If you want excuses for how circumstances have prevented you from reaching your goals in the past, then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you want some practical advice on how not to miss the mark when goal setting for the future, then welcome. This post is for you!
I don’t know what it is about goal setting, but most people shy away from it. Maybe it’s lack of discipline or direction, or maybe fear of failure, but whatever the reason the end result is the same. Without goals, it’s hard to move forward. You don’t want to merely stumble through life waiting to see what happens to you. Instead, run full force ahead and make things happen. Once you have goals to work towards, you can remain focused on the tasks ahead and accomplish so much more.
Determine your goals.
First, let’s start with the basics. You must have goals if you want to reach them, right? Choosing goals isn’t something you need to rush into, but spend some time deep in thought. Think about what you really want to achieve in life and choose goals that will get you there. Make sure your goals are specific, achievable and measurable.
What are my priorities?
How do I currently spend most of my time?
What do I need to change so that I’m spending more time on my priorities?
What do I want to learn?
How do I imagine my life in the future?
What do I want to accomplish before I die?
What do I need to do to get there?
These are questions you can ask yourself to help you determine your goals. You can choose a variety of goals, from short term to long term. Remember that only YOU get to determine the goals you work towards, so make sure they are relevant and important to you.
Establish your goals.
How do you establish your goals? There are two easy ways.
Write them down. Write your goals down somewhere for easy access later. You can choose a planner, journal or notebook. Just make sure you have a record of your goals in a place where it will be easy to revisit them later.
Spread the word. Make sure you tell someone your goals. You will gain support and accountability by telling your spouse, family, and friends your goals.
Break it down.
Now that you have your goals established, what steps will you take to reach them? Creating manageable action steps for your goals will make them seem less intimidating and achievable. Check out this easy method to break down your goals into smaller chunks.
- On a sheet of paper, write down your goal and the date you’d like to have it completed by.
- Brainstorm what you need to do to get there.
- Make a list of specific tasks that you need to do to achieve your goal. There is no set number of tasks/steps needed to reach a goal, since every goal is different. Remember that bigger goals will require more steps than smaller goals.
- Create a timeline to complete these smaller tasks by putting the tasks in chronological order, from start to finish. Determine how much time you will need to complete each task and then assign specific dates to accomplish them.
- Now add these action steps to your to-do list and calendar.
You can now focus on one action step at a time, taking baby steps until you reach your goal.
Review your goals.
This is where most people go wrong. They come up with goals, write them down, maybe even come up with a plan to achieve them and then…nothing. They never revisit their goals. They start out strong but after weeks and months of not reviewing their goals, they are soon forgotten. DO NOT MISS THIS STEP! It is imperative that if you’re going to be successful at achieving your goals, you must consistently evaluate your progress.
So, when should you evaluate your progress? It is important to review your goals on a regular basis. Set aside time each week and/or month to look at your goals and determine your progress. Schedule time in your planner or on your calendar so that you don’t forget to take time to review your goals. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you are still on track to reaching your goals:
Am I still moving forward to achieving my goals?
Have I completed the smaller tasks that should have been done by now?
How can I improve my plan for success?
Have I been satisfied with my results so far?
What must I do to achieve better results?
Have my priorities changed?
Do I need to make changes to my tasks/goals?
What qualities/habits must I improve to help me achieve my goals?
Do I need to expand my goals?
There you have it…the magic formula that will keep you from missing the mark when goal setting. I hope I’ve inspired you to create some goals for your life and run fast towards them. Let me know of your success. I’d love to celebrate with you once you reach your goals!