Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018, by 2020, or maybe by your next birthday milestone?
Are you clear about what the key objectives are in your personal life, your career, or your business?
If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, our focus wanes and our sense of direction is dulled.
To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Setting goals is a process that starts begins with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends after a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are series well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.
1. Start Setting Goals That Motivate You
- When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them.
- If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
2. Start Setting SMART Goals
You have probably heard of SMART goals already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:
Specific – clear and concise. Vague goals lead to drifting off course.
Measurable – precise and well-defined, with metrics to evaluate progress.
Attainable – realistic and reachable while stretching your abilities.
Relevant – must matter and be connected to your “why” which drives your “want”.
Time Sensitive – having a deadline creates urgency and produces productivity.
3. Start Writing Down Your Goals
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it.
- As you write, use the word “will” instead of “hope to” or “might.”
- Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to do. Put them on your walls, desk, computer monitor, bathroom mirror or refrigerator as a constant reminder.
- Share them with someone who can offer encouragement and provide accountability each step of the way.
4. Start With An Action Plan
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You can be so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way.
- By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal.
5. Don’t Start Unless You’re Committed to It!
Remember, setting goals is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end.
- Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals.
- Bring someone in to hold you accountable for the things you’re committed to doing, by when you say you will do them.
Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly.
Remember to glance back from time to time and see how far you’ve come. This will help you stay motivated and be encouraged to keep moving in the direction of your goal.
Goal setting is much more than simply saying you wish something will happen. You need to be committed to effort required make it happen. And when you apply these five principles, you will confidently be setting goals and enjoy a sense of accomplishment as you achieve what you set out to do.