Saturday, 18 September 2010

How to set goals and boost your everyday motivation

Every day individuals are exposed to a large number of occurrences and gain new experience, which may make either a positive or a negative impact on their feelings. Inasmuch as all the negative events we experience are likely to harmfully influence our daily motivation; all the positive events are highly likely to contribute to enhance and improve our daily motivation.

Individual motivation, that is, the strength and vigor which: push people to work for achieving their objectives and ambitions, encourage them to be and act as better people and to lead gratifying and satisfying lives is then subject to a wide range of driving and restraining factors.

One of the most effective ways we use to enhance our self-motivation is setting our own goals. Many individuals use to set targets for themselves, these targets hence motivate individuals to work harder in order to attain success. It is just the desire to achieve those objectives, which individuals have set for themselves, which drives their daily motivation. Goals such as getting a promotion at work, mortgaging a property or getting a Master’s degree drive an individual to succeed.

When setting personal goals, individuals should keep in mind that attaining a target, for not particularly ambitious it might be, helps to maintain a positive attitude; by contrast, not achieving a pre-identified goal is highly likely to induce negative feelings. It is thus pointless setting ambitious objectives and aiming at achieving these quickly and feeling therefore under pressure and stressed in a bid to attain these as planned, this approach is in fact inexorably destined to produce a negative state of mind.

Following a step-by-step approach enables individuals to achieve their objectives whereas keeping a positive and motivating attitude. It is just the wish to attain a target which actually keeps people carrying on, even when the sun is not shining.

The willingness and eagerness to invest in ourselves is an important part of our daily motivation, too. Resolute and determined to succeed people never hesitate when good opportunities for self-investment and self-development arise. In order to constantly nurture their own abilities and competencies good leaders constantly strive to improve their personal abilities, skills and knowledge; this is something they feel can effectually help them to achieve their personal and professional goals, and is as such tremendously motivating. By contrast, one of the most daily demotivating factors is taking and adopting a negative attitude. Assuming and considering that one or more of the preset targets is or are too difficult to achieve, represents a strong restraining force to practically achieve it or them in practice of its own accord. Yet, a negative mood and attitude are due to induce stress and thus cause individual failure.

When setting goals, it is extremely important that individuals keep in mind that they can be, albeit through hard work, actually achieved. Whether you tell yourself that you can achieve it, you are very likely to succeed; motivation is very much about a “can do attitude” and positive feelings.

Setting out their own goals and holding a positive approach can effectually help individuals not only to keep their motivation alive, but also to live a better life.

In order to avert undesirable and dangerous drawbacks, nonetheless, targets should be SMART; to wit:
S - Specific, significant, stretching;
M - Measurable, meaningful, motivational;
A - Achievable, agreed upon, attainable, acceptable, action-oriented;
R - Relevant, realistic, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented;
T - Timely, time-based, tangible, trackable.

As contended by the renowned American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard: "Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal."

More in particular:

Specific, means that the goal need to be:
  • Well defined,
  • Clear to anyone participating in the project, just to be sure that everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet.
  • Be sure that the intended goal is obtainable and that it can be understood at any time till its achievement,
  • Be able to determine when the goal has been achieved.
  • Set impossible goals will just bring frustration and cause inevitably failure.
  • Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.
  • Enough time to achieve the goal,
  • At the right moment; achieving the goal too late may indeed prove to be pointless.