Whether you’re trying to quit an unhealthy habit, save money for a home, or go back to school, long-term goals are tough to keep up with! Especially when your final reward (e.g. losing weight, buying your home, or graduating) won’t come for some days, months, or even years. This week Megan and I talked about long-term goals and how to come about them, my long-term goal is to complete my graduate thesis project. For goals that take longer amounts of time, it is best to break down the goal into smaller steps, for example if you were looking to lose weight the first step maybe to go out for a walk, the second may be to remove unhealthy foods from your kitchen, then increasing your exercise during your week, and so on.
Regarding my graduate thesis goal, Megan and I first discussed what items I need to check off in the entire task of graduating (e.g. submitting drafts in a timely manner, following up with my advisor, entering important dates in a planner, and so forth). After this step we discussed what immediate and delayed rewards I would receive for completing my weekly assignment. Immediate rewards are those motivating rewards that you receive that day or that week, for me, I agreed that I would purchase a new craft beverage and not purchase one should I not complete my assignment. We also decided on what hopefully will be an effective punisher. Should I not complete my weekly tasks, my punishment will be having my pet sleep over at a family members home for the weekend. In addition to immediate consequences for goals, it is helpful to set a delayed reward that you will receive once the larger goal has been met. My overall goal is, of course, to graduate and my reward to go along with it will be purchasing a new body tattoo.
This week I have resubmitted a draft of my thesis to my advisor, so I have completed my goal for this week and can purchase a craft beverage of my choice. Hooray! I have also given my advisor a reminder to check on my work and return it to me as soon as possible. This is keeping us both accountable and motivated to complete my project. We look forward to reading about your goals and your progress at home.