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The Science of Setting Goals

The Science of Setting GoalsGoal-setting can be overwhelming, exciting, scary, stressful and fun all rolled into one.  In this latest article from guest writer, Sarah Landrum of Punched Clocks, she outlines five ways to set goals that are scientifically-based – which means you boost your chances of success! Take a read and let me know how you set goals. Enjoy!

The Science of Setting Goals

By Sarah Landrum, Guest Writer

Setting goals isn’t rocket science, but there is a science to it. If you start mindfully mapping out your benchmarks for success, you’ll be more likely to achieve them. First goal: read the following five tips to setting goals successfully. They consider the way the brain works so that you’re more likely to achieve them. The only thing left to consider is when you’re going to start striving toward a brighter future.

Get Happy

When you’re feeling sad, you can’t imagine a life outside of Netflix and a carton of ice cream. Do you think this is the right time to plan for the future? You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you set them when you’re in a good emotional place. You’ll have all of the drive and determination you need to set forth and conquer tasks when you’re in a cheery mood. And, as an added bonus, you’ll feel happier afterward.

Don’t Start Too Strong

Once you set a goal, it might seem like you should dive in headfirst in order to achieve it. Instead, it’s better to take things slow by focusing on smaller tasks that are part of your greater goal. Imagine, for example, that you dream of one day being more organized. You shouldn’t start off by emptying everything out of your jam-packed closet and attempting to sort it in one fell swoop. Instead, focus on one section each weekend. Or, you could organize smaller parts of your home — the kitchen pantry or your work desk, for example — to prepare you for the bigger task.

Strive for Something with Purpose

You won’t fulfill a goal that you don’t care about, so make sure you’re passionate about new goals. You might be tempted to alter your vision to fit one someone else has for you, but it’s not wise. It’s highly likely that you won’t follow through on a goal you don’t feel strongly about, and, alternatively, you’ll feel great when you complete one that you do.

Make Your Benchmarks into Habits

You probably have a daily routine. You wake up, you work, and then you come home. Where does your goal fulfillment fit in? If you want to ensure you achieve every bullet point on your wish list, make them into habits. Fifty percent of your daily life is habitual, so if you want to be healthier, for example, make it a habit to add an exercise class to your weeknight schedule three times a week. Or start to prepare some big-batch meals on Sundays so you have healthy lunches at work all week. These small additions to your pre-existing routine can change your life — and you can avoid the long takeout lines around the office. What’s better than that?!

Remember You Aren’t Perfect

You’re going to make missteps along the path to achieving your goals. Prepare for them before you set out so that they don’t derail you. Perhaps you’re trying to cut down on sweets and someone in the office brings in a tray of doughnuts, seemingly to torture you. Rather than breaking your promise to yourself, make sure you have a snack on-hand in case of a scenario like this one. If not, stay strong and remind yourself of your goals and why they’re important to you. That might be enough to keep you on the road to success — and off of the road to ruin.

sarah landrumAbout the Author: Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site for those looking to grow their careers. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success, she shares advice on everything from career development and leadership, to health and fitness, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum