How to Feel in Control of Your Goals

Sometimes it feels like our goals just slip away from us...Here are tips to help you feel in control of your goals and get back on track when it feels like you're missing your target.

It can be disappointing to work hard for something and then watch how your plans take a wrong turn. As much as we want everything to happen exactly as we imagined, our goals don't always work out perfectly. Let's look at some tips that can help you feel more confident and in control with your goals.

1. Be flexible with the method (but not the goal!)

One way to feel more in control of your goals is being willing to experiment. Your pursuit of a certain goal will teach you a lot, and often that will include learning that some of your ideas work better than others. Being willing to try new things out will help you move further quicker. But this doesn't mean abandoning one goal for something else. Especially something that looks easier but is not as rewarding. No, keep the end result in mind, but be flexible with the route you take on your way to getting there.

Failure is natural, and it's part of the process. The important thing is to keep your eyes open to opportunities and ideas that will help you reach your goals more efficiently. Eventually, you'll stumble upon a solution that works and you'll be proud of the effort you put in!

2. Reflect gratefully on previous progress

Another great way to feel in control of your goals is to take the time to reflect on previous successes. Many times when we feel far away from reaching our goals, we start to think negatively about ourselves and our ability to get stuff done. This can be dangerous to your self-image and self-worth. One way to avoid a negative spiral is to think back to times were you've overcome a difficult situation.

Direct your attention to situations where you were particularly desperate, or situations that required a lot of patience. Meditate on what kind of thinking and what kind of actions enabled you to reach your goal or get rid of an obstacle.

This, of course, doesn't not mean resting on your laurels. However, reflecting on the ways you managed to reach goals that seemed impossible before can motivate you to keep trying and not to give up. Time brings different challenges, but viewing them with a positive mindset works wonders. Have genuine faith in your ability to get what you work hard for.

3. Set action-oriented rather than result-oriented goals

Now this point might seem to go against everything you've ever heard about setting goals. If you're familiar with the concept of SMART goals (and by the way each of the letters can be substituted with a variety of words), then you probably know that the 'R' can stand for result-oriented goals.

Setting result-oriented goals is important, that's for sure. The result must be decided from the start, otherwise it isn't really a solid goal. However, I personally find that when I'm struggling with a particular goal that just seems unusually out of reach, then I focus on 'A' - action-oriented goals more than the results.

You can't always control results, but your actions seem to be the one thing you can consistently take charge of in order to get those desired results. 

When I was trying to master some skills in order to get my license this was a concept that I really had to use. My end result was being a confident driver and getting my license, but to get there I realized I would have to focus on specific actions. I would have to get more practice driving and I would have to plan to practice certain elements like parrallel parking and speed control. Dedicating my time to acting and mastering these things helped me to finally gain confidence. I got my license (the result), because I shifted focus from the result to the actions required. 

Thinking about an end result can be overwhelming. Dates and timelines and great but it can be disappointing when you don't reach a goal on the day or month you thought you would. So during such circumstances I try to remove focus from the results and think of practical actions I can take. 

Actions are great because they are in your hands. Results have the uncertainty of being hugely external. 

I might not be able to reach a certain figure by a certain date, but I can plan to do this, that and the other thing by that certain date. Big results are made of the actions and decisions you make everyday. 

So if you feel a little overwhelmed by your goals, try this approach. Take pleasure in doing what you can, in taking small steps continually, in trying new methods. Then you will feel much more in control of your goals. 

Thanks for reading! What helps you feel more in control of your goals? Comment below!

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