By Naomi Martyn
I didn’t realise the importance of setting goals until recently when someone asked me what mine were and what I was doing to achieve them. The questions took me by surprise and I was quick to jump on the defence with “of course I have goals.”
The truth is, I had an idea of certain ‘goals’ in my head but were they written down? Were they measurable? Was I consciously working to achieve these goals every day? The answer to all of this was no.
I was surprised to have forgotten the importance of goal setting amidst the everyday hustle bustle of life that I thought I would share the following with you.
Why should we set goals?
1. Fundamental part of growth
Humans thrive on growth. Once we become stagnant, most of us will become bored and start looking for the next ‘thing’. Maybe your job has become tedious and you are doing the same thing every day. You have two choices: 1) stay where you are and continue feeling that way or 2) do something about it by setting some goals! Maybe you could ask your employer for a challenge or if you can enrol in a training course to learn a new skill. Personal improvement and growth in turn leads to personal satisfaction.
I don’t know about you but for me, being 6 weeks out from an overseas holiday is the absolute best motivation for working out and eating well! Setting a goal such as weight loss or fitting into a certain piece of clothing is a very personal goal and the only person who can get you there is yourself. Set the location as your phone background and think about why you want to reach your goals every day! Once you find the motivation you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to spring out of bed in the morning to work towards your goals.
3. Measure of success
This is an example from my job that has really stuck with me. The same person who initially asked me if I had goals asked me what my goal was for a certain marketing campaign at work. What would I deem a successful campaign? Was it a certain number of likes or shares on Facebook? I hadn’t actually thought about it but I said “oh maybe 50 shares”. He said, “if that’s your goal do whatever it takes to get there. Get your friends, colleagues, flatmates and family involved and use as many resources as you can to reach your target. I know you can do it.” With a goal in mind, and words of encouragement, I had a newfound determination for that campaign to succeed. And do you know what? I smashed the goal and overnight the campaign went viral with over 10,000 shares. My colleagues and I were so stoked we celebrated with croissants and chocolate at work the next day and laughed about the original goal of 50 shares. Reaching your goal is a great feeling but surpassing it with flying colours feels even better!
4. Short & Long Term Goals
Setting smaller goals, whether these are daily, weekly or monthly based, are important in terms of short term satisfaction. These often lead into the longer term goals anyway. Your long term goal might be to own a house in 5 years’ time. Although it’s a few years away, setting small goals now, like putting aside ‘x’ amount of money each week into an untouchable bank account, is going to get you there faster. Satisfaction will come from seeing that figure growing in your account each week and knowing that you are one step closer to achieving your goals.
1. Write your goals down
The act of writing your goals down cements them as something tangible you are working towards. Take it a step further and save them as the background on your phone or hang them up on the wall in your room.
2. Talk to someone
Some goals are private but some goals may be easier achieved with the help of a friend, colleague, family member or professional. Telling someone else holds you accountable and makes you more determined to achieve the goal you’ve set. For example, if you are trying to save for a car, ask your friends if they mind catching up for a walk on the beach instead of going out for brunch. You will find people will be really supportive and will likely congratulate you for sticking to your goals – remember, it’s the easy option to give up!
3. Monitor how you are tracking
Look at your goals often and monitor your progress. For many goals, like weight loss or saving money, there are great apps such as ‘My Fitness Pal’ which lets you set goals and track your weight and eating patterns. Seeing a downward or upward trend is always encouraging.
If you fall off the bandwagon and don’t quite reach your goal that’s totally normal – don’t beat yourself up over it! Instead, set a new goal, think about why it didn’t work last time and find the motivation to help you get there this time.
6. Celebrate success
The feeling of achieving a goal is satisfying in itself but I’m always one for celebrating success! Treat yourself by doing something you enjoy and be proud of yourself.
Now go out there, set some goals and smash them!
We are Emily & Naomi, degree-qualified nutritionists on a mission to share our passion for health & food with like-minded individuals! We aim to educate and inspire.