Guide on How To Set and Achieve Long-Term Goals

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Guide on How To Set and Achieve Long-Term Goals

How to Build a Sustainable Commitment Towards the Goal

Life could be painfully boring if we didn’t have a goal to pursue at all stages of our lives. This is perhaps the reason why we set goals to achieve in the first place. It is in our nature to be easily bored with the things that we have to do on repeat. Think of a time when you heard a new song and absolutely loved it. But then you play it on repeat for a few hundred times and eventually, you get tired of it and look for something else. This is just a glimpse of how we act about our life’s goals as well. As soon as we achieve the first goal, we have to start looking for a new one because we derive our life purpose from our goals.

Depending on your life goals, achieving them can turn out to be rough terrain. When there are multiple hurdles in your way, nothing short of a fierce commitment can keep you on track and enable you to push harder to achieve your goals. The dilemma, however, is that sustaining your commitment through the initial stages of your goal is easier. But sustaining the same energy and effort for the same goal, in the long run, is harder than it sounds. Why do you think a lot of people with a target to lose 20 pounds in a month-end up losing 5 before they give up? It’s because of their commitment to achieving the goal continues to fade away until they are left with nothing.

More often than not, the reason why you fail to achieve your goal and why your commitment vanishes with time is that it’s difficult to wage a war against your old habits. With so much to do in a single day, one or more of our goals are bound to be left out of the priority list. Instead of taking the blame for a lack of commitment under such circumstances, it just sounds convenient for us to say that life got in the way of our goals.

But not anymore. Enough with the goals that were never achieved and the associated dreams which were never realized. Let us help you with a few tips which can help a great deal in sustaining your commitment to achieving your goal over a long period of time. Let’s help you spark a fire in yourself that won’t blow out unless you achieve your target.

 

Plan and Prepare for Your Goal

One of the top reasons why it’s hard to sustain commitment for achieving any defined goal is because you have only sensitized your brain to the goal itself and not to the journey. More often than not, when we define a goal, we confine ourselves to what is it that we want to achieve and what is going to be the timeframe in which we wish to achieve it. Unfortunately, however, there’s an important component of goal-setting that we fail to consider; the process that we’ll have to go through and the expected hurdles that we are likely to face along the journey.

Remember that there is always an alternative event that triggers the lack of commitment in you. For instance, consider the example of fitness. Suppose that you have a target of losing 20 pounds in a month. You have defined a goal for yourself, you know the timeframe, and you are familiar with your approach to achieve your target i-e you are going to be joining a gym. But what if you get back from work one day and are planning on going to the gym and suddenly you find out that it’s raining outside. With the blink of an eye, you have been triggered to lose all motivation and enjoy a cheat day instead. Before you know it, a single cheat day will eventually turn into a cheat weak and you will most likely end up giving on the goal, in the first place.

Therefore, it is important that you prepare well for such hurdles that you are likely to be confronted with once you embark on the journey. Put your head into it and make a list of all such triggers which can create a barricade between you and your success. For instance, in the previous example, you can define it beforehand that on occasions when it’s raining or you are finding it hard to find the motivation to go to the gym, you would still continue with your workout regime at home. You will rely on the cardio exercises or opt for aerobics on such days but an all-out cheat day will be avoided at all costs.

 

Replace The “Should” with “Must” For Your Goals

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why you lose motivation and commitment to achieving a goal is

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because of our hectic schedules. There is usually so much on our plate that a few of our goals end up falling out of the priority list. But did you know that there’s always a pattern to the kind of goals that are eventually going to be erased from the priority list? Try to imagine for a minute. In all previous instances when you gave up on a goal, wasn’t it because the goal was a “SHOULD” for you and not a “MUST”? Once you link your goal to a MUST, you automatically sensitize your brain to its utmost importance. It’s a way of teaching your mind that regardless of the circumstances, the pursuit of this particular goal must not stop at any cost.

The trouble with prioritizing your goals is rooted in its “WHY”. It’s not sufficient to define a goal and how do you plan on achieving it. In order to keep your commitment to it, in the long run, it’s also important to determine why is it that you plan on pursuing this particular goal. Another important factor is to make sure that your reason for chasing a goal highlights the best of what it has to offer. For instance, in the previous example of going to the gym, the reason why you choose to go for it could very well be to look your best. But don’t you think a better, more convincing, and surely more important reason to pursue this goal would be the healthcare benefits that penetrate both the realms of physical fitness and mental health?

Simply put, the more comprehensive you are about determining and understanding your goal and its purpose, the better are your chances at sustained commitment.

 

Be Accountable

Sharing is caring. Amazingly enough, this holds true in the case of pursuing your goals as well. You can think of yourself as the most disciplined individual on the planet and yet the results are always going to be better if you choose someone else to whom you are accountable. This is because having a partner in crime can help a great deal in keeping your focus on the goal. When you are accountable to someone, you open new horizons for creative criticism and a range of suggestions that work to put you back on the right track as soon as you start to deviate from it.

No matter how bizarre it sounds, the truth is that disappointing others or not coming up to their expectations is a big deal for all of us. We can live with ourselves if it’s only us who gets disappointed, but when there are third person’s expectations on stake, that’s when our inner hero truly comes alive. What’s even better is to find someone who can choose to walk with you on the same track rather than just supervising your efforts and promoting your commitment to your own goal. That way, the moment you lose motivation, there’ll be a pop up that goes off in your mind to tell you that your actions are no longer going to be the reason behind your own failure only but they will affect someone else’s performance and prevent them from achieving their goals as well.

For instance, instead of joining the gym alone, you could find a friend or a colleague who has a similar goal as you to go with. That way, on the days when you fail to convince yourself to get up and go to the gym, there will be an external force to do the convincing for you.

 

Calm and Relax Your Mind

Remember that the commitment to achieving a target lies inside your head. The dilemma is that your mind is a natural wanderer. It loves to over-analyze the past or overthink about the future. It’s a hobby for it to be lost in the unnecessary and frequently troubling thoughts. It’s its way of keeping you preoccupied and make you astray from the path that leads you to your destination. The reason why you sometimes fail to keep the commitment, in the long run, is that it is clouded with the difficult thoughts which leave no room for commitment to inhabiting your brain.

Simply put, it is imperative that you have a clear mind in order to see your goal, understand its purpose, and sustain the commitment that paves the way to achieving this target. As such, meditation and mindfulness practices can help a great deal since such mental exercises are known to collect your focus from the past or the future and bring you back to the “here and now”. Once you regain your focus, you are able to put all of your attention into what matters i-e the goal at hand. There’s a reason why people practice meditation and mindfulness for years. Its benefits for mind and body coordination are unparalleled, to say the least.

 

Never Underestimate Appreciation

Last but not the least on our list of prominent tips which can help you stay motivated unless your goal has been achieved is to never underestimate the importance of appreciation. You know what they say, a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what’s expected of him. And it certainly applies to yourself as well. If you think about it, it has always been an appreciation that pushed you into being better and better. Remember the time when you stood second on a class test in the school? Wasn’t it the consistent appreciation of your teacher that enabled you to top the next test in the class? You performed amazingly well at work last month. Isn’t it right to state that the appreciation from your boss on your last month’s performance turned into a reason why this month, you have the title of the employee of the month?

It is never wise to wait for the final result before you choose to appreciate yourself for your efforts. It’s understandable that you want to lose 20 pounds in a month. But if you lost 5 in a week, don’t wait, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for this accomplishment. Once you make a habit of appreciating yourself, you’d be able to experience an encouragement that you feel for sticking to your ultimate goal.

 

Conclusion

There you go. These are the 5 simple tips which can easily apply to make sure that your commitment stays alive until you achieve your goal. A surge of temporary motivation and intermediary results don’t mean anything if your commitment is short-lived and doesn’t take you to your final goal.

True success can only be defined in terms of consistency. The capability to stand your ground against your doubts, fears, and hurdles, and an insatiable hunger for achieving your life goals is the only way to give permanence to your success. Now that you are familiar with the ways you can fuel your motivation, let’s make a promise today to never give up on any of your goals ever again. It’s time that you guided each one of them to reality. It’s definitely in you to fulfill your dreams. All you need is perseverance and motivation that lasts.

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