25 November 2019 ~ Comments Off on How to be Good at Achieving Your Goals

How to be Good at Achieving Your Goals

Whether it is a lack of exercise, weakness for shopping or social media addiction, we all have a bad behavior that we aspire to change. But wanting to make the change and actually doing it are two different things. Clearly, intentions are never enough to make things happen. VTeach training partners SG emphasize that setting goals is a great way to approach your future, as well as a motivational tool to turn your ideal version of yourself into reality.

Behavioral psychologist, Sean Young, points out in his book, “Stick with it” that goal setting is mainly about changing behavior. Making use of Young’s framework and research conducted by psychologist Christine Carter at UC Berkeley Science Center, these goal-setting steps made all easy and can be applied to many things in life—from small to big goals:

Declare your goal

Ask yourself what would you like to achieve in the next six months or so? It can be hoping to reach a specific amount of savings in the bank that includes cutting-off unnecessary expenses and doing extra income.

It is important to strike a balance between a challenging goal and a realistic one. In the example above, you can break and adjust your savings goal on a weekly basis sufficient to hit your desired amount come six months (target savings = # of weeks x amount). When you are realistic about it, you will come to realize that taking small successes over big failures is more tolerable. Small progress shows us that we have the power to make changes in a lasting way.

Make that goal become a habit

For example, you want to follow a skin care routine before going to sleep every night, and you want to use a particular moisturizing cream. Chances are, when you clean your face you turn into an “autopilot” mode” and don’t think of the process. You don’t always remember to use moisturizing cream. Sometimes, you simply clean your face and go straight to bed; in some cases, you rely on a sticky note reminder. In this example, cleaning your face is the habit and using moisturizing cream afterwards is the goal.

The journal Neuron recently published a study showing that goals and habits are stored separately in the human brain. Endocannabinoids, a neutral messenger in the brain, which are responsible for modulating memory, appetite and mood, convert goals into solid habits. The most effective way to get endocannabinoids to work is by being consistent. Work on your goal everyday even if you don’t feel like doing it, this can also mean setting a specific schedule or context to do it. For example, you can use moisturizing cream immediately after cleaning your face (specific context). The more consistent you are, the more easily your brain can transform it into a habit.

Change the environment

Environmental factors are important to habit formation as the brain is great at connecting an environment to a certain situation. If you find yourself constantly forgetting or giving up on your goals, take a look at your surroundings. Do you find it difficult to clean your room because you are so used to binge watch in that area? Try changing the room arrangement for a change. Sometimes, a new environment is your best friend when it comes to kicking your brain to start hitting your goals.

Gratefully, with these simple steps, it’s possible to do at least one. You just might change your life for the better. As the saying goes, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration—the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

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