AIM SMALL, MISS SMALL: HOW TO FOCUS YOUR IDENTITY TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS​

Dylan played hockey and baseball in high school and continued to play ice hockey in college at MSU. During his junior and senior year at Montclair, Dylan was a ...

With the year’s official fresh start quickly approaching, carving out the time to goal set for the New Year is upon us. Consider goal setting through a lens of stamina. It’s easy to align stamina with a physical approach, but let’s take it a step further and recognize that stamina throughout the year to achieve your goals is built on habit. Generally, if you are lacking in your capacity for stamina, you tend to quit. You may have habituated yourself into quitting at that same time in different categories of life, such as, physical ability or weight loss, emotional relations, financial stability, educational attainment, etc.

Now is a great time to think about and understand your personal values. What are your dreams? What is your personal mission statement? What type of person do you want to be? What do you think is realistic in achieving this week, month and year?

To help sidestep deserting your stamina and to focus on not allowing goal setting fatigue to set in, here are some quick tips to turn your curiosity in improving yourself into your 2017 actually improved self.​

  • Identify the type of person you want to be and perform the behaviors and responsibilities of that identity.
  • Choose the right goals that are important to you and add value to your life.
  • Create a compelling vision of what that life may look like and how you’ll perceive yourself moving forward.
  • Devise a plan that will help you navigate your destination point through a series of checks and balances that are challenging
    yet manageable.
  • Stick to your plan, but stay focused on the behaviors of that identity and overall achievement outcome.
  • Celebrate all types of wins—especially the small wins when you’re starting out—so you feel connected with your goals and desire to change.
  • Regularly reassess your current mood, strengths, talents and abilities to help keep you motivated and in support of yourself to reach your goals.

If you take the time to define the type of person you want to be, your goals will be more identity-based through behaviors of that identity rather than performance-based or appearance-based goals. For example, if you want to be a person who becomes stronger or faster, then you have to never miss a workout. Someone who never misses a workout and trains consistently for strength or speed will become stronger or faster eventually due to the nature of the process.

More often than not, people write a list of the most important things they want to achieve within a year. Rather than that approach, I would recommend writing down that list and then crossing off the most important statement or goal, for the time being. This seems counterintuitive, but if you can complete the least emotionally driven task or goal, you build your own confidence and self-efficacy into your identity. Once you prove to yourself you can complete one of your goals and continue with it as it becomes a part of your character, you can then feel more armed to move onto your more emotionally charged goals.

Take your personal values and personal mission statement and live it and breathe it daily. Become the type of person who you want to be and believe you are that person. Build those habits today and if you continue daily the results will come later.

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