It is coming to that time of the year when everyone starts to think of a “New Year’s Resolution”. Although any form of goal setting is better than none, there is no reason to wait until January 1st to set or work toward your goals. For most of you reading this you have set goals in the past, maybe your way works, maybe it doesn’t. Some of you may be new to setting goals and wondering how it all works, this article will give you the Do’s and also the Do’s of setting your goals, which will get you on the path to accomplishing more of your goals in the near future.
9 Do’s and Do’s of Setting Goals
#1 – Write Your Goals Down
I know it seems so simple, but the majority of people have never written down any of their goals. Studies have shown that those who write down their goals have an 80% higher success rate at achieving them, than those who do not write down their goals. Do not type them out, or put them on an app in your iPhone, get out the good old pen and paper and write them down. I like to put an empty check box beside each goal, letting myself know that it will be checked off soon enough.
#2 – Be Specific
I don’t know how else to explain this but make sure your goals are clear, specific, to the point. Write down exactly what you want!
#3 – Set Achievable Goals
Following the first two rules, it’s easy for anyone to write down that they will own a Red Ferrari which they paid for with cash by the end of the year, however if you currently drive a Honda Civic and make $50k a year this goal is just setting yourself up for failure. Now don’t get me wrong, with time and effort it’s possible to make anything happen. Just make sure the goals you set are achievable or better yet that you are willing to put in the effort required to accomplish them.
#4 – Make Your Goals Measurable
Set goals that drive you to take specific actions, do not focus on an object or a destination, instead focus on the steps to get there. If you want to lose 25 pounds do not focus on “losing weight”, instead focus on the behaviors that will get you there and set your goals around these measurable behaviors. Example set a goal to work out 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, or a goal to eat under a specific calorie amount every day. In the end you will lose weight, but along the way you will not get discouraged if the scale is not changing, as long as you are achieving your measurable behaviors.
#5 – Put A Time Limit On Your Goals
Every goal you write down should have an exact complete by date. Writing a goal without a time limit would be like asking the teams playing in the Super Bowl to play without a time clock. Most sports games are won or lost in the last quarter or period, why? because time is running out and it creates a sense of urgency. Setting a time limit on your goals will hold you more accountable for your goal and make you work harder for it as you get closer to the complete by date.
#6 – Create Steps Of Action
Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? One way to fix this problem is to cut it down into smaller bites. When you are putting the ink to the paper creating your goals do not move onto writing the next goal until you have written down the steps you will take to achieving each goal. If your goal is to be the top salesman for your company this year write down steps like how many cold calls you will make, how many proposals you will write, how many face to face meetings you will have. Then with following the previous rules assign them each broken down by the quarter, the month & the week. Breaking your goals down into steps makes your goals easier to accomplish and they will not seem so far out of reach.
#7 – Constantly Revisit Your List Of Goals
The more often you pull out your list of goals and read them the better, make copies and place them where they will constantly stare you in the face. Some people post them on their mirror, others will cut them out and place them around their computer at work, figure out what works best for you so that you are able to constantly know what you are working for. I suggest that you pull out your original list you wrote down monthly, reread each goal, track your success, and celebrate your victories. If you used the check box method from #1 start checking items off your list, when your list is getting short its time to write down some new goals.
#8 – Let Your Goals Be Known
You don’t have to post your goals on Facebook or Twitter for the world to see, but tell your closest family and friends, the more people that you tell the more you will feel accountable for your goals. Also your family and friends will be your support system on your way to success, they will root for you along the way, help you when you are down, and congratulate you when you succeed. Success is not easy, the more support you have the better your chances will be.
#9 – Never Give Up!
Probably the most important of all, do not give up on yourself or your goals. If you do not achieve a certain goal by the specific time frame you set, one of two things are true: One you set an unrealistic time frame for your goal, two you did not put in the effort required to achieve the goal.
Two things are standing in between where you are now and where you want to be: time and effort, and you can only control one!
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