How many times have you wanted to lose weight, get in shape, start a business, get rich or do something else big in life only to give up in frustration when you fail to achieve that one big thing? You are not alone. I’m certainly guilty of it. Everyone sets goals. They are the big shiny things that make us smile, get us excited and give us hope for a better future. We get all pumped up, make a great start and then somewhere along the way we run into obstacles, we get discouraged and… we give up. In other words, life happens. And when life happens and you don’t have a plan, that’s a sure recipe for failure.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “If you don’t have a plan, then plan to fail.” Goals are no different. We have to give careful thought to our plan for success. If you do that you’re already ahead of the vast majority of people who just wish and dream, but don’t really know how to get what they want. With that in mind I’m going to share with you 6 keys to setting and crushing your goals. Armed with this information, along the will to take massive action, you will see your life take a definite turn for the better. Let’s get started!
Understand your why. The why is the most basic thing. It’s what keeps you going when the going gets tough. How many times have you found yourself attempting to achieve something and as soon as things get too difficult you find yourself asking “What am I even doing this for? It’s not worth it.” On the other hand, when you are convinced of your why then when challenges arise, as they most certainly will, you will keep pressing forward knowing in your heart that you have a real reason for seeing this thing through to the end. For instance, you might want to lose weight but it may be different reasons for different people. Maybe you want to do it so you can stick around to see your kids grow up, fit into that dress you want or stop getting out of breath just from climbing a flight of stairs. Whatever the reason, find your own burning reason why. It will be the thing that lights a fire inside you rather than underneath you.
Make sure your goals are specific and measurable. Saying you want to be rich sounds good, but being rich means different things to different people. Not defining it in specific terms is like setting off on a cross-country road trip without a destination in mind. When you put it in terms of achieving one million dollars, now you have something tangible and definite to shoot for that you can actually measure. The finish line is specific and you know how far you have to go to get there. You can also gauge how much you’ve accomplished along the way to achieving your goal. On the other hand, plugging away at an uncertain goal means tiring out before you ever even know what you really want.
Make sure your goals are realistic. Setting big goals is great. In fact I encourage my clients to set stretch goals, things that move them way outside of their comfort zone. But if you’ve never run around the block in your life and you want to run the NYC Marathon next month, that’s most likely not a realistic goal! So set things within the realm of human capability, given time. Everyone can train for a marathon, amass wealth or get in shape. These things just take time. But no matter how much time you have, you will never jump to the moon, outrun a cheetah or overpower a rhino. It’s just not within the realm of possibility. So keep it realistic and achievable. Then you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.
Make sure your goals are written along with a plan. According to a study conducted by Gail Matthews at Dominican University of California, those who wrote down their goals achieved significantly more than those who did not. She started with 267 participants. The groups were divided into those that simply thought about their goals over the next four weeks and those who actually wrote them down along with various written action steps. The end findings showed that those who wrote down their goals were 50% more likely to achieve them! That’s a huge difference. What’s the takeaway? If you want to achieve things in life, write them down along with a plan of action to get them!
Set a deadline. I spent many years of my life in sales. Along the way you hear recurring formulas for success. One of the most frequently stated formulas for success is to have a reason and a deadline. The reason part we discussed earlier when we talked about your why. The deadline part is what motivates you to act by specific times. Saying you want to get married and have children is nice. But do you want that whenever, or do you want it within a specific timeframe? Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you give yourself an hour to do something, it will take an hour. If you give yourself a day to do something, it will take a day. The only difference is the deadline you set. It only follows that if your deadline is never set, it will never get done. So get smart and set a deadline. Otherwise you will be further sabotaging your success.
Get an accountability partner. What’s easier? Being accountable to yourself or being accountable to another person? Being accountable to yourself is easy because you will never embarrass you for not doing something. But when you face the fear of embarrassment or criticism from an outside source, your motivation for getting the thing done changes exponentially. No one wants to let others down or be seen as a “loser” or lazy. When you get an accountability partner, be that a friend or coach, you greatly increase your chances of actually doing something, anything in fact, that will contribute to your success. And action is the difference between daydreamers and winners. So, recruit a friend to share your goals with and let them know your deadlines. Make them hold you accountable and see how much more productive you actually become!
These 6 keys, when put into practice consistently, will supercharge your goal setting success. If you feel you could benefit from further professional help to get more focused and get more things done to create that better life you crave, Org4Life Solutions has many programs that fit each individual need from one-on-one coaching to seminars and workshops for businesses, groups or individuals. Contact us to set up a free discovery session to see where we might be able to help. Or if you haven’t already, click on over and join our mailing list to receive more good info like this on a regular basis. In the meantime, go out there and crush those goals. Much continued success to you!