Goal Setting 101-How To Set Solid Goals
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Happy New Year!
No, I’m not going crazy and yes, I know we’re barely in the middle of June, but so what?
We put so much pressure on January to change our lives by making radical and inspirational resolutions every single year (poor guy).
We know them well: this is the year I finally lose weight or this is the year I pay off my student loans or this is the year I start writing that book or that blog or start that business! January is literally always the year.
You’re worth the effort today (Stop procrastinating now with these tips).
There is no rule that requires you to wait for months to change your life. If you identify something that you want or need to change or something you want to accomplish, you have the power to decide, this instant that you want to change.
I want to suggest an alternative to setting New Year’s Resolutions, (like seriously, never say “new year, new me” ever again). Today I want to talk to you about setting goals to activate smart growth that will positively affect your future.
Twelve months from today is as much a year, as twelve months from January is. When you learn how to goal set, you can have multiple “new years days” in your year! It really doesn’t matter if that is not the norm. You are worth the effort today.
Systems and Strategies
The most popular reason we miss the mark with our goals is that we’re lacking discipline, or as Darren Hardy calls it “why power”. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Discipline is a skill which means you can learn it, and it will take time.
This is why you need to strategize and have systems in place to go against your natural inclinations to seek pleasure, avoid pain and take the path of least resistance.
1. Write your goals down:
Don’t use vague language when doing this. Get down and dirty with it. Get personal and specific. We’re talking deadlines, methods, and routines.
By writing down your goals, you are able to take them out of the intangible place of your mind and bring them into the real world. Keep them in a place that is visible and, remind yourself daily that you’re on a mission.
Establish a criterion by which you will determine success. Simplifying and establishing your system of accomplishments helps to boost your motivation. Tracking is one way of measuring progress and a subtle way of giving yourself positive feedback (which we all love). Whenever the needle inches in the right direction, you’re making progress and if you don’t track it, you’ll miss it. (This applies to all goals).
We all love a good reward. Marry your tracking to a personalized incentives program (just be sure you don’t wind up setting yourself back in your celebrations).
4. Streamline your goals:
If you’re ambitious and I’m sure you are, you have multiple goals clamoring for your attention. There are several things you want to accomplish, so you often just grab an axe and start hacking at them all at once. This gets you moving and it gets somethings done, but it is not the most effective way of doing things.
All your goals are important but you have to get political and establish a hierarchy. Never sacrifice your most important goal for a lesser one. Prioritize and then streamline your goals.
5. Set upper limits:
It’s easy to set lower bounds for our goals. I’ll write ten pages today or I’ll do cardio today. That is neither specific nor within a set range. Transform these statements into, I’ll write between ten to fifteen pages today before noon, then I can [insert incentive here]. This is measurable, specific, within range and incentivized.
The real key to success is to not make yourself your coach. There is a reason athletes have coaches. If left to themselves they would probably do exactly what we do every single year. This doesn’t affect their potential but it doesn’t maximize it either.
By making yourself accountable to someone other than yourself, you accept that you’ll be cheered on but you’ll also be called out. This will help you stay on track because a real accountability partner will want you to win just as much as you want to win.
There is a science to setting goals, and we’ve barely scratched the surface but I hope you take away from this the enormous power you hold in your hands to change the trajectory of your life by setting specific, measurable goals. A year from now, you’ll be extremely glad you did.
"Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember--the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you."- Zig Ziglar