What– 'take responsibility for my life and take small, actionable steps to reduce my screen time' – and a strong Why– 'so that I can become a happier and more focused person'.
When setting your goal, it should look more like Example 2.
The idea here is to use wording that resonates with you to trigger some internal feelings of motivation. Using loose, vague, or even cliché language typically won't be enough to keep you focused. Make it meaningful.
Clarify What You Want.
Key #2: Make a Good Deal with Yourself
Other than Facebook, Google, and Amazon, you should know 'you' better than anyone else. (Hah. Bad joke?) Use what you know about yourself so you can make a good deal with future-you. Be realistic about what you may or may not be willing to do.
This is where you set up your Do's and Don'ts.
These are the boundaries you make for yourself to play in. They can't be too rigid; otherwise, you'll quit out of frustration or spite, or a combination of both. Make it practical.
Going back to our example, your Do's and Don'ts could look something like this.
• Work to reduce your time spent on social media gradually
• Utilize apps like Moment
• Replace 10min of scrolling with meditating or reading a book
• Use CBD from Henotic Hemp to take the edge off
• Don't take your phone into the bathroom
• Don't keep social media apps on your home screen
• Don't use your phone while in bed
• Don't look at your phone first thing in the morning
If you establish terms that allow for gradual improvement and include rewards for smaller achievements along the way, you'll be much more likely to keep at it when the going gets tough. The idea here is not to drill sergeant yourself into compliance but rather coach yourself into cooperation.
We like to think we are one Self that acts consistently in all situations. It turns out we're more complicated than that.
Think about the person you are after getting good news or when you meet up with friends for dinner. Now compare that version of you to the you who just finished a 9-hour shift and is hungry, sitting in traffic. Those aren't the same people. Not even close.
Between happy-engaged you and hungry-frustrated you, there are many different feelings and emotions that can subtly, or not so subtly, affect your willpower.
Prepare for future-you.
Make a Good Deal with Yourself.
Key #3: Establish Your Timeframe
Lastly, you need to establish a working timeframe to reach your goal.
Without a timeframe, you're leaving your goal entirely up to the chance that future-you will 'get around to it'. They won't.
Depending on the type of goal you set, you'll need to establish either a deadline or a timeline, or both.
A deadline is – 'the latest time or date by which something should be completed.' This is good for things like losing x amount of weight before going on vacation. You know when your vacation starts, so you know how long you have to lose the weight. Mark it down on the calendar.
A timeline is – 'a schedule for when a process or procedure will be carried out.' You could use this type of timeframe for finishing a book or project. 'Every night from 8:30 to 9:00, I will read my book.'
Using our example, you could utilize both. You could set up time limits on specific apps and avoid using your phone at certain times during the day; say for the first hour you're awake and an hour before bed – this is an example of following a timeline.
Whereas giving yourself 30 days to reduce the average screen time on social media apps to 1 hour, or less, per day is an example of setting a deadline.
Establishing your timeframe is like creating the container for your-What and Why and Do's and Don'ts-to grow in. It is the final and most important step and takes the commitment to your goal to the next level. Make it official.
Establish Your Timeframe
So now that you know the 3 Keys to set goals properly, you need a good framework to plug it all into; this is where the Easy Goal Setting Formula comes into play.
First, let's break down our What, Why, Do's, Don'ts, and Timeframe.
From here on out, use this formula whenever you have a goal you want to achieve.
Fill it in and put it somewhere that you will see it often.
Lastly–and this is important, shoot for 80% efficiency.
Yes 80%, not 100%
When we make all-or-nothing goals for ourselves, it is only a matter of time before we mess up something small and throw in the towel because of it. No one operates at 100% efficiency. It's not sustainable, and you're not perfect. That's why you read this blog. So get at it!
You can start now.
Or you can wait another week... Or month... Or year... and you will more than likely be in the same place, doing the same things, reading another blog like this one.
Why not make a good choice today that future-you will be proud of?
Henotic Hemp is owned and operated by the writer of this blog and is a company determined to bring superior CBD products to people looking to improve their lives. At Henotic Hemp, we believe CBD can be a foundational staple to getting the most out of your life, whatever that means to you. CBD is good for the mind and body in the most natural way possible and can give you the slight edge you've been looking for. If you enjoyed this blog and are ready to start achieving your goals, consider using our CBD products to help assist you on your way to becoming a better, more Mindfully Motivated version of you.