A goal is something that you want to achieve in your life and it can be related to different areas e.g. career, health, friendships, relationships etc . Usually, when a person sets a goal this is because they want to make an improvement in their life and to experience growth. Setting a goal does not need a lot of time however, working hard to achieve and fulfil your goals does, requiring motivation and dedication. It is common that people set goals but then they do not achieve them. There are a few pitfalls that one can avoid to ensure that this does not happen. The following are a few suggestions. 

  1. Be realistic – Whilst having big dreams is okay, when you set a goal it is important that it is a realistic one. If the goal you set is unattainable you end up experiencing failure which is likely to make you feel bad that you didn’t achieve your goal. This would not be because you didn’t put your effort into it but simply because it was unrealistic to attain in the first place. 
  2. Break it down – Sometimes a goal may seem too big to accomplish thus, breaking it down into smaller steps makes it more manageable. This will give you a better sense of control and that you are making progress to achieve the final step. Breaking it down might mean setting a weekly or monthly goal which leads to achieving the initial bigger goal you would have set up. 
  3. Making a schedule – Although there is a goal you might want to achieve, finding time for it can be challenging especially when you already have several other things you need to attend to. To work on your goal, find a slot during the day which you can fit in your calendar. In this way it is another activity to complete during the day and not doing it only when you find time. As we know, unless we make time for the things that matter to us, we will not find the time. 
  4. Support system – Share your goals with the people who matter to you. Sometimes we all need some encouragement to keep going when it gets tough. When you feel discouraged about achieving your goal, share with your loved ones how you feel about it especially if they are supportive towards you achieving that goal. A few words of encouragement may go a long way to keep persisting. 
  5. Visualise your success – To motivate yourself to keep working to achieve your goal, it can help to visualise yourself succeeding. You may say positive statements to yourself which make you feel good that you are working hard to achieve a specific goal. Along the way, there might be challenges but this is part of the process. Do not give up and imagine yourself succeeding. Asking for help is okay so do not be afraid to do so, it can give you a fresh perspective that you may not have thought of.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.