Goal Setting. What Is It, Why You Should Do It – and How to Do It with Susan Beckingham


Some timely inspiration on goal setting for a healthier, happier you.


Are YOU feeling a bit “meh”?


Isn’t this the gloomiest time of year?


Post-Christmas, we’re all back to work, still feeling the aftereffects of all those mince pies; maybe checking our bank accounts and cutting back on spending. Those lighter mornings, longer days, and time out enjoying the finest of our Sussex weather – yes, even the pebbly beach in Brighton – well, they can seem like an awfully long way off.


Another grey Groundhog type of day.


Is This You?


On a wider level, perhaps you feel you’re no further forwards in life than you were this time last year. It’s a common, shared experience.


If you’re self-employed your clients may have cut back their work due to the pandemic. The sheer, hard slog of finding new customers is more of a challenge than it used to be. Yet, you’re still working hard.


Many of us can feel that we simply sleepwalk through our lives, even if it’s not true. You may have dreamt about where you’d like to be say in 5, 10, or even 20 years’ time, but you’re lacking a workable plan of action about how to get there. Why? Because it’s all too overwhelming.


Well, there’s Good News


There’s light at the end of the tunnel. There really is.


If you do it properly and follow the “rules”, goal setting could be like flicking a light switch, empowering positive change in your career or your business, your relationships, and your wellbeing.


Let’s Get Back to Basics


Goal setting can be powerfully motivating.


What is it, though? In a nutshell, it’s a powerful process about thinking about your ideal future, then being motivated enough to turn your vision into reality. Setting goals helps you decide where you want to go in life. And, if you recognise what you want to achieve, you can then uncover the precise and exact steps to take that take you there.


Why Is Goal Setting Important?


Simply, because research has shown that it can affect the intensity of our actions, and commitment in life. Yes, seriously. The harder something is to reach or attain, the greater our efforts are likely to be – and thus, the more positive our emotions are when we get there. In other words, goal setting can be incredibly good for your self-esteem, your self-worth, and your happiness.


Along the way, you will have acquired new skills and abilities, and found problem-solving capabilities you never knew you had,


So, it’s time to start thinking about what you want from life and start setting yourself some goals. What’s your bigger picture?


Goal Categories

How about these?

  • Career/Job/Business

  • Financial

  • Education/Training

  • Fitness/Physical/Weight Loss

  • Public Service

  • Attitude/Mindset

  • Family and Relationships

  • Pleasure/Downtime

You’ll not see any prompts about how these life and work areas could be defined.


Probably, you already know that you’d like to lose weight, earn more money, have more holidays, feel less depressed, and so on. So now, it’s time to start a bit of brainstorming.


(By the way, there’s a deliberate mistake in how we’ve described the above – have you spotted it yet? We’ll explain more below.)


Let’s Go.


Pick 3 Goals


Yes, you may have more, but this is an easier number to work with for the time being. Choose the goals that you think will most benefit you, and those around you. Always think about the bigger picture – how will you feel when you achieve them? What does success actually look like?


Use the S.M.A.R.T Approach


S is for Specific – and where we made a rookie error above!

Telling yourself that you’d like to do something “more” or “less” isn’t effective. For example, “I want to increase my income by 20% over the next 12 months” gets a great big green tick from us, here at WERKS. Whereas, “I want to earn more” – not so much. See what we mean?


M. is for Measurable

What are your success markers? And importantly, what does your goal look like, intangible, practical ways? Indeed, how will you know that you have reached your goal?


A is for Achievable

Are you absolutely sure it’s grounded in reality? The balance between the effort required and the reward gained can be tricky.


R is for Rewarding, or Relevant

Firstly, think about why you want to do this. Is it for yourself, or for someone else – external pressure, perhaps? Would running 26.2 miles genuinely reward you personally? Talking of which, celebrating key milestones can be a wonderful way to keep you on track.


T is for Time-Specific

Deadlines. Most of us are already more than familiar with these as part of our working lives, and when it comes to goal setting, these should also apply. For example, giving yourself a framework of 12 months from now until x, y, or z is achieved.


Things to Think About:

  • Breaking down your main goal into smaller, more manageable chunks will be ultra-helpful, especially if it all seems more daunting. What along-the-way things do you need to change or do in order to meet your overall objective? We could call these “operational goals”; they’re incremental and go towards the bigger prize.

  • Start with mind mapping. Draw a big circle in the middle of a large piece of paper, then draw arrows outwards, with the tasks associated with your goal a key part of the plan.

  • Write stuff down! Always document things, not least because it will help you to remember them, and review progress. This also helps you to set priorities; some undertakings may be more important than others.

  • Plan, plan, plan. Keep a diary? Good. Whether it’s electronic or paper-based, you can set aside 30 minutes a day to exercise, read a chapter of that important book, or meditate. Literally, schedule these, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

  • Don’t punish yourself if you feel that you’ve failed at some stage along the way. Life is tough enough. Just forgive your lapse, and move on.


Finally, get rid of your fear of failure. Are you motivated, committed, and focused? Are you resilient, with strong self-regulation, yet ready to give yourself the self-care you deserve?


You are worthy of success. Now, just do it. Wow, that’s a good slogan, wonder if anyone has ever thought of it before?


Written by: Susan Beckingham (Sussex Copywriting Services)

Based at: Yacht Werks, 28-29 Richmond Place, Brighton

Socials: @SussexCopywritingServices


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