Setting goals is one thing, but achieving them is another. How do you stop your goals from falling by the wayside when life takes over? Let’s find out more.
Setting goals in work and life is a great thing to do. It gives you a sense of direction, ensuring that what you do contributes to making your life the way you want it to be. Having a goal keeps you motivated and keeps you coming back when times get tough. It also puts you in control of your destiny.
However, for setting goals not to be a waste of your time, you need to achieve them. Sure, the saying goes that if you shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars - but, you shouldn’t have to settle for second best. In this article, we’ll show you four ways to make sure that when you set yourself a goal, you hit that target and reap the rewards. Are you ready?
1 - Set the right goals
Often, the reason you don’t hit your goal is because you haven’t defined it in the right way. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know when you get there?
The goals you set should be SMART. That means:
- Specific - Your goal must relate to one achievement
- Measurable - Quantify your goal, so you know when you’re close and when you’ve accomplished it
- Attainable - Your goal must be realistic. Don’t aim for the literally impossible
- Relevant - Achieving your goal should be worthwhile and make a positive difference in your life
- Time-bound - Give yourself a time limit to accomplish your goal
The SMART formula works for goals in your personal and work life. However, if you’re setting a goal related to your work, try and align it to your company goals, as it will reflect even better on your career.
2 - Bring your goals to life
At first, your goals will only exist in your head. Get them out of your head and into the real world to increase the likelihood of success. Begin by writing your goals down. Seeing them as ink on paper instantly makes them more real. Then, put your goals where you can frequently see them. If they’re work goals, put them by your desk. If they’re personal, how about on your fridge or wardrobe? Keeping your goals visible keeps you focused and puts you back on track when things are challenging.
The ultimate way to boost accountability is to tell other people about your goals. When you do this, you can guarantee they’ll ask you about them regularly. You need to have something good to tell them about, so you’ll keep going. They may even stop you from quitting.
3 - Make a plan
The problem with big goals is that they are big. When a goal is so huge, it can feel overwhelming. You end up quitting, as it’s easier than carrying on the journey to achieving it.
Instead, break your big goal down into much smaller SMART chunks. When you do this, it’s easier to imagine you achieving them, so you keep going. Plus, it’s fun to tick things off.
Make a plan of how you will achieve your SMART chunks and how they will contribute to you hitting your big goal. Think about the challenges you may face on your journey towards your goal. Who or what will you need to help you?
4 - Take massive action
The first step on your journey to achieving your goals is often the hardest. The best advice is rather than starting slowly and building up, start strong. That way, if your motivation decreases slightly, you’re still moving in the right direction. When you do it regularly enough, working towards your goal becomes a habit that is hard to break.
On the other hand, don’t become so obsessed with your goals that you burn out. Listen to your brain and body. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Achieving goals is supposed to be hard, or it wouldn’t be an achievement, but we all have limits.
Finally, don’t be afraid to adjust your goals as you go. They’re not set in stone. You may suddenly realise that achieving your goal isn’t something you want to do anymore. If that happens, alter it until it is.
Now you know how to set goals and how to start achieving them, there’s no time to waste. Good luck on your journey!
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