Goals are what direct our energy and put our dreams into action. The best way to motivate yourself is to think about why you have set certain goals and what you want to achieve. When you reach a goal, it also boosts your motivation and self-confidence.
Goals don’t have to be particularly huge feats, and in fact, setting small, realistic goals is the way to achieving the big ones. When you’re setting goals, they should be SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound). Large goals give you long-term motivation, but SMART goals give you the short-term motivation you need as well.
If you need some help with setting goals, use these categories from Mind Tools to brainstorm some ideas and form goals that work for you:
- Career– What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve?
- Financial– How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your career goals?
- Education– Is there any knowledge in particular that you want to acquire? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?
- Family– Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
- Artistic– Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?
- Attitude– Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.)
- Physical– Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve, or do you have any goals to be healthier? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
- Pleasure– How do you want to enjoy yourself? (You should make sure that you set aside some time in your life for self-care!)
- Public Service– Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
Game Plan: Set a goal today! If you already have goals, review them to make sure that they’re SMART and evaluate whether there is anything you need to change or update to make them a reality. If you’re feeling a lack of motivation, try setting a very small goal. Goals don’t have to be big – it could just be getting outside today and going for a walk or to a movie in an effort to have some more fun experiences. Make sure you acknowledge each achievement you make.