At the beginning of the year, you may have turned your thoughts to how you can turn up as the best version of yourself in 2018, and achieve your personal and professional goals.
A goal (or aim, intention or desire) is a result that we envisage, plan for and commit to. Goal setting capitalises on our brains’ power to create something positive mentally and physically. Being teleological (we have an innate desire to move towards a goals or purpose), we naturally search for something to aim for and we feel fulfilment when we achieve or complete something.
Goals can be small or large; for ourselves, others or the community. We often get a boost of wellbeing when we feel we have made a difference in our actions. Goals are an inherent part of how we go about life and what motivation and success mean to each of us.
Cultivating and sustaining positive emotions, positive relationships, meaning and engagement in your life all help to support you in valuing, enjoying and achieving your goals.
We previously showed you how to use positive psychology to set resolutions and goals to help you stay motivated and achieve what you want for yourself in the year ahead. We showed you how to set a positive goal, how to stay motivated, how to develop a positive growth mindset, and how to overcome obstacles to achieve success.
One way of helping you to achieve your goals is to become aware of and leverage your strengths. Strengths are an authentic, energising and accessible resource that can be harnessed to achieve valued outcomes. Studies show that when people use their strengths, they become more energised, they reach goals faster and more easily, and experience less stress and greater well-being. When people are operating from their strengths they feel more confident (Govindji & Linley, 2007) and competent, and more ready and able to grow (Sheldon et al, 2002).
Which of your strengths would help you most in achieving your desired change? Your motivation will increase as goals are accomplished and setbacks overcome. All this while doing what you enjoy most and feel is aligned to your best self!
If you are needing any inspiration to set some more goals for the year, here are the Langley Group’s positive goals for 2018!
In my recent neuroscience studies, I have been learning about the brain’s neural mechanisms and how I can leverage them to be more effective in achieving my goals. I have learnt that the best intentions are just not enough to make it happen. What I need is an implementation plan; some precise actions that I will take to embed a new behaviour and make it a habit. When we create such action plans we create future memories and, in doing so, begin to establish new neural pathways. With regular practice, we can turn our effortful new behaviours into more energy efficient automatic responses. I wanted to be more focused this year and more mindful about where I spend my energy and attention. I decided to create a daily habit of ‘setting my intentions' for the day ahead.
My implementation plan includes the following steps:
- I wrote a series of motivating questions on a slip of paper and placed it next to the kettle (questions aligned to my purpose, values and strengths)
- Each morning as I savour the ritual of making my early morning cup of tea, I read through the questions (connecting my new behaviour to an old habit makes it so much easier!)
- As I enjoy the quiet start to my day, I consider: Where should I spend my time and energy today?
- I then write down approximately 3-5 dot points capturing my priorities for the day ahead
- I keep this list close by throughout the day to act as a gentle reminder not to get side tracked
"As the Langley Group’s most improved technical team member of the year 2017, I am setting a positive goal around continuing to grow my knowledge about systems and programs, and when I encounter frustration or anxiety about what I don’t know, to dial up curiosity to help overcome that. I am so proud of how far I have already come and I am enjoying the opportunity I have to grow my competence and capacity further. Where I used to have staff and resources to help me in my previous organisations, I now need to rely on me! Who says Gen X can’t keep up with our fabulous Gen Y peers?!"
"I am currently awaiting the outcome of a visa application, so I am consciousthat at any time in the next few months my time in Australia could come to an end. As a result, my positive goals are as follows:
- To make the most of every day that I am here, ensuring they are meaningful and/or productive
- To that end, to get up early in the morning during the week before work and use that personal me time to do mindfulness, practice gratitude, keep in touch with friends and family, work on my 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and just set myself up for the day ahead.
- Try and spend as much time as possible with good friends, being outdoors and seeing/experiencing as much of this beautiful country as possible!
During my down time, spending less time watching TV and more time reading and learning :)"
My positive goals for 2018 are to put practices in places that help me use my strengths to be the best version of myself. These include:
- To focus on gratitude – buy a journal and write down three things I am grateful for every week (because I realistically know I won’t do it every day!)
- To use my unrealised strength of writer – by writing my gratitude journal and by taking on different projects at work
- To reach my goal weight - by eating well and continuing my exercise regime, in order to become more self-confident
- To draw/paint more and take heaps of photos – doing these things brings me lots of positive emotion!
Looking ahead at 2018 brings on a mixture of emotions including curiosity, nervousness, and excitement! I am in the middle of a big life change, with which comes opportunities for positive development, so I have set myself some positive goals moving forward.
- To say no to the things in life that I do not enjoy and that aren’t good for my personal wellbeing, and yes to the things that are good for my health and happiness and will also energise me.
- To not stress the little things, and to develop my unrealised strength of being centred. Whatever challenges life throws at me, I will try my best to have a sense of poise and composure, being more at ease with the uncontrollability of situations.
"I would like to be able to be more centred and present in my daily work. The means focusing on a task and seeing it through despite being pulled in multiple directions: giving people my time without being pulled elsewhere and managing my emotions to be better able to handle the variety of imposts on my time."
I have so many positive goals this year! I have had a TTDBID (things to do before I die) list since 1991 and I try to tick things off each year.
This year, I have some of the following positive goals, which will all help me to continue to live life in line with my purpose, vision and values and continue to grow my amazing team to do the awesome work we do!!!!
- Spend two months in Europe including three weeks in Venice studying advanced Neuroscience.
- Develop new courses which we will be very excited to launch soon!
- Keep up my beach running, which benefits both my physical and mental wellbeing.
- To run successful Strengths Profile and MSCEIT certifications and a full Diploma course in London.
- Enjoy one month off booked for 2019 to work on exciting new projects!
For more information around how to create new year’s goals and how to keep them, click here.
If you feel that you would benefit from learning more about the theory and science behind goal-setting, Positive Goals is one of the core modules in the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. This is a great course for learning more about how harnessing positive psychology and wellbeing can help empower you and others to live the happy and successful lives we all strive for.
You can also learn more about creating positive habits to achieve your goals by downloading our free eBook.
Govindji, R., & Linley, P. A. (2007). Strengths use, self-concordance and well-being: Implications for strengths coaching and coaching psychologists. International Coaching Psychology Review, 2 (2), 143-153.
Sheldon, K. M., Kasser, T., Smith, K., & Share, T. (2002). Personal goals and psychological growth: Testing an intervention to enhance goal-attainment and personality integration. Journal of Personality, 70, 5-31.