How to set goals and achieve them
Goal setting isn’t just limited to something you do in January, in fact, you can do it at any time of the year.
So, what is a goal?
Simple - a goal is an outcome that you want to achieve.
What makes it different to a resolution or a dream?
A goal has 3 key components that mean it’s much more likely to happen:
1. A clear, specific statement about what the outcome should be
2. An action plan of how to achieve it
3. A deadline to achieve it by.
Once you’ve done that, create a schedule for completing your action plan. By allocating time, and knowing how you will need to best use it, it will help keep you focused on achieving your goal and there’s less chance of getting distracted or not knowing how best to use your time.
That all sounds simple right?
So why doesn’t it always work?
The magic bullet when it comes to goal setting that often gets overlooked is mindset.
If your mindset isn’t aligned with your goal, you simply won’t achieve it.
Here are the 4 key mindset components to make sure you achieve your goals:
The most critical element to achieve your goals is that you have to believe that you can achieve it. Even if it’s the tiniest of beliefs.
Your mind is incredibly powerful. Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? That’s where someone’s mind creates the same outcome as a drug they think they are taking, simply because they believe that it will generate the results. There’s thousand of great examples of this including an orthopaedic surgeon who developed a knee surgery for osteoarthritis patients – but to test the effectiveness of the procedure, in some of his patients he didn’t do the full surgery, he simply flushed out the joint, and in others he did no surgical intervention other than cutting an incision. All patients were put under, kept in the operating theatre for the same amount of time, and they all thought that they had undergone surgery. All of them reported improvements despite two thirds not having had the procedure!
If you don’t believe that you can achieve it at your deepest level (i.e. at an unconscious level) then it’s unlikely that you will.
There’s a perfect quote from Henry Ford who said ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right’.
But here’s the biggest secret – just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. A belief is just a thought that you continue to think. You can change your beliefs to empower yourself to achieve anything that you want to.
Wanting the outcome
To be successful you have to really want to achieve the goal, and to understand why it’s important to you to achieve it.
It’s not uncommon to set goals that you think you should do – such as you ‘should go live every week in my Facebook group’ (which is not a goal by the way) but the word ‘should’ doesn’t have enough emotional charge to keep you motivated and focused on achieving it. The first time that you hit a challenge, have a bad hair day, get distracted, then ‘should’ doesn’t create enough motivation to keep you going and it’s likely that at this point you’ll lose interest.
For every goal that you set, create a list of reasons why it’s important to you to achieve it.
You feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do to achieve it
It’s easy to create an action plan that has 1001 things that you have to do in order to achieve your goal, and when that happens, it tends to feel very overwhelming. It all feels like a lot of hard work – and if you don’t have a burning desire to achieve it, once again this is a point where you might find yourself losing interest.
This is a sign that you need to break down your goals into short, medium and long term goals. Your short and medium term goals should be milestones on the journey to achieving your long term goal. This will keep you focused and moving in the right direction, but by ticking off the milestones as you go, it creates a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction along the way which will help keep you motivated to continue.
Focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want
This is different from actually wanting the outcome. Whatever you focus your mind on, it what your unconscious mind will keep working towards, so if you focus on what you don’t want – guess what happens?
Goals should be phrased in positive ‘towards’ ways, rather than saying what you don’t want. An example would be ‘I don’t want to be in the same position by this time next year’ – to be effective you’d need to identify what you would want to be doing instead. Many people find it hard to identify or articulate what they actually want. One way to work this out is by asking yourself ‘when I no longer have [whatever it is] what is it that I do have?’ – That should form the basis for your goal statement.
Are you ready to take action and want practical support to help you achieve your goals? Check out my 3-month signature program to help you unlock your business mindset and strategy to make your goals a reality www.empoweringtransformation.co.uk