Woman smiles as she uses her upper body strength to lift weights in a reformer pilates class at Upstate Studios.

Tips for Setting Goals You’ll want to Stick to

Setting goals can be incredibly motivating. They get you to that Upstate class in the morning, they have you working harder at work. The list goes on. But what isn’t motivating is when you reach your goal and don’t feel all that great. It’s like, well, what’s next?  Sometimes that can be because we actually wanted to change how we felt by achieving a goal. Here are some of the ways we’ve learnt to create goals that mean something at the end.

Decide How You Want to Feel

We’ve all had a goal – say attend 5 Upstate classes in a week, and after achieving that goal, it can almost be deflating. Often we get to the end of these journeys towards a goal and don’t feel how we expected to feel. Mature, healthy, happy with our body, accomplished. Whatever it is. We end up feeling a bit disappointed.

If we shift our focus from a task to a feeling, the outcome might be different. Instead of setting an arbitrary goal assuming it will be what we want, start with how you want to feel. We want to get to the deep feelings and sensations behind the goals we are setting. Danielle Laporte (who has a very good book on goal setting with heart) calls this “core desired feelings.” Write a list of the ways you want to feel. Loved, confident, content, brave, present, connected, strong, loving, and content. The list goes on. Your goal should be to feel that way. More of the time.

Figure Out What Makes You Feel that Way

Take each feeling or sensation. Now create a list of things, people, and activities that make you feel that way. Spending quality time with your family might make you feel loved and present. Going to an Upstate class might make you feel strong or connected.  For example, if attending a new Upstate class style was  a goal, you would go on a journey to realise how confident and strong this goal would make you feel. These feelings would override the actual result of the goal and shifting your mind from, “this is new, this is hard” to “wow, I actually pushed outside my comfort zone”.

Implement time and effort into working these activities into your daily life

Notice how many things you’re doing in your week then note how many other things you’re doing in order to hit your goal. If they’re out of line, make the time to review how you can incorporate steps to achieve your goal day to day. You could even try including your family and friends into the goal to help motivate and inspire you.


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