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Goal setting tools to help you reach your goals

Goal setting is an important part of life. Whether for self-improvement or self-care, or to be more successful in career or study; setting goals is key to achieving the growth that we’re hoping for. No matter what your goals are, achieving them can be difficult without the proper tools. Here, we uncover 4 simple, actionable tools to help you reach your goals.

‘The frog’ is a concept first popularised by Brian Tracy in his manifesto, Eat That Frog. The frog is that thing that we least want to do. Big or small, it’s a task that always ends up on the bottom of the pile, whether it’s because it’s too challenging or overwhelming, it’s not seen as a priority, or because the thought of it stresses us out. The problem with leaving the frog until last (or never) is that it can hold up our progress and weigh on our minds – even if we don’t realise it!

And so, the way to tackle the frog is to take care of it first.

Before you accomplish any other tasks for your day, week, or month, get the frog done first (if it is a large task, break it down in actionable smaller tasks and work on it task by task, making the daily or weekly task for the frog first priority).

You’ll be surprised at just how much weight it takes off the mind and how it propels you forward with gusto into the rest of your tasks!

Isn’t it so easy to feel overwhelmed by everything on your ‘to do’ list? One of the first things many of us tend to do when we feel overwhelmed is to push our goals to the side and try to forget about them. To keep yourself accountable and on-track and ultimately reach your goals, one of the greatest tools is accountability.

So, nominate a couple of trusted people to confide in about your goals, and agree to check in with them regularly about your progress.

And remember – we all have setbacks; It’s a normal part of progress! The important thing is to get right back on the horse. Be sure that your confidants are ready to support you throughout your progress, setbacks and all.

It might sound obvious, but be sure that you’re setting your own goals, and not letting others set them for you. One of the most successful ways to ensure you don’t stay motivated to reach your goals is to have goals that you haven’t set for yourself. Be sure to assess what it is you really want, recognise the intention behind your goal, and be sure that it’s not something you’re striving for because of what others expect from you.   To feel motivated to achieve anything there has to be a big enough WHY?

When setting goals, ask yourself, “How will my life be difference once I achieve this goal?”

Have you heard of the 5 second rule? Created by Mel Robbins, the 5 Second Rule shot to stardom during a TEDx Talk back in 2013. Her talk is now one of the top 20 TEDx talks ever!

The five second rule is based on the notion that:

“Our thoughts and feelings are at war, and when there is a discourse between what you know you should be doing and what you feel like doing, your feelings will always win.”

Sound familiar? It’s a recognisable story for almost all of us. Getting up and going to the gym, or sleeping in a little longer? Cooking a healthy meal, or ordering in? Finishing off that project early, or leaving it to the last minute? Which option generally wins? It’s the thing you feel like doing, rather than what you know is the right thing to do.

As much as this behaviour is a part of human nature, it doesn’t have to be this way! The 5 second rule is an incredibly simple and very powerful tool for overcoming our own tendency to choose the ‘easy’ option. Mel Robert’s definition of the 5 second rule:

“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”

So, the next time your brain struggles with the choice between what you should be doing and what you feel like doing, don’t even give your brain time to think about it. Within 5 seconds, take some form of action towards the ‘should do’ goal, no matter how small. Here are some examples:

  • Want to get in shape? Pick up the computer and make a call to a local personal trainer to set up an initial meeting. Before you even have a chance to talk yourself out of the idea with a myriad of excuses (like “I don’t have time” or, “I’ll do it next week”, or “I’ll just make sure I go to the gym tomorrow”), you’ll be taking the first step by talking to a professional who can potentially help you commit and make you feel motivated and excited to start on your journey to a healthier, fitter you!
  • Know you need to get up and go to the gym? Stop weighing up in your mind how much longer you could sleep in, and get yourself out of bed! Already know what you are going to eat and have your gym clothes and water bottle all ready to go the night before!  Don’t even allow your brain to think about how much you don’t feel like working out. Before you know it, you’re up and about and you’ll be at the gym!
  • Want to make more progress at work (get noticed, get a promotion, gain more respect etc.)? The next time you are in a meeting and have an idea, don’t wait, raise your hand and explain the idea. Don’t give your brain time to nay-say the idea. Your colleagues and managers are likely to appreciate your input. If you come to the meeting prepared with a plan even better!
  • Have a dream to start a new career or even work for yourself? Jump on the computer and update your CV or get onto Google and start doing some research!
  • Ready to overcome some of your most difficult mental struggles (be it stress, anxiety, depression, a lack of self-confidence, or something else that’s holding you back)? The tricky thing about any mental health concern – especially when it comes to anxiety or depression – is that self-doubt is a near-constant struggle. This is where the 5 second rule really works it’s magic. Stop those doubtful thoughts before they can take root in your brain and take a physical action. That might mean picking up the phone and calling to book an appointment with a counsellor, doing some research (try the Integrated Health Specialist blog for loads of helpful articles), or calling a trusted friend or family member and discussing your goal.

Are you ready to finally reach your goals, whatever they might be? Integrated Health Specialists has a range of structured programs, from personal training, to life coaching, counselling, psychology and more. Get in touch today and let’s work together, do some good planning and hold you accountable to reach your goals!

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen