If there’s one thing successful people can agree on, it’s that setting goals has been key to their success. Whether you’re creating a five year plan or just settling on what you want to achieve by the end of the day, setting goals gives you the focus and direction you need to complete even the biggest tasks.
But there is a method to setting them. It’s a process that takes careful thought and consideration up front, which is then combined with the hard work necessary to implement your plan. Luckily there are proven methods to goal setting that you can start using immediately.
1. Make your goals specific.
Yes, it’s fun to think in grand terms of where you want to end up in life and in your career, but it’s better to have a specific goal like “Increase my sales by 25%”, than “Get rich.” When a goal is clear and specific, it allows you to figure out the exact steps you need to take to accomplish it. The more general it is, the more paralyzed you might be when it comes to figuring out what to do since, the choices may be overwhelming.
2. Make it Attainable
Making attainable goals might seem boring, I mean afterall, you want to dream big! But you don’t want to suffer through the disappointment of not reaching your goal, something that may not even be possible at this stage in your life to begin with. One solution to that is creating goal levels. You can have the dream goal, but underneath that you have the realistic goals that are setting up a foundation for achieving the big one. Things that are attainable still take work and effort to achieve. Those small victories will keep you motivated and encouraged to go for the bigger dreams. And don’t forget, those little goals may have been things you wouldn’t have gotten done if you didn’t set out to achieve them, so be proud!
3. Put a plan of action in writing.
Your plan of action should include daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There is something about seeing things in writing and crossing them off the list that is oddly satisfying.The daily goals are especially important in regards to building up those good habits. The first few weeks of your plan of action are critical when it comes to your long term success. Reaching a goal is something you are doing every day, all throughout the day, in numerous ways. Achieving goals is all about creating good new habits.
4. Make it measurable
This is key, since you definitely want to reward yourself for a job well done, and having a goal that is measurable in some way is a sure way to know. Maybe it’s to increase your lead generation or to cut expenses, whatever the case, have a measurable test you need to meet, as well as a time frame. Then calculate what you have to do to reach that goal. Not only should your goal be specific, but the plan and the measure of success should also be set in stone.
5. Adjust as you go.
You can have all the best laid plans, and you still might quickly realize that what you thought would help you reach your goal, might not be cutting it. Commitment to reaching your goals is good, but commitment to a plan you know isn’t going to work is not only a waste of time, but will be a devastating blow to your motivation. Sticking to a plan everyday means adjusting it accordingly.