How you approach your goals or a change you want to create in your life or work can be the difference between achieving them or not. This is especially true when the going gets tough.

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How to approach your goals when the going gets tough

Succeed. How we can reach our goals by Heidi Grant HalvorsonHow you approach your goals or a change you want to create can be the difference between achieving them or not.

This is especially true when the going gets tough.

It is easy to get de-motivated and frustrated when progress is slow, you make a mistake or you encounter a challenge.

Once you feel de-motivated and frustrated it is easy to end up stuck, not make progress or you might even give up.

When those situations arise and you want to get better results and enjoy the journey more, there is a very simple and effective approach you can take to help you. It is this:

Shift your focus to getting better, making progress and taking the next step. 

When your focus is on getting better, progress and the next steps to move you forward, it changes your approach toward your goals and the changes you want to create. And a different approach will lead to a different outcome.

Psychologists refer to this approach as having mastery goals.

In her book, “Succeed – How We Can Reach Our Goals,” Psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson (Ph.D.) explains that when people’s approach is focussed on mastery goals (i.e. getting better) “they judge themselves in terms of progress they are making.”

This is a powerful approach and mindset to foster as focussing on progress and getting better will help you navigate the path you are taking more effectively, especially when mistakes happen or challenges arise. You are more likely to stick with it, work through it and come out successfully on the other side with this approach.

Dr Heidi Halvorson goes on to say in her book, “Get-better goals can sometimes lead to the greatest achievement, because people who focus on getting better rarely make the mistake of giving up too soon.”

So, how can you adopt this approach more when the going gets tough with your goals or changes you are making?

Here is a simple, practical and effective exercise to help you with this:

1. Think about a goal you are working on or a change you are making in your life or work.

2. Based on where you are now with that thing, take some time to work out what would be progress. Ask yourself, what needs to get better with this? What do you need to learn? What are the next steps to move forward? What needs to happen for you to become masterful at what you want to achieve?

3. When you have thought that through, commit to your next few action steps to make that happen and do them.

4. Repeat this process regularly as you work on your goals and changes you are creating.

Have a go at implementing a mastery mindset to your goals and changes you are working on. Focus on getting better, making progress and next steps. See the difference it makes, especially when the going gets tough.

Let me know how you get on with the exercise above in the comments section below. Would love to hear your views and experiences on this subject.

 

Download your free Set Yourself Up To Succeed self assessment workbook.

  • Hi Ali! I read this book, loved it and used Heidi’s ideas in many of my own my blog posts several times. There is SO much good information in here that reaches far beyond what we normally think of as achieving our goals and succeeding. Thanks for the reminders. ~Kathy

  • Kathy, I think the book is powerful because it is not only evidence, scientific and proven psyhcology based, but it also is presented in an easy and simple way to understand which makes it more doable to apply. Simplicity rules in the quest to achieve our goals!