Focus is an invaluable ability that can assist individuals in completing any task and promote proactivity in their professional and personal life.
As you think about new projects and plans for 2023, approaching them with the right mindset might be the key to achieving them. Mindfulness is an approach that implies being conscious of the present, being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not being overly reactive to what’s going on around you.
Focusing on your goals with mindfulness can not only help you build the life you truly want but also help you appreciate and accept where you are right now. That said, let’s dive into mindful goal-setting. Here are five evidence-based tips to help set yourself up for success.
5 Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals Mindfully
Once you’ve set goals that best fit you, you can implement tactics to help you achieve them.
Write Down Your Goals
After you’ve visualized your newly discovered ambitions, take some time to write them down. Don’t just type them somewhere in your notes on your phone – physically write them down in a notebook.
Vividly defining your goals in written format is strongly associated with goal success. People who clearly describe their goals by writing them down are 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than people who don’t. That’s a significant difference just from writing your goals in a notebook.
Break Down Your Goal
If you find it difficult to follow through on the goals you usually set for yourself, consider setting an easily-reachable minimum threshold. Small, daily actions can be more effective than one weekly, inordinate effort. So break down your ultimate goal into smaller, everyday tasks.
Create a ‘goal ladder’ – write your main goal at the top and work your way down the rest of the ladder steps, noting down the smaller goals you need to accomplish to achieve your main goal.
Adjust Your Environment
No, we’re not talking about moving to a new city or getting a new apartment. Changing your environment in other ways can help you establish new habits. Our brains are really good at connecting our environment with a specific situation, so environmental cues are fundamental factors when it comes to creating new habits.
According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, “The best time to start a new habit is on vacation when your environment is totally different and you’re not surrounded by your usual cues.”
At home, you can make tiny but mighty adjustments like sitting in a different chair or working in another room of your house to help cultivate new habits.
Make Good Use of Dopamine
When we’re happy, our brain releases dopamine, the “feel-good hormone.” You can boost your dopamine levels by setting small goals and achieving them – this is why goal ladders are so effective: you get the satisfaction of completing tasks and moving forward closer to your main goal.
You know that feeling you get when you cross off a task on your to-do list? That’s satisfaction! Each time your brain gets some of this rewarding rush, it will want you to keep at it. If you have big goals this year, break them down into smaller segments and let the dopamine fuel your way up to the big goal.
Set Goals Based On Effort
Focus more on the process rather than the outcome. Focusing on the effort toward achieving your goals has proven to be more practical and motivating. Why? Here are a few examples.
Some outcome-based goals might be: wanting to quit your job and get a new one, losing 10 pounds by next month, or going to sleep before 11:00 pm.
Effort-based goals, on the other hand, look like this: I am going to apply for 25 jobs this month, I am going to exercise four days per week this month, or I am going to stop drinking coffee after 2:00 pm and stop eating after 9:00 pm. Notice the difference? Focusing on the effort can be much more motivating and give you a daily dose of dopamine as you see them through each day.
Being mindful doesn’t necessarily mean setting better goals – it means setting goals in a way that makes sense to you based on your current capabilities. By being conscious of the present, being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, you can uncover your true potential and accomplish any goal you set for yourself. As we grow, so too will your goals. So make time every few months to check in on yourself and adjust if needed.