How To Create and Reach Your Goals In 4 Steps
Written by: Bianca Miller Cole
As humans, we are always striving to do better than we have previously done. We wish to improve ourselves year on year and this is most evidently seen through the setting of new year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are simple goals which we set ourselves at the beginning of the year in the hope that they will guide us in the right direction through the year. A common goal among many people is to do more exercise or eat healthier, but they can vary from person to person. The key thing to notice from this is that an individual is always looking to create goals which will enable him or her to succeed and when it comes to setting personal, and business, goals in the hope that you may utilize them to impact your life for the better.
The trouble most people have, however, is that they set goals which do not allow them to reach the levels that they desire for. Often, people set goals in the wrong way and, therefore, fail to improve. I would like to provide my top 4 tips for setting and reaching goals :
STEP 1: Do The Research
The first piece of advice that I would give to anyone who is looking to set goals is to do some research prior to setting the goal. It is all well and good having an idea of what it is that you want to achieve, but if you have no real idea about the finer details, you are going to put yourself in a rather tricky situation. Moreover, by having little background knowledge, you are going to struggle to complete the required steps which would allow you to reach your goal. This research can be as basic as a quick google search to see what steps other people have taken, and how this has led them to their goal.
The key thing about this part of goal-setting is to ensure that you can work out the steps to take that will allow you to reach your goal. For example, should you wish to improve your company’s productivity, you would have to measure the current standards within your workforce and the company wide processes first. Then you would need to look at the new technology available to enhance the processes and a system of measuring productivity.
Step 2: Write SMT Goals (yes SMT not SMART)
The next step to creating effective personal and business goals is to ensure that they are SMT – specific, measurable and time specific.
The specificity of your goal will come naturally, if you conduct adequate research. As for the measurability of the goal, this can be done by having a quantitative goal which you can measure yourself against. For example, when aiming to get fitter, your primary goal may be to loose X amount of weight or run X miles. So one of your sub-goals may be to complete 10,000 steps per day to help you to get to that end point. Finally, the term time specific refers to making sure that you set yourself a certain time period within which you complete your goal. By having this time period.
I think it is important to notice that the letters A & R are missing from the SMART abbreviation which is commonly known by many. Simply because I don’t believe that goals need to be deemed as achievable or realistic. This is because your goals are built on your own desires and wishes, therefore they needn’t be in accordance with any social standard. Also, the fact that they may be big goals, or even dreams, means that they you have to work harder or smarter to achieve them. Yes, you might have to work at 10X levels (check out Grant Cardone if you don’t know what I mean), rather than moving along somewhat aimlessly. If the goals are BIG , that is all the more reason to work hard to reach them. Therefore, you needn’t limit your goals; be as adventurous as you like, but be aware that you will need to work extremely hard, should you wish to achieve them.
Step 3: Get Started
Don’t wait, start working towards your goal as soon as you can! There is a book by Brian Tracy called ‘Eat that Frog’ and it talks about doing the hardest step first. Don’t delay your dreams by creating lengthy lists and ticking off the easy ones to make yourself feel better.. instead pick out the hardest one. In my book ‘Self Made’ we call it ‘Power Moves’; the move that that has the greatest impact or moves you closer to your goal. It might be calling that client or attending that event or writing that mailshot or asking for that pay raise – whatever it is – TAKE ACTION!
This is the mistake that many people make because they create a meticulous plan, but they fail to follow it, or try to take shortcuts. You must remember that you created steps for a reason, so ensure that you follow them and don’t be afraid to take stock and look at ways to improve upon your goal as you learn more along the way.
Step 4: Achieve and Repeat
When (not if) you achieve your goal, look at the next goal on you list and start mapping out how to make those a reality to. This repetition will allow you to write compelling and more succinct goals in the future. As part of step 4, you should also aim to revisit past goals to see where you could have improved.
But before you do all that, remember to give yourself a small reward or pat on the back for achieving the first goal. That moment to pause (and I mean pause) helps you to feel empowered to give the next goal a real go!
In summary, writing effective goals is never easy and requires lots of practice and serious self-reflection.
To improve your goal writing skills, I highly recommend you to follow steps 1 and 2 as these steps have enabled me to experience both personal and business success. Once you have your goals, you must try your absolute best to reach them. This is where steps 3 and 4 come into play. Reaching your goals is equally as hard, if not harder, than setting them, but if you can be patient and focused you will be far more likely to succeed. In essence, all that is required to create and achieve your goals is hard-work, determination and knowledge.
Remember, a goal without a plan is simply a wish.