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Setting Goals That Stick: Part V

Posted on February 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Hardy | Print

In previous blogs of this series we talked about setting SMART goals. To once again refresh your memory SMART goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Timely

We are up to discussing how to make a SMART goal:

Relevant

There is no point setting a goal if it doesn’t mean something to you. A goal you set for yourself has to have some fire in it, something with a strong draw or desire. It needs to be something you have a burning desire to attain or something you aren’t happy about and want to change or stop.

While we’re on this topic, it is worthwhile noting it is better to motivate yourself by moving towards something you want rather than moving away from something you don’t.

As animals we are hard-wired to move towards pleasure or away from pain. The problem with moving away from pain is you tend to stop moving as soon as you don’t feel the pain any more. As a result you stop too soon and don’t achieve the bigger goal you really want. So for someone with back pain for example, wanting to be out of pain and wanting to play football with your son again may both get you out of pain but the emotional motives behind each driver and the course and outcome of each journey will be dramatically different. Only one will give you your life back. This is a massive topic and while we won’t go into it here, never underestimate the importance of choosing the best emotional drivers to use for your goals.

If you have a larger goal and have broken it down into smaller more attainable goals, these smaller goals must be relevant to, related to and support your big goal. All the goals you set must support one another. If not you’ll be working against yourself!

To be relevant, your goals should also take into account external factors or circumstances that may impact on whether or not you can achieve them. For example, setting goals so they can ride a popular trend or social mood rather than trying to swim against the tide will make them easier to achieve. And the more relevant you can make your goals to what is happening in the world, the easier they may be to achieve.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy.

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