Scientifically speaking, goal setting is an incredible practice!

Goal setting has been proven to increase productivity, increase focus, increase feelings of satisfaction in life, and much, much, more! 

Odds are, you are already aware of the benefits of goal setting.

After all, the idea of goal setting has taken a deep foothold in Western culture. For many, achieving goals is a benchmark for success. We are taught from a young age to set goals, to make lists and do whatever we need to achieve what we set out to do. 

Goal setting has infiltrated every aspect of our lives both privately and professionally. 

There are even massive businesses that exist on helping people set goals… I’m looking at you Pintrest and your menagerie of “Dream Wedding” boards. 

So, if goal setting is a proven method to increase feelings of productivity and satisfaction and almost all of us are proficient goal setters, then why do most of us feel unproductive or even beat down after a hard day’s work? 

Well, that is hard to say exactly, but we believe that people feel this way because though they are setting goals, they are not setting goals effectively

If people do not set effective goals, either by being too ambitious or unrealistic, they set themselves up for failure. 

When people do not succeed at meeting their goals, they can feel unsuccessful. If someone is feeling unsuccessful, they can be too hard on themselves and begin to critique themselves, or worse, punish themselves. 

When a person begins to critique themselves, those negative thoughts can easily overshadow all of the accomplishments a person made throughout the day leaving them feeling deflated. 

Alternative to critiquing oneself is punishing oneself. As an example, If I set a goal to exercise every day this week and wasn’t able to make it to the gym on Tuesday, I might negotiate with myself and think “Ok, I didn’t go today – so I will go twice as long on Wednesday.”  That might sound like a good plan, but it is a plan motivated out of a feeling of failure and as a result I am punishing myself for missing my daily goal. If I then cannot meet the new goal, the cycle of negotiation will continue – further perpetuating negative feelings into each day. 

 Do not critique or punish yourself! Show yourself kindness and grace. Start each day with a clean slate and try again. 

Now that we discussed what we SHOULD NOT DO, let’s talk about what we SHOULD DO!

The Morning Goals Method 

Here at The Morning Goals, we work diligently to empower our clients and to set them up for long-term success. This includes working with them to redefine their relationship to goals and the goal setting process. To do this, we introduce our clients to what we call “The Morning Goals Method” an innovative approach to goal setting that has revolutionized our lives and the lives of our clients.

What is The Morning Goals Method?

The Morning Goals Method is a daily practice where we identify three key mini-goals for the day. Each of our goals falls into a category which are:

  1. A challenging goal
    • This goal is a goal that is a challenge to complete. This goal is typically one that will require significant time or focus. It might be something that we have been wanting to do for a long time but have been putting it off, something we have been dreading, or something that we have been avoiding. 
  2.  An important goal 
    • This is your most important goal of the day. A goal that you HAVE to accomplish. It might be time sensitive, necessary for your job, or one that you know you will not put off no matter how busy you get. 
  3. A goal that we refer to as “Icing on the cake”
    • The “icing on the cake is the goal that you can complete at the end of the day that is easy for you to do. Think of something that you would have little to no resistance to doing. It could be something like meditating for ten minutes or watching a television show with your family. It should be something that you would enjoy doing. 

Once you set these goals, complete them in this order!

 The order is important and here is why. We do the most challenging goal first because most people are most productive when they start their day. They are eager to be productive and as a result, they have less resistance to complete those challenging goals. When we complete the challenging goal, we then move on to the most important goal. This is a goal that HAS to be done, so we are sure to get it done. We know that completing these two goals might be challenging and draining to complete which is why we follow that goal up with the “icing on the cake.”

This goal is fun or energizing. It is something that you want to do and enjoy doing. It will act, in a sense, as positive reinforcement after completing two goals that were, perhaps, less enjoyable. 

So there you have it! The Morning Goals Method. Do this each day and you will be surprised what you can accomplish!

Additional Tips for Goal Setting

  • Write your goals down each day. The simple act of writing down a goal takes an idea and turns it into something tangible. 
  • Mark items off your list as you complete them.
  • Tell a friend who will encourage you. Sticking to goals is hard work! That is why we encourage people to tell a friend. Telling friends or family creates a sense of accountability which works to help encourage us to complete our goals. Additionally, telling a friend opens the door for additional encouragement as we strive to complete each task. 
  • Do not beat yourself up – goals are tools to motivate us, not to punish us. Be careful not to be too critical if you do not complete your list. That is okay! Just try again tomorrow!
  • Make sure your goals are specific – many people set vague goals and they never quite reach them. Set specific goals that are measurable, realistic, and work with your schedule. 

For example, if I wanted to lose weight, I would not make my goal “Lose weight” that is too general. Instead, I would think of a target weight so that my goal was specific. For example, my goal could be: “I will lose 10 pounds by June 1, 2021 by going to the gym 3 times a week for an hour.” That goal is realistic, it is specific, and it fits with my schedule. Then 3 times a week I would set a mini goal of going to the gym for an hour. 

  • Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t – Make your goals action oriented and focus on developing good habits, not stopping bad ones. 

For example, if I wanted to save money by not eating out as much, I would focus on what I can do and make my goal “Cook dinner at home” instead of “Do not eat out.” By making this small shift we are working to create positive habits without being too critical of our habits that are less desirable. 

For more information about The Morning Goals and what we do, check us out here!