Whether you’re reading a self-help book or speaking with an accountability buddy or coach – and whether your focus is on your business or personal life – if you want to make any kind of significant change then one of the first things you will need to do is to set goals.
Books and coaches all speak about the importance of goal setting, as doing so will help you to turn your goals into action plans, then into reality and finally into success!
Define what’s important to you
It’s a good idea to brainstorm the kind of changes that you would like to make to your personal and / or professional life and think about the goals that will help you to make these changes. Defining goals enables you to narrow down what you actually want to achieve and what you actually want the future to look like.
With effective planning, larger goals can be broken down into individual, manageable action steps and this ensures that your goals will be targeted and achievable and that you will reach the level of success of which you have dreamt.
Make yourself accountable to others… and yourself!
Writing down your goals can make you more determined to achieve them – it strengthens your commitment and also gives you something concrete to refer back to. This boosts your desire to achieve and makes you accountable to yourself, ensuring that you move that goal forward.
Sharing your goals with a colleague, coach, friend or partner can also be very effective. When we share our intent with others, it heightens our desire to achieve and makes us accountable to another interested person, who may check in on progress. Sharing can also be inspirational! It’s a good opportunity to bounce ideas, fine-tune a goal and gain a different viewpoint on a particular project.
Create a timescale
All goals need a timescale: this transforms a goal from a dream into reality.
It shows you for how long you will be working on this goal and by when it will be achievable. Setting a timescale should be done at the same time as you narrow down your focus and break down your goals into manageable steps. You do need to be realistic though! Take into account your other commitments and how much time you can actually make available.
This vital part of goal-setting helps to prevent overwhelm, procrastination and uncertainty. Importantly, it gives constant clarity and the motivation to keep going.
Once you have defined what you want and by when you will achieve it, you will then have something against which you can measure your progress. You now have a clear means of gauging how far you have come in achieving what you want; the ability to see your next steps and a clear indication of the things you can celebrate achieving and overcoming.
It’s so important to celebrate achieving the small steps and to be grateful to anything or anyone who has helped along the way.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve the end goal, as with the right planning (and patience!) you will turn your dream into reality!
What goals have you set yourself for 2020? Are there any goals that you didn’t achieve last year – if so, how can you rewrite them to make them achievable in 2020?