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Why are you setting your goals?

It’s that time of year again when many New Year resolutions are made. Unfortunately, many of the resolutions fall by the wayside before the end of the month. There are many reasons for this the main one being that a resolution is often more of a “wouldn’t it be nice to” thing. For example, wouldn’t it be nice to be fitter, better off financially, eat healthier etc. There is no real attachment to the resolution, which is why a resolutions success rate is often patchy.

Some of us will set goals to start the new year as we have a little more commitment to them but even then the intention to succeed can also wain quickly. This is because goal setting can be tricky as there is no one size fits all when it comes to effective goal setting.

A big reason for this is a lack of understanding around the difference between being away motivated from a situation or being toward motivated for a new situation  when  setting a particular goal. A great example of this is fitness. Most of us overindulge at Christmas time and we may well feel unfit and unhealthy. An away motivation would be “I’m fed up feeling overweight, tired etc so I’m going to get fitter.” When this happens, we go the gym we exercise we eat healthier and over a period of time we weigh less, feel fitter and feel healthier. “I feel great!” we say as I’m now no longer overweight, unfit or unhealthy. This is the danger zone for away from motivation as we can easily stop going the gym as often, and we can stop eating as healthy as we have as we have now “achieved” our away motivated goal of “not being” the way we were when we made the commitment to change.

We can fall into a yoyo pattern of activity. When we stop doing the things that got us results we wanted we can fall back to the position we were are the start of our away from motivated goal, which in this case was being fed up with being overweight, unfit and unhealthy, so we start again!

Toward motivated goals can lessen this yoyo effect as you are always striving toward a goal and a new way of being rather than just a particular outcome. Toward motivation when done correctly becomes more about the process than the end result. In the fitness example the goal may be stated in a positive frame such as “Every day I love waking up feeling fit healthy, vibrant and full of life.”

As the goal has becomes more process driven, a way of being rather than an end outcome, you are more likely to stay on track as this toward motivated goal becomes the way you live your life.

Both away from and toward motivation have their place and both can be really effective. Knowing what is motivating you to take action around a particular set of actions is key to helping you achieve a more consistent level of success when setting your goals.

If you need any support with your goal setting then please drop me a line at dave@daveverburg.com and I’ll be happy to help you succeed.

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