Goal setting is an essential part of personal and professional growth. Goals provide you with self-confidence and focus and as a result, keep you moving forward. Think of them as your recipe for success.
I am a huge believer in goal setting and recommend this process to everyone. I set personal and professional goals on an annual basis and check them regularly. These goals are adjusted throughout the year, and others are added as the need arises. This plan helps me stay focused and on track.
In December I begin working on the coming year’s goals and also review the prior year’s progress. Occasionally some of those older uncompleted goals may still be important and therefore are planned again in the New Year or tweaked slightly.
Before I discuss setting goals, let’s look at a brief description of the word.
Definition of goals
A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve. People endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines. A goal is roughly similar to a purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.
Why set goals?
Helps you take control
Imagine you get in a car to go to your friend’s house, but you don’t know how to get there? The same goes for every aspect of life. Without goals or direction, you are moving aimlessly. Therefore, be proactive and set goals that provide you guidance. Don’t let others dictate how your life should be. In other words, create your future. Setting goals creates your vision of how you want things to be.
Take baby steps. Don’t set too large of a goal right out of the gate, or you may be setting yourself up for failure. Planning smaller goals, in the beginning, will help propel you to achieve larger ones. In other words, you will become more ambitious with small wins, which in turn will lead you to more significant successes. Winning feels good, so the more winning you do in achieving your goals, the more you will want to do! It is with this momentum that will continue to push yourself forward to new and better things.
When you set a goal, you create a timeline and an endpoint. In your head, you’ve mapped out the steps you need to take. These steps create a laser focus for people. You can have all the ideas in the world, but without focus, you’re wasting your time and energy. As you begin to achieve your goals, you will be more focussed on only doing what will help move you forward. You will notice that you waste less time on tasks that don’t “move the needle.”
Goals push and motivate you to move forward. You will know what you want and, therefore, work towards it.
Holds you accountable
If you look back and realize that you were supposed to accomplish a lot more than you did, it will let you know that whatever you did isn’t working. Looking back can force the change you need to get where you want to be.
Goal Setting Steps
Set goals that motivate you
Do you want a new house, or a boat or a vacation in Italy? Pick goals that motivate you and make you commit. Put a picture of the boat you plan to buy where you will see it every day. As a result of this constant reminder, you will remain focused and motivated.
Choose SMART goals
- Specific – well-defined goals.
- Measurable – tie a specific amount etc. to your goals to provide a benchmark to measure yourself. For instance, I want to increase my commissioned sales by 10% this year.
- Attainable – set goals that are attainable but not too easy. I want to make $1.00… though feasible, it doesn’t make you push yourself.
- Relevant – pick goals that are relevant to what you want to achieve and keep you on the same path to achieving that goal. Don’t scatter yourself.
- Time-Bound – Set a deadline and be specific. In two months, you wish to have a new job.
Write down your goals
When you write your goals down, you formalize the process. Refer to these goals regularly to remind yourself of what you expect. Writing the goals down will also reinforce them in your brain. Above all, this will keep you accountable.
Make a plan
Setting goals are important, but you also need to map out a plan for achieving that goal. If your goal is to make 10% more in commission sales this year, how do you intend to do that? Three more appointments per week? More phone calls? If your goal is personal, like changing jobs, you need to plan out how you intend to make that happen. Part of this plan should also focus on your “why” or what is causing you to want to achieve this goal. Pulling emotion into your goals will help you strive harder.
Work your plan
Plan accordingly and follow through on what you set out to accomplish. Finish what you started and do so with a purpose! Check yourself on a daily or weekly basis against your goals and plan and adjust where needed. It makes zero sense to put together a plan and not work it. Why bother to waste time if you don’t plan to follow through. This is another time that your “why” can work to your benefit. When you feel like stopping, remember why you are doing this and refocus.
Get Started Today!
I learned a lot about how to set goals and achieve them over the years creating business plans for work, but my experience with personal goals started by listening to Tony Robbins and his series called Personal Power. There are plenty of useful websites to get you started that Tony and others offer.
Now that you know how to set goals and achieve them try it on your own this year. You won’t regret the time spent working on your roadmap for success.
Do you set goals, and if so, what do you do differently? Let me know in the comment section and click below for the free goal setting worksheets.