Goal Setting as a Technique

BIDMC Contributor

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

Think about some of your goals. What are they? To lower your blood pressure? Get in better shape? Run a 5K? Whatever they are, setting goals can sometimes feel like the easy part. Following through and achieving success… that’s where the work comes in. So to make your goals a reality, we’ve got five tips to help turn your commitment into success!

What you need to do:

First, it’s important to know that goal setting is highly flexible. That means there’s no single path to a successful result. What works best for you might not work well for someone else. It’s also important to consider whether you’re ready to fully commit to your goal. For example, if you’re dealing with stress at work or in your personal life, it might be wiser to wait until that stress settles down before taking the first steps to making change. Here’s what else:

  • Be realistic : The clearer and more realistic your goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it. That’s not to say you should go easy on yourself or sell yourself short. But by setting a goal that you’re 100% committed to, you’ll be less likely to make excuses along the way.
  • Small goals : Often times the best way to achieve a big goal is to break it down into a series of small goals. By creating small, measurable goals that you can achieve on a regular basis, you’ll be rewarded with a continuous feeling of success. This positive reassurance can help you feel less overwhelmed and more likely to follow through and achieve a positive end result.
  • Focus on what you can control : Stay positive and keep your mind on the goal you’ve set for yourself. Techniques like visualization and mindfulness can play a big role in helping achieve success.
  • Record and track : Regularly monitoring your progress by writing down what you do each day is an important part of reaching a goal. Keep this record somewhere where you can see it — a nightstand, desk or kitchen counter — that way you’ll have a helpful visual reminder of what your goal is and the progress you’ve made to achieve it.
  • There may be obstacles : It’s normal for people to have setbacks or slip-ups along the way. Don’t give up! Keep trying, stay on the path and let past mistakes help guide you to future success. By thinking about potential obstacles early on, you’ll be better prepared to overcome hurdles along the way.

Inspiration in a quote:

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right.” So cultivate a can-do mentality. Accentuate the positive, eliminate negative thoughts and emotions, and always remember the purpose of your goal. Oh, and make sure to reward yourself too. Achieving your goal is a big deal, and that deserves to be celebrated.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
View All Articles