Powerful Behavior Changing Tools: Goal Setting and Monitoring
We all have some behavior we’d like to change. A bad habit we want to kick or some new practice that seems to require a TAD more motivation than we can ever seem to muster up…
No matter if it’s something old to stop or something new to start, try these two things in tandem:
Goal-Setting… the Right Way
This one seems obvious, but the problem is we usually don’t do goal-setting correctly. “Eat healthier” is a bad goal. How do you know if you’ve achieved it? You won’t be able to measure your progress, and so eventually you’ll give up.
Try making sure your goals are SMART. First, make sure they are specific and measurable. “Reduce my daily calorie intake to 2,200 per day” for example. Also, make sure they are attainable and realistic. Telling yourself you’re going to reduce your calorie intake by 1,000 per day might sound alluring, but if it’s too ambitious, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Finally, give yourself a time limit. Don’t let it be open-ended.
Once you have your goal in place, you’ll be able to monitor yourself each day to measure whether or not you’re hitting your targets. This could be a simple daily checkbox, daily journaling, or an app designed to track calorie intake, for example. Whatever makes sense for you and your goal. This is hugely powerful for keeping yourself in check.
Behavior change is hard. And in the end, you can’t rely on any outside force to tell you to keep going. YOU must be your primary motivator. YOU must take all responsibility for your actions. You must KNOW that you’re capable of achieving the goal, then take yourself to task. With a SMART goal and proper monitoring in place, you just might have a shot.