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Your goal is your North Star. It is the reward at the end of the road, but it is also the beginning of the road. A well-defined goal provides strong motivation for action, therefore it offers a better chance of goal attainment.

Define It and Write It Down

To make the goal setting and goal attainment easier, take advantage of the natural processes of attention, perception and memory. The following tips will help you to define goals and plan your actions effectively, so that you do not waste your energy and motivation.

First rule: if your goal is not written down, your brain does not see it as an order, which must be given to the centers of attention, perception and memory. The brain treats the unwritten goal as one of the many thoughts that run through your head all the time, not as a task that must be completed.

To move your goal from the “dream” compartment to the “to do” compartment in your brain, you must make it real, give a physical shape, for example by writing it down.

Best Practice

Before you work out the details of your goal, you might want to develop and write down your general idea or your vision. Think about the important things in your life? What motivates you and what makes you happy? List your values. Family? Money? Travel? Any answer is good, providing you stay true to yourself.

Once you know what makes you tick, write down your goal and check if it is related to the values you listed earlier. If the need be, rewrite your goal in such a way that it is linked with your values. For example:

My values: family and travel
My goal: promotion at work
My goal related to my values: promotion at work, which will enable me to spend more time with my family and travel

A goal, which is aligned with your personal values is like perpetuum mobile - it continuously motivates you to work towards it.


sobiczewska paulina

About the author

Paulina Sobiczewska, Ph.D. – psychologist, Head of Professional Education Program “Praktyczna Psychologia Motywacji” [Motivational Psychology in Practice], at SWPS University.