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Combine motivation and goal setting to get maximize results!

Motivation and goal setting go together hand in hand. Without doing any goal setting, the motivation will be lower. Likewise, without any motivation to begin with, you may not even get to the point of setting goals.

Why is goal setting so important for motivation?

Often times, when we set out to achieve something, we cannot expect to see instantaneous results from the actions we take. Especially if it is longer term projects or things that take time such as trying to lose weight. You can’t expect to lose 5kgs within a week.

When there are no plans, no clear target and no clarity on all the details, it’s easy to lose motivation from lack of results in the short term. Proper goal setting ensures that this does not happen. Goal setting ensures that even with no visible results, one can still ascertain progress and stay on track for reaching the goal in the future.

motivation and goal setting With goal setting, we have a more complete perspective of what can be achieved through our plans and actions in the long term. We will have clarity on what we want to achieve, why we want to achieve it, when we want to achieve it, and how can it be achieved.

Having the details from the goal setting exercise is very important because whenever the going gets tough (as it usually does), that clarity that will be a strong pillar to support us to keep going. It will keep us motivated and help get through the difficult period.

Here’s two great tips to utilise motivation and goal setting;

Review goal setting journal - Whenever you feel a lack of motivation, go back and review your goal setting journal and you’ll feel a renewed drive to keep going.

Setting schedules - Having a schedule of action items, deadlines and milestones in your goal setting can greatly help motivate you. Here's why it works; Firstly, the need to keep to the schedule to maintain your progress will push you to take action on a consistent basis. Secondly, whenever you review your progress to see how far you’ve come, it will naturally motivate you to keep it up.

An added benefit is that by being able to keep track of progress using a schedule, you can identify any roadblocks or wrong turns easier. Without it, you might get stuck somewhere without realizing it. Or worse still, you might be going in the wrong direction and only realize it much later.

Example of motivation and goal setting connection

motivation and goal setting Motivation and goal setting are closely connected and one affects the other greatly. Below is an example to clearly explain why this is so;

Let’s take this scenario - Feeling a little out of shape recently, John signs up for a fitness program. In the first session he meets his trainer, Paul.

Paul says to John “You made the right decision to sign up for this programme John. Only through regular exercise can we maintain a healthy body and mind. You may find it tough sometimes, but that’s natural and what it takes to get a healthy body, which is what we all want. So let’s get started.”

How does that sound? How do you feel about it? Will John be motivated to start off his fitness programme? Well, maybe mildly. Now what if his trainer was Peter instead, who would have said the following;

“I’m so happy that you signed up for this programme John, you’ve definitely made the right choice. During the programme, at times things might get tough, but I’ll be here to help you all the way. Our target is to get yourself to a fitness level where your body is at it’s most natural and balanced state. We do this by maintaining the muscles, bones and cells of your body at its’ optimal condition through proper exercise and eating habits. This will affect the functioning of your internal organs and result in good digestion, breathing, blood flow, energy etc. “

“With this, you’ll start feeling more energetic throughout the day, you’ll sleep better, look more attractive, have better athletic ability, have a sharper mind and feel happier emotions as you are constantly releasing stress and toxins through exercising. Sound good? Let’s get started then.“

If you were John, which version would you prefer to hear. Which would get you more motivated?

This is what Peter did differently from Paul. First, he states the goal in exact terms. Second, he states the plan - the how of achieving it. And finally, he states the benefits, or the why of wanting to achieve the goal. All this are the basic premise of goal setting.

Paul on the other hand, did not go into as much detail as Peter. He also tells John the goal (to get healthy), and the how (by exercising), but did so only very vaguely. The result of that is John feels less motivated.

Basically, both Paul and Peter said the same things. If you look at it, the details mentioned by Peter are common sense. Everyone knows that exercising equals a healthy body, and that a healthy body equals feeling, looking and performing better. But even though many may understand this inside, it is the act of identifying it in detail and externalizing it that gives an added motivating force.

When someone says they don’t need goal setting, that they already know the goal and benefits, it is similar to the vague way Paul explains to John. There is a big difference in motivation when you do detailed goal setting and set plans for what you want to achieve.

This is how motivation and goal setting is related in the real world.

Final thoughts…

From the above explanations and examples, we can see how greatly goal setting impacts our motivation levels. So, combine motivation and goal setting to achieve maximum results.

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