Setting goals isn’t complicated, but like everything else, there are more effective ways to go about it. Setting goals to change your behaviour, whether it’s to decrease procrastination or be friendlier when you’re under stress can be a lot trickier than creating goals to change performance.
So we thought we would put together a few tips to get you started.
Focus on Future Performance
It’s cause and effect. Today’s behaviour affects tomorrow’s performance. If you’re having trouble meeting a performance-based goal you’ve set for yourself, consider that you might need to change a behaviour instead. For instance, many people set goals to increase productivity. But regardless of how fast you type, if you spend all morning surfing the web you’ll never meet your goal.
When it comes to behaviour-based goals, your focus should be on future performance. Go out of your way executing your behaviour-based goals, stay consistent, and really work hard on changing the ways you handle stress or deal with interpersonal relationships. As you change your behaviour, the results will come.
Give Yourself Time
In some ways, changing your behaviour is a lot harder than just increasing your productivity. How we feel, think, and react is second nature to us in a way that answering a certain amount of emails before lunch isn’t. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t seeing the behavioural changes you want overnight.
Give yourself a realistic amount of time to make changes. You’ll find it’s difficult to change a behaviour all at once. The most important thing is that you improve a little bit every day. Don’t give up on your goals, but don’t get upset with yourself if it’s harder to stick to behaviour-based goals than it is to performance-based goals.
Measure Your Progress
behaviour-based goals are harder to quantify than performance-based goals for a few reasons. It’s not always easy to assign a number value to interpersonal skills or teamwork. It can be hard to track the ways you manage your time or communicate. Sometimes, behavior-based goals are really subjective. But keeping track of your progress is important if you want to improve.
You may really need to get creative in order to measure your progress, and you’ll definitely need to embrace the subjectivity of the process. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Rather than making charts and graphs, consider journaling to keep track of your positive and negative behaviors.