Having and setting goals are important for our mental health and wellbeing. While most people have heard of smart goals before, it is also important that goals are HARD.
The first requirement of a HARD goal is that it is Heartfelt. What does this mean? It means that the goal has to mean something to you. The more emotion that is linked with the goal the more likely you are to stay on track. It’s a case of mind over matter – if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter and ultimately if it doesn’t matter it won’t happen!
The next part is making the goal Animated. There has been substantial research that shows that people who visualize their goals and importantly achieving those goals are more likely to reach them. This can be as simple as taking a few moments to close your eyes and visualizing yourself reaching your goal while imagining how you will feel when you achieve it. For some people they prefer to have a picture that they are able to see daily of their goal.
HARD goals are Required. It is not simply a matter of wanting something but NEEDING it. The more energy we invest into convincing our body that we need to change the more likely it is to happen. It is easy to dismiss simple desires and wants with practicality by telling ourselves that while we may “want” something we don’t “need” it.
Finally all good goals are Difficult. This is contrary to what we innately want of course. However there is substantial benefit in aiming to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Perhaps it is reverse psychology but in general if a goal is too easy we are more likely to procrastinate! Goals that are just outside of our comfort zone that are difficult tend to intrinsically motivate us more. We know that it will be tough, but it will also be a testament to our character if we achieve them.