“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
Hello Motivation Seekers, how has your week been? Did you get to work on creating a vision for yourself with the visioning worksheet I shared last week? I really hope that it helped. Some people are great at this and others struggle, so if you are one of the latter and you haven’t tried the worksheet, give it a go. You can click here to access it.
I have been doing quite a few Strategic Planning Sessions with clients already this year, so goal setting has been to the forefront of all that we have been doing. Traditionally, this is the time of year when we are all thinking about our goals for the year. Even if you haven’t been a goal setter, you may have some ideas of how you want things to be better this year. For that reason, I thought it was timely to talk about goal setting. The reason I did the last two posts on “finding your why” and “creating your vision”, is that you will be more likely to achieve your goals if you are coming from that clear base of where you want to get to. I think this is the main reason people fail at goal setting, there is no big, emotional reason behind their goals and if that’s missing, you’re not going to be motivated to achieve them. I have 5 top tips for you to achieve your goals.
Tip 1 – Write them down
It sounds too simple but just this one thing alone can make a difference for you. If the goal stays in your head only, it is just a wish, not a goal. Writing the goals down makes them real and stops it from just being a vague idea in your head.
Tip 2 – Use the SMART Goal Setting method
No doubt many of you will have heard of this method of setting goals. It’s been around a long time and it will stay around, because it works. I remember years ago, when I joined a gym, the personal trainer asked me what my goal was. I said I just wanted to lose a bit of weight and get toned. Not very inspiring really, and the opposite of the first S in smart goals, it was just vague. I didn’t state how much, by when, how I was going to do it, why it was important to me. All the things that I now know are essential to good goal setting, but I just didn’t know it then. Now I do, I love to share this. I get pretty excited about helping others find their vision and direction, then setting goals together so they can achieve what they want. I get as excited about this, as if they were my own goals!
So here are how to set SMART goals:
S – Specific – like my gym goal, they can’t be vague i.e. lose weight – specifically state that I will lose weight and body fat by going to the gym 3 times a week and eating a highly nutritional diet.
M – Measurable – you need to provide milestones so you know how you are going, there has to be a way of measuring if you have got there or not. In my case, I would state how much weight and body fat I was going to lose.
A – Attainable – it has to be realistic – e.g. setting a goal to lose 10kg a week is never going to be attainable, it is too difficult and would even lead to sickness. It shouldn’t be too hard and overwhelming that you can’t possibly attain it, but you need to strike a balance, so that it is a bit of a stretch for you to challenge you.
R – Relevant – to what your vision of your future is and/or what your values are. In my example, if my values are that I lead a healthy lifestyle, then this goal really fits that. Taking it even further, if family is important for me, the goal will be relevant as I want to be healthy so I can get involved in physical activities with them.
T – Timed – one of the most important things in goal setting. Unless you say when you want to achieve your goal, it will be an ever moving target that just won’t ever get achieved.
If you still find it hard to work out the SMART goal setting (it takes a bit of getting used to), I have attached a worksheet that steps you through it and makes it nice and simple. Click here: smart-goal-setting-worksheet:
Tip 3 – Share your goals
Unless you tell others about your goals, who cares if you don’t achieve them? No-one need ever know that you didn’t get it done, the result of that is that it is more likely you will just let it slide. This is another way of making sure you stick to it. If you make yourself accountable, you are more likely to achieve your goals.
Tip 4 – Reward yourself
This is the fun part! Set yourself little rewards for each milestone that you achieve. It should be something that is a real treat for you, that you normally wouldn’t do. It may be something like taking a weekend off and going somewhere special, whatever it is that motivates you and keeps you working towards that goal. In the case of a weight loss goal, it may be treating yourself to a gorgeous new swimsuit to wear proudly when you have reached your goal weight.
Tip 5 – Chunk the goals down into do-able steps
If you have created some big goals, it’s essential that you chunk it down into little steps that are easily achievable, otherwise you will just be overwhelmed then give up. A good way to do this is to work backwards from your big goal. So if there is a goal you have set to achieve within a year, work out what you need to have done within 9 months, within 6 months, within 3 months, within 1 month, right down to what you need to achieve today, so that you reach that goal. I have heaps of templates to help with this, just get in touch, click here and let me know what you need help with.
Also, get in touch if you want to arrange to have a Strategic Planning Session, or if you just want to know more about it. I also have two spaces available on our weekly On Track Business Coaching Group. This is for business people who want to improve their businesses, improve their lives and get some accountability to ensure they stay on track. Email me to find out more. I hope this helps you and that you have a brilliant and positive week, setting some great goals.