Goal-setting has become one thing we can’t do without in our everyday lives. What do you want to have achieved by the end of today, this week, or this month? Where do you want to be in your career in two years from now? Goal-setting activities will fix all perfectly.
Questions like these provoke answers that remind you of the need to set goals. If you’re interested in achieving success in life, goal setting activities is a factor that must be present in everything you do. There won’t even be a direction without it.
Imagine spending the next two years with no destination in mind. Just living every day as it comes. It shouldn’t surprise you if you remain at the same level by then.
It helps you to keep focus, while also compelling you to be in charge of your life. When you have a goal then you get to know whether you’re succeeding or not.
If you have a plan to get to c-level in your career within the space of five years, you have a yardstick to measure your success rate when that time lapses. It would be a success if you get to that level, or even higher.
However, if you’re still on the same spot, or anywhere much lower than where you plan to be, then, it’s a failure.
But when it comes to goal-setting activities, it’s more than just a wish-thinking. You can set a goal, but you can’t wish it into existence. There are processes and steps involved. And you should be ready for the hard work.
You’ll have to define what exactly you want to achieve, in specific terms. Then, you need to define the needed steps. So, achieving a goal needs a clear understanding of how to go about these.
Whether you’re a college student or an employee, the steps are the same for everyone, just with some situation-specific modifications.
You may have already decided what you need to achieve – get a promotion, increase your income, start a new relationship. That’s usually pretty easy. Let’s say you need tolose 10kgs within three months. Deciding the goal is where to start.
But despite having decided the goal, very few people know how to accomplish it. Yes, the planning and execution phase of goal-setting activities is not always easy and include creating an adequate capital budget but they are not impossible to do.
So, in this article, I will be sharing with you five key goal-setting activities that increase your odds of success by 88%. It’s time to stop failing at achieving your goals.
1. Write it Down
So, you’ve decided what the goal is. Start by writing it down in clear terms. Don’t mind if it sounds crazy, or too bogus to achieve. Once it appears on paper, you’re only four steps away from achieving your goal.
Psychologists have proven time and again that writing down your goals increases your chances of success. You can actually expect to be 42% more successful, just by making some notes.
Do you know about sticky notes? You can write the goal there, and paste it in visible spots in your room. It could even be in the bathroom, kitchen wall, computer screen, and other places you frequently see in your home.
What it does is to give you a constant reminder of the goal. You won’t say you forget, because there won’t be any chance of that. And the more you see it, the more you’re drawn to achieving it.
Then, learn to use “will” when writing the goal, then something like “would like to” or “might.” The difference between them is an affirmation. One has more force than all the rest, which suggests likelihood.
If something is likely, it may not occur. You may not notice early, but this makes a whole lot of difference when setting a goal.
2. Use Tech Tools
There are quite many technology tools such as mobile apps out there that can be your companion on your way to achieving your goal.
Whether you want to lose weight, get distinction in college, cut expenses, or start a new relationship, name it, there’s most likely a mobile app or another tool for it.
Mobile apps are especially easy to use. There’s nothing like having a handy tool that keeps a tab on you when you want to slack off. Not only does it monitor your progress, but it also lets you know about your gradual achievements, which is a great source of motivation.
It’s like having a friend, or an accountability partner, who will contribute any help you need to succeed.
For example, if you’re trying to break a habit, there could be a mobile app that constantly reminds you of the benefits you stand to gain if you succeed. There’s Habit List, Strides, and many others out there with features you need
Imagine if you plan to save a particular amount by year-end, perhaps for a vacation. An app could keep shoving the pictures and beauty of the place in your eyes, just to keep you inspired. If your goal is money-related, you want to check out Personal Capital, Digit or Mint.
I’ve also seen people use HealthyWage, MapMyRun and a few others forfitness goals. Some of these even provide instructions on what particular workout to do. That would be like having a personal coach, right in our pocket.
3. Inform a Friend
Yes, having notes all around keeps you reminded of your goal. However, you can’t rule out the place of an accountability partner.
Tell someone about your goals. It compels you to want to prove your ability to achieve it. We are all driven by social acceptance, and when you expect praise from a friend, you want to make sure to succeed.
Just ensure your friend won’t be the type that rubs your shoulder when you are losing interest. The friend should be able to scold you back into order when there’s a need for that.
But before you get to that, believe that you can achieve the goal. Many times, our lack of self-confidence is the only ingredient we need to fail. Know that you can achieve whatever you put your heart into.
4. Be SMART With Your Goal
When practicing goal-setting activities, there’s nothing like ‘I want to have more money by year-end.’ It sounds vague like you’re not exactly sure of what you want.
Compare that to ‘I want to have $5, 000 in my saving account within six months.’ Does that not sound more actionable?
So, you need maximum clarity, if you want to succeed with that goal. That’s the only way to have a well-defined destination.
You may have heard of SMART goals? The phrase almost becoming a cliche, but not its efficacy. Most people skip this idea when they are setting goals, which is wrong. If your goal is not SMART, it lacks the major element it needs to succeed.
The SMART Formular
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let’s break them down even more.
When a goal is specific, it is properly defined. What exactly do you want? 5kg lighter? $10, 000 richer? You need to be exact on where you’re going. That’s the only way to know the direction.
Since goals are the sign posts that depict your destination, you don’t want them to be vague. It should be precise, unambiguous, and clear. Would you want to risk going to Oklahoma, but ending up at Florida?
Make it Measurable
Then, the only way to determine the success of a thing is when you have a yardstick to measure against. We consider this very frequently in marketing. If there’s no amount of sales in sight or target, how would you know that a campaign delivered the right results?
So, when setting your goal, remember to include exact amounts, dates, kgs, etc. That’s how you’ll be able to measure your success.
Think of it this way. Do you remember the earlier example of the goal of shedding 10kg in three months? At the end of ninety days, you have a figure to place beside a weighing machine. If you used to weigh 58kg, that simply means you should now weigh 48kg.
It sounds simple, but it’s the key you need to determine whether your goal is achieved or not.
Make it Attainable
The ‘A’ is for attainable. You need to set goals that stay with the attainable boundaries. If you’re going to set a goal, it should be something that is realistic.
You can’t expect to save $100, 000 by year-end, when the maximum income you can make in a month is $8, 000. Won’t you eat, and pay the necessary bills?
So, make sure the goal is achievable. You won’t want to end up demoralized when you aim too high.
Relevance and Time-Bound
When practicing goal-setting activities, ensure your goal is of great importance and relevance. It should be the top of your priorities.
Finally, your goals need to be tied to time. It should have a deadline. It creates a sense of urgency and helps you schedule the steps you need to take.
5. Develop an Action Plan
Lastly on goal-setting exercises is developing an action plan.
A goal that doesn’t have an action plan is only wishful thinking, with no potential to materialize. If you’ve already crossed the other hurdles in goal-setting, it’s time to get the facts on what you must do to achieve that goal.
Do you need to develop new habits? You may also need extra skills, and that means you’ve got something to learn. If there’s someone you need to talk to, don’t hesitate.
It’s easy to get caught-up in the excitement of goal-setting that you forget about the major aspect, which is planning.
Take time to write down the steps you need to take. Perhaps you need to cut some spending habits. You may have to decide on saving a particular amount each month.
Do your research on what you need to do. With each step completed, you move closer to accomplishing your goal.
Then, don’t forget to put mechanisms in place to remind yourself to do them. And while doing that, try to do a consistent review of your goals, to see if you’re moving towards achieving them, or not
With goal-setting exercises, it’s not going to be easy. However, with hard work, resilience, and discipline, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. All you have to do is follow the instructions you’ve read in this article. You can be sure of accomplishing the goal you set.
You may be asking right now, what if I fail? It’s likely. Nothing is completely certain in life. So, you may have some lapses that result in you not achieving your goal. It could be that tiny 12% that caused the fall. Don’t beat yourself up. Try again.
In some cases, you may have many goals at once. You shouldn’t give up just because one of them hit the rock. Focus on completing others. It’s great, both for your morale and its benefits.
What’s your experience with setting goals and executing them? What activities helped you the most? Share your experience in the comments.