3 Keys to Unlocking a Healthy Goal Setting
The “how” part in goal-setting is as important as the goal itself.
Goal setting is a common practice developed by human beings for continuously evolving reasons. Originally, goals were survival-oriented. For instance, the following primal goals were and still are triggered by specific signals.
- Hungry? Look for food
- Thirsty? Look for water
- Tired? Get some sleep
Did you notice how straight forward those goals are? It is owed to their elementary biological nature.
Nevertheless, over thousands of years, technological and social evolutions made it lots easier to survive (not for everyone unfortunately but for a major part of us). Gradually, the changeover brought new types of goals such as “being financially secure”, “starting a family” “ and “preserving the planet”.
Most of these complex goals are “universal”. In fact, information sharing allowed humans to benefit from mutual experiences and feedback. Such shared knowledge shaped models and “user guides” of goal setting and achieving.
Hence, the logical thing to do would be to pick up a goal and adapt it to our set of skills. It sounds perfect at first sight. Obviously, there is a hitch, a substantial one. Due to it, we often found ourselves trapped striving for goals that we do not even care about. Here is why :
It all comes down a twist. Instead of adapting existing goals to our personal aspirations, we end up adapting ourselves to fit in standard patterns.
Looking back at my personal experience and what I learned from my readings, I built the following adaptable toolkit for a healthy goal setting.
🔹 1- Shape your goals so that they remain self-driven & evolving
Self-driven goals are powerful. They are unshakable. They evolve and adapt according to one unique parameter: You. Whatever happens around you, your goal remains achievable.
For example, instead of “Developing awesome learning apps with Google”, try “Being a great coder who contributes to upgrading education”. Even if Google rejects your application, your goal remains achievable.
Make sure to check your targets and your own definition of success regularly. They may change over time and that is fine.
🔹 2- Sustain your goal through habits. Repetition is the fuel for your decision-making
As Wim Hof said “your mind, out of control, is your worst enemy. However, in control, it is your greatest ally”. Put differently, having your subconscious mind in line with your aspirations leads to better micro decision making. Better decision-making leads to more small wins. Small wins stacked over time deliver life-changing results.
Keep in mind that your subconscious mind is an extremely complex algorithm running your behavior. Working on your inner algorithm could be done efficiently through repetition: daily rituals and habits. There are other tools such as meditation, and visualization. Try a few methods then pick what suits you.
For the sake of the example let’s say that you are a content creator. Your new habit of writing one page per day would bring you to 300 pages a year. I took off some holidays and weekends from the count. Writing one page a day starts as an idea that you carry out as often as possible. Over time, it becomes a habit monitored by your subconscious mind. Once habits are wired within your subconscious mind, they become effortless. Not to mention that you can use efficient hacks like stacking habits. For instance, you could opt for a daily combo of reading/listening to audiobooks for 30 minutes then switch to writing your page. The former habit allows you to facilitate the latter: you get to start with a less demanding task that feeds you with inspirational content for your writing.
🔹 3- Give it time and enjoy the process
Getting fast results is one of the main characteristics of our modern society. Sadly, due to it, we tend to forget that the last thing to grow on a tree is the fruit.
Let’s learn to be patient and enjoy watering our trees while they grow. The fruits will definitely show up at some point!
- “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani — book
- “Homosapiens a brief history of humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari— book
- “12 Rules for life” by Jordan Peterson — book
- Personal experience
📚 If you want more in-depth insights, there is also this: