Daily goal setting is something many do, but often use it as a weapon rather than a tool of support.  Let me explain…

This is one for those who struggle with procrastination and self punishment.  I would say these are such common battles for the people I work with – high achievers who are very hard on themselves, motivating themselves through stress, harshness and last minute deadlines. They’re usually noticing that these tactics are working less effectively and the procrastination is taking hold.

And so we work with proven procrastination and self compassion techniques.  Here’s a quick protocol that can be a simple starting point:

Daily goal setting, supported by self compassion check-ins

  • Towards the end of each day, capture your goals for tomorrow, keeping them focused and achievable (remember, start small and build rather than creating overwhelming to-do lists)
  • Take this time to also review the day you’ve had.  What were your wins? What went well? What did you enjoy? What do you feel grateful for?  Bringing focus onto the positives often doesn’t come naturally and is sooo beneficial so this is a great practice
  • And then consider what you’d like to improve on and practical ways how could you do this? Use heaps of self compassion – as if advising a close friend or cherished colleague. And create a clear, practical plan. It’s so much more useful than the self annihilation of “failure” without any steps to make things better
  • And finally, put your list somewhere really visible for your day and “dopamine dress” it with bright colours, inspiring pictures, visible things that give you a boost

Nothing too groundbreaking here but something we easily skip, which mean we can set ourselves unachievable targets (cue procrastination) or get stuck in fire fighting.  (Many of us are good at setting goals, but only focus on what we haven’t done and forget to consider what we have.  And can then spin into “failure” rather than looking at ways we can improve, without feel bad about ourselves).

As an extra, it can be helpful to give the short term aims a more strategic focus within monthly/3-monthly targets, broken down into weekly objectives which then translate into these daily goals.

Why not give them a go? As someone prone to procrastination, especially when I’m having a health flare, I use them too when I’m starting to lose my way.