Can You Force Yourself To Achieve Your Goals?

Dear Dr Shari

I love your articles about motivating others. I need your help motivating ME. I set daily personal goals, and don’t achieve them. My two questions for you are, Why don’t I meet them when setting daily goals seems to work for others and how can I change that?? I really want to meet my goals! — Jay B.

So, let’s start by changing the vocabulary.

Daily goals are really just decisions that raise your standards. Hitting a personal goal is simply saying, “I am deciding to do this today, because it is of value to do.” If you do not accomplish the goal, it tells me that the goal was not of enough value to you, to get it done.

So my first suggestion would be to really look at your GOALS and answer these questions:

• Why do you want to achieve these goals?

• What is the true value to you?

• What price do you have to pay for them?

• Is that price really worth it?

• Imagine being the ”you” who achieves the goals. How is he different? What does he feel?

Get your mind into that thought process. Now answer, do you really want to achieve this, or NOT?

If the answer is yes, this is more than just a mind game

I have some suggestions for you:

1. Lock yourself in

Want to give up sugar? Get the candy and cookies out of the house entirely so you don’t have options. Want to commit to extra movement? Park far from the entrance wherever you go. Set yourself up in a way that supports follow through.

2. Get support

Get a friend to go with you to the gym, for the walk, whatever. The obligation to the friend might be the only reason that you follow through in the first few days, but it works.

3. Declare it

Call your mother, or tell your kids or co-workers and make a commitment that you are doing this and that they can hold you to it. If your word means something to you, let it support you in achieving your goals. Don’t do this if you are the kind of person who goes back on their word and makes empty promises. In that case, this will not help you.

4. Simplify and 5. Experience the victory

Create goals that you can achieve easily at first, and build up from there. The motivational power of “victory” is irrefutable. If you set out to do five things in a day, and you cross ALL of them out by the end of the day, that motivational power will serve you in your next pursuit, even if those endeavors are small. If you find yourself continually failing, start at the basics, get those victories, first, and let it inspire you

When you achieve what you set out to accomplish, find a way to reward or acknowledge yourself. Check off each day of the calendar when you succeed, you will be surprised at how that “gold star” mentality of elementary school still has a psychological effect.

One of the beautiful things about the human brain is that it will help you create patterns and habits by engraving your neural pathways to support what actions you have decided to make habitual. It gets a lot easier Jay, if you will press forward until you pick up that momentum, you will succeed.

My best,

Dr. Shari


This article was written by Shari Sweetnam, Founder of BRAINPOWER for schools, Author of The Learning Toolbox Memory Skills for Everyone, and Inspiring the Love of Learning, Columnist, Radio Host.

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