Believe it, or not, but goal setting season and the new year are just around the corner. While this may seem a bit daunting, but setting and achieving goals is an extremely healthy practice. It’s important to set yourself up for success when you define your goals for the upcoming year.
This is especially true when you consider failure rates. According to Forbes, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Yes – that means that 92% of us come up short when it comes to achieving our resolutions. Here are 5 tips that will help you set reasonable goals and will help you hit your goals.
Achieve your goals by aiming high, but starting with manageable baby goals
I’m a huge fan of setting big, bold, goals. They’re exciting and inspirational. Furthermore, they can also help you not only achieve but exceed your full potential. When it comes to setting big goals, it may seem daunting in the early days. However, there is a quick & easy way to counter this potential roadblock. You can take your bold goals and break them down into smaller, more reasonable ‘chunks’ and will help you achieve your larger goals.
(Hypothetical) Marathon Training
Let’s use a hypothetical situation to help illustrate this element of goal setting. Let’s use a common goal that many people set for themselves and say that I was planning to run my first marathon six months from today. Seeing how I’m a shadow of my former collegiate student-athlete figure, I would likely aim to run just 15 minutes per day the first week. Now, this isn’t rocket science by any means but this starting point is nowhere near where I need to be in order to achieve my larger overall goal. However, it is a solid starting point that will help me achieve my more grandiose goal of running a marathon.
From here I would then increase my run time by five minutes each week for the next two months. This strategy would allow me to achieve some early success. This, in turn, would allow me to build momentum (no pun intended) and increase my overall confidence. Doing so would also encourage me to raise my weekly time increase time by 10 minutes for the next two months. I would then increase my run times by fifteen minutes each week for the final two months.
These small steps and micro increases will set me up to run for over four hours in just 24 weeks. Doing so also sets me up for success when it comes to achieving my larger, more bold, overall goal of running a marathon. The more you break down your big goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Don’t let others define your goals
It is of the utmost importance to set your own goals. Doing so makes your goals a personal matter that you, and only you, are responsible for in the long run. When you let others set your goals or modify them for you, this can have several damaging effects on your ability to achieve them.
- Your goals are no longer yours. You have no sense of ownership or commitment to your goal(s) since it is now someone else’s goal.
- People can look to make you more aggressive and look to set the goal to be bigger than you believe possible, and when you lack belief, this can cause you to quit at the first sign of difficulty.
If you want to let people get involved with your goals, allow them to help you define how you will achieve your goal(s). However, no matter what you do, do not let them set a new goal for you.
Achieve your goals by clearly defining what success looks like
If you’re not sure what success looks like, then how will you know when you have achieved it? If you lack a clear goal, then you cannot create a clear plan to follow in order to achieve it.
Let’s say that you’re looking to increase revenue by 50-100% in the coming year. This is a great goal except for one major downfall. Increasing revenue by 50% is totally different than increasing revenue by 100%. What plan will you implement? Or will you implement any plan and just cross your fingers?
Hope is not a strategy
Clear goals allow you to create clear plans, which increase your chances of achieving success.
Understand why the goal is important
If you yourself fail to understand why the goal is important to you, then your goal is just random. Understanding the why provides a stronger sense of purpose. This sense of purpose will help keep you motivated during the hard times. Things tend to go awry when you lack a sense of purpose…there is next to nothing stopping you from lowering the bar in terms of your overall goal.
If one wishes to achieve big goals, one needs to be firm on said goals, yet flexible on the approach. Having a strong why will help you keep your eyes on the prize and keep going through the difficult times.
Track your performance
I’m a firm believer in the adage what gets measured gets done. However, I’m an even bigger believer in the power of motivation.
When we break grandiose goals down and know what the small interim goals are, we start to achieve them. This will increase both general faith in the approach and confidence that success is within reach.
If you’re in charge of leading a team, make sure that you not only track performance but that you also share the progress with your team.
When the going gets tough, it is great to hear that progress is being made. Sometimes when you have your head down and are charging towards the finish line, it can be difficult to know just how close you are to reaching your goal. Hearing about the progress can encourage you to make the final push to get over the line.
If you want to set a big goal for yourself, then make sure to do the following:
- Set achievable goals that are within your reach, yet just outside your comfort zone
- Clearly define what success looks like
- Make sure it’s your goal and understand why it’s important to you
- Break it down into smaller goals
- Track your performance and celebrate each small win
If you can successfully implement the above five tasks then you are destined to achieve any goal that you set for yourself.