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Set goals differently to lead a happy life

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goalDoing things differently does make a difference. In the last article, we learnt few tips to do empowering goal setting in order to achieve excellence. Let’s quickly recap them.

Get Specific: Etch out not just WHAT to be done but add WHEN and WHERE. i.e. “I’ll be in bed by 10 pm on weeknights! “

Do Mental Contrasting

Two positives and two obstacles to your success of achieving your goals and then have the feeling of being in control. Grab the moment to act on your goals: make [if-X-then-Y] plan to grab and maximise the chances of the mentioned WHEN & WHERE.

Know exactly how far you have LEFT to go: check your progress frequently with a focus on the goal-post.

Be a realist-optimist 

Don’t underestimate the difficulties in the path, anticipate, plan and prepare to fight this planning fallacy ( of not anticipating obstacles and thus not preparing for it).

Get Growth Mindset 

Have a belief in Learning to Grow and focus of small progress! Focus on getting better, rather than being good: pick goals to improve to better and with time you’ll be better!

Additional fantastic four tips will help you achieve more. Here they go:

Have grit

Having guts to attempt an improbable or impossible is OK but what makes you successful and happy over time to have GRIT… i.e commit to long term goals and persist to get it!

Persist even in the face of difficulty. At a difficult time, you need to reframe the situation and try to find the seeds of learning and improvement, as improvement is always possible.

Imagine this as a tree, you stay committed to a long term goal, just like the root gives nurturing to grow. At a windy situation, strong roots will help to stay there, and it’s new leaves are like opportunities of new learning and growth. So Go Gritty!

Build you WILL-Power muscle

As any other muscle, willpower muscle also grows with regular exercise. So add a few self-control challenge every day to your daily routine, like making your bed, taking stairs, helping in household chores…

However before a high-taxing Will-Power challenge, start strengthening with easy ones first. Basically, take on one challenge to do which you will honestly not like to do.

Make the game a bit harder! Remember willpower is like our bank balance the more use it the less we have of it. When our Will-Power gets depleted with use, do the following to regain it:

Take rest to Recover.

Do something to lift spirits.

Reward yourself for your good behaviour( but beware of indulging in anti-goal activity… I.e to the east sweets after a sweaty excel isle.)

Just think of someone you know with lots of self-control.

Challenge yourself, not the FATE

Successful people know not to make reaching goals harder than it already is! So don’t over–tax your mental muscle by over-doing or doing two challenging tasks at once!

Don’t make reaching a goal harder than it really is! Do it one-at-a-time.

Avoid thinking you can have “just one” or “a little bit” of something you really enjoy but SHOULD-NOT have. It’s easier to skip it entirely, Less fun, but much easier.

Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do:

Brain get into the trap of priming effect e.g if I ask you don’t think about the pink cows, you will think about pink and cows if not about pink cows as your brain is primed by words Pink and Cows. So “don’t think about pink cows! ” doesn’t work!

Many of our goals are stop goals like “no overeating”, “not staying up late” etc. We need to reframe a stop goal in terms of starting goals… I.e decide what will you do instead. Replace a stop goal with what you will do in your if-X-then-Y plan! E.g. [ if I feel the urge to —– then I’ll do instead—–!]

The above mentioned 10 tips will help you be focussed and achieve more. Please do let me know your experience and how did you benefit applying these tips in your life. Have a Happy Time!

(Shekhar Chandra is an IIT-Delhi alumnus.He has over a decade of entrepreneurial experience and leadership Excellence. He is also a member of Big Wire editorial team. Reach him at YouLEAD)

Big Wire

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