Happy New Year! It seems like the right time to set goals and plan for your future. Not only because it is a new year, but also a whole new decade! How hard can it be? Just pinpoint those few things you really want and make them your resolutions!
But that's not really how it works.
You see, every year the larger majority of the world’s population sets some goals and only a tiny fraction of them get to achieve those goals in the period of 12 months. Why is that?
There's no plan for action. No visualisation. No strong mindset.
So, it may not be 1st of January today, but it's still early on in the year and the lesson you will learn from this post will last you a lifetime. Let's crack on with some questions, which should pave the way for goal setting for success.
1. Is That What You Really Want?
Most of the time people give up on their goals because they can't maintain a strong mindset. And the reason is usually because that goal they set was not their actual priority at the time.
You need to be very careful when you pick your goals. Some of them will be hard to achieve, but if you truly desire the outcome, you will do more than you ever imagined you could to get there.
Sometimes we think we want something, but in reality, we place more importance on other things or areas of our lives. Then, they become our excuses for giving up and not accomplishing the goals we set.
Whether you set business goals or goals in any other area of your life you must be absolutely sure that’s exactly what you want at this point in time. You must be sure you are ready to put in all the work, energy, time and efforts into it, until that goal becomes an accomplishment. Remember, you get to change the approach, but not goal.
2. How Committed Are You?
How many times have you told yourself that this is the year you are going to lose the extra weight, start going to bed earlier, leave that dreadful job, make a million in revenue from your business? Yeah. More than once I bet.
But don't worry! I've been there too. Until I realised wanting something really hard is not enough. You need to commit yourself to the goal and then to the process of achieving that goal.
Write your goals down. On paper.
Why? We live in the digital era. Everyone uses smart devices for the better part of their day.
Here's your answer. Apart form the most commonly studied and familiar memory types - auditory and iconic - humans also have a motor memory. When you use your hands to write notes, your brain remembers the information long-term. That helps you stay committed to your goals and keep them at the back of your mind at all times.
That's not all! Some people need a little bit more accountability than others to stay on track with their goals. And that's totally fine!
Make your goals public. (This doesn't mean - post them on Facebook!)
Share them with close friends or family members, who are supportive of what you want to achieve. In the case of business goals, the best way to stay accountable and committed is to have a business coach.
The primary purpose of a business coach is to guide and direct you in the process of turning your goals into achievements and to make sure you are not sliding back or going into a different direction. It's always worth having someone like that, who also shares their knowledge and experience with you and makes the journey much easier and quicker!
How Realistic is Your Goal?
When it comes to goal setting, you need to find the right balance. Don't take a bite that's too big to chew. But at the same time, don't take it too easy on yourself and underestimate your abilities.
Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. (SMART goals)
Example: I will make £15,000 in monthly revenue by June 2020.
Ok, so let's test that goal against the SMART metrics.
There's a specific target - £15,000 monthly revenue. It's also measurable, because we will know that is the monthly income of the business.
Is it achievable? To answer that question, we need to ask ourselves do we have the systems in place to make that monthly amount. That would be - products/services, their prices, consumer demand, marketing and sales strategies, operational and human resources.
If we conclude that the goal is achievable in the deadline we have set (time-bound), then we can also conclude that it is realistic.
When Do You Start?
Most people fail because they start "tomorrow" or "next Monday" or simply some time in the future. That's a huge mistake.
Have clear start date and stick to it, no matter what gets in the way. Same goes for every other task that follows on your path to achieving your goals. If you know you have to complete a certain step by this time next week, don't wait until the night before.
Work methodically and continuously on your goals. This will keep you focused and motivated.
What's The Plan?
A goal without a plan is just a dream. Dreams do not become a reality unless you work on them.
I'm sure you've heard those cliches before, but unfortunately they are true to the dot.
You need a clear plan for action. How are you going to achieve that goal? What is it going to take? Are you prepared for it? How can you get prepared?
Outline clear steps to follow and then do it. Besides, when you have a plan you have structure. And achieving results in a structured environment is much easier than in a chaos.
What Are Your Distractions and Hurdles?
Sometimes we get it all right with motivation, research, commitment and planning. However, we forget to weigh in the external factors.
What possible distractions do you have, which may slow you down or worse - stop you from achieving your goals? It could be TV shows, social life or anything else that takes too much of your time, energy or resources.
Work to eliminate your distractions. That doesn't mean stop doing all the things you love doing, but make a sacrifice and bring them down to a healthy minimum for a period of time, required to achieve your goals.
And sometimes it's not even about big or small distractions. It's about the lack of support.
They say successful people need to grow really thick skin, but as humans, we will always care about what our closest people think of us and our dreams. Ultimately, we seek their approval.
It is not an uncommon scenario where one spouse has specific goals, which seem insignificant or irrelevant to the other.
Also, there are many parents who don't fully understand their child's aspirations and therefore fail to support them on their journey of becoming who they really want to be.
If you find yourself in an unsupportive environment, make sure you find a safe circle of like-minded people, who will motivate and encourage you. I can assure you it works miracles!
When you set goals and make plans to achieve them you go to war with the world. Life will through stuff at you and sometimes it will catch you off guard. Don't go to war alone. Take your success squad with you!