Goal-setting. Blech. I've never liked it much. It always seems so dull, and it carries with it a certain sense of shame and fear because (as we all know) many, many goals go unmet in the end (especially if we're factoring in New Year's resolutions). But it doesn't have to be that way! Goal setting can be a much more pleasant experience when done right.
If we strive to reach goals because we truly believe we will be better for having achieved them, we're much more likely to reach them. On the flip side, if we set goals merely because we think we should (like getting up earlier because we think we should be a morning person or exercising more because we think we're supposed to exercise, but we have no internal desire to adopt these habits), we're setting ourselves up for failure.
This is the first post in a new series about setting and working toward your goals in a methodical way that increases your ability to achieve them. Stay tuned for the rest of the series and subscribe so you can make sure you don't miss out!
[This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Notes from Jessie!]
Our ability to achieve our goals starts with our ability to believe in ourselves. We can't be too afraid to fail that we hold ourselves back from ever trying anything. We certainly won't succeed if we don't try!
I often catch myself making tasks much harder because I don't believe in my ability to accomplish them. Whether that looks like not thinking I can get them done at all, within a specific time frame, or done well, I question whether or not I am up to the task, and that very questioning makes accomplishing the work at hand that much more difficult.
When I choose to believe that I can do something, I approach it with more confidence and determination to make it work. I'm less likely to get quickly discouraged by little obstacles and more likely to persevere when challenges arise.
There's a reason why the Little Engine That Could had a mantra of "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." He needed to remind himself that he could achieve his goal of climbing up the hill in order to be able to do it.
We all too often get caught up in negative self-fulfilling prophecies. We think we can't do something, so we don't really try. We tell ourselves something's too hard or we're not good enough, and we let go without putting in much effort first.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to live like that. I don't want to give up when things get hard, at least not without giving it a good fight first.
Why Mindset Matters
The way we talk to ourselves reflects what we think about ourselves and the world. If we think we don't deserve something, we won't work very hard for it, sometimes even sabotaging our own efforts.
The same goes for thinking that we aren't good enough to achieve our goals, going into a situation already defeated. For instance, if we're trying to adopt healthier eating habits but don't believe we can really change, we're not going to try very hard to eat more vegetables, drink more water, or resist that third bowl of ice cream. We have the ability to do those things, but we're not very compelled to do them when we believe that we can't.
We deserve no less than our very best. Yes, we will make mistakes. We won't always succeed the first time we try something, and some things may remain difficult despite our best efforts. That doesn't make us failures.
Even the situations in which we struggle have something to teach us. And just because we don't always come out with a first-place ribbon doesn't mean we haven't gained strength, fortitude, and perseverance-- all things which will make our future efforts to overcome challenges and achieve our goals. Even if it's two steps forward and one step back, we're still moving forward in the end.
So believe in yourself, friend, and I will, too! I believe in myself, and I believe in you. We were created for a purpose greater than just going with the flow and following the crowd, and while that means doing hard things, it also means doing great things and enjoying an abundant life. And that's the kind of life I want to live! How about you?!
And if you want to get a kickstart on crushing your goals and gain clarity in your purpose, discover what your gifts are, find what meaningful work looks like, and learn to live a fulfilling, purposeful, and THRIVING life every day, join my FREE 7-day From Surviving to Thriving Challenge!
Here's How to Make Time to Pursue Your Dream Job by Brandon W. Peach, Relevant Magazine
If You Are Looking for Reasons to Be Happy, You’ll Probably Find Them by Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist