The great debate at this time of the year is about whether goal setting has a value or not. If you’ve been there before only to find that, in spite of your best efforts, life and “important” work gets in the way after a month or so, then you are probably not going to set any goals this year.
Let’s stop and think about this a bit.
Whatever success means to you, it is worth pursuing the actions that will see you achieve it. You feel empowered, in charge of your life when you do. You see yourself as a “Can Do” person. Having achieved one goal, you gain in confidence about achieving another. And the next one is much easier again. Your head is in the right place. You have more energy. You have fewer limiting beliefs about yourself. You are much more confident.
The most successful people, in whatever field they work, all set goals. They then bring focus to achieving them. You know what FOCUS is F = Follow, O = One, C = Course, U = Until, S = Successful. Focusing is hard though. It requires persistence and commitment. It is about setting priorities and not letting bright shiny distractions take you away from what you have determined to focus on. It means fighting the demons in your head that try and convince you that you don’t really have to do what your true self wants to do.
Goal setting is about focusing on your WHY. If you have a big enough WHY, the HOW is easy.
So the first step in goal setting is knowing why you want to achieve that goal.
Sometimes you have to dig deep to get clear about that.
So let’s turn this goal setting problem upside down.
- In your imagination, fast track ahead to December 31, 2018. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just take one of your goals. You are cracking the champagne because you achieved it. You are feeling fantastic. Maybe it’s the first time in a long time you have ever focused for a whole year on one thing you wanted to achieve and actually made it happen.
- Still imagining, write down what happened during the year that saw you achieve that goal. What did you do differently to other years to make it happen? List at least 6 things you did that brought you to this point of success.
- It would not have been a breeze and I’m sure you would have lost track and focus at times, but you obviously got back on track quickly. What were those distractors that threatened your success? How did you overcome them?
What You Need To KEEP DOING.
What you are doing here is developing your awareness of the things you do that keep you focused. Write them down. These are the things you need to KEEP DOING. These could be things like, for example:
- Drawing up an action plan for the achievement of your goal, step by step actions that have a deadline for completion beside each one.
- Setting aside a dedicated time each day, where you close your door, switch off your phone and emails and work solidly without distractions on your goal – no more than 1½ hours. You make this your priority for the day. You do it first thing in the morning before the other issues of the day absorb you.
- Sharing your goal setting with someone else which made you feel a degree of accountability to achieve it and stick with it.
What You Need To STOP DOING.
You also are developing awareness of what gets in the way of you achieving your goals. When you know that, especially when you write them down, you can STOP DOING them.
These might be things like, for example:
- Spending too much time on emails or social media.
- Not exercising and eating right and therefore having little energy, which makes you feel flat and aimless.
- Not being able to say “No” and so doing everything for others and not have time for what is important to you.
- Spending your time doing hundreds of little things – urgent but unimportant – and so filling your day up so you don’t have time for the important stuff.
Have I convinced you yet that goal setting is valuable and achieving the goal is possible?
Don’t Go It Alone! Get Support for Your Goal Setting Success.
One last thing that makes it even easier. Get yourself an accountability partner or a performance partner. Call that person what you will. You can even get a small group of no more than 4. Meet together at least monthly with the prime purpose of keeping one another on track to achieve your goals. You also provide support to one another in breaking through the obstacles that get in your way.