How To Make Sure Your Goals Are Motivating And Not Frustrating

photo:Oscar Wylee


After moving to Madrid in October 2015 I found myself working with people who were fluent in Spanish, while I had next to no knowledge of the local language. If I could change one thing about my first weeks in Madrid, it would be not putting myself under pressure.

My goal while working was to be as good as everyone else, which was impossible because of my lack of Spanish skills. My goal to perform as well as the natives then became frustrating. As it was almost impossible to achieve! And when your goals become frustrating you’re more likely to put them off. So here are a few ways to make sure your goals stay motivating…

#1 Know your skills
From the point I realized that my goal was frustrating me, I began to understand how to set motivating goals: You have to understand what you are able to do. In my case, this meant searching for ways to make up for my lack of Spanish. But I also looked for ways to take advantage of this, by bringing something from my native country and native language to Spain.

#2 Don’t set limits
Most of us stop working towards a goal when we believe we can’t achieve it. Now this is a difficult one: You need to know what you are able to do and tailor your goals to your own needs, but also you should not set limits to them. When formulating your goals, do not say when you will consider a goal achieved – you can always keep going further!

#3 Break it off into small steps
When you are trying to learn a new language, your goal should not be to be fluent in one year – or at least it should not be your only goal. Plan the process and set small goals: Memorizing your first 500 words, learning how verbs work etc. It is good to have big goals, but when you do not plan your process, you will never know where to begin.

#4 Draw your goals 
It’s cathartic and a great stress-release. Drawing your goals on paper can help you refocus them and figure out what really matters. The CGD team drew their goals recently for Snapchat. They found out that most twenty-somethings have similar goals, and that when you’re confronted with blank paper you really have to think about what you want.


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