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‘You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream’ – C.S. Lewis
Goals are standards that you can use to evaluate how well you are doing now and where you want to be in the future.
Studies have shown that intelligence has very little to do with success, you do not need a high IQ, but cognitive control. Having the ability to delay gratification and to remain goal focused through positive goal setting techniques was actually the best key to success. You too can learn effective goal setting and achieve.
What Are Goals?
A goal is a task that is specific; it is measurable. It is the object of a person’s ambition or effort, it is a desired result. You should not confuse goals with hopes and dreams.
Why Is Setting Goals Important?
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps you to organise your time, so you can achieve success. Setting goals can also give you direction, motivation, a sense of purpose and control of your future.
These are 7 tips to help you set effective and achievable goals that will help lead you to success:
1. Write Them Down In A Goal Planner
Writing down your goals enables you to clarify exactly what you want to achieve; this guides your daily actions towards goal achievement. Goals that are written down are far more than goals kept in your mind. When you have written your goals, you are then holding yourself accountable. Using a goal planner is the perfect way to keep a record of your goals, track your progress, keep your goals and tasks all in one place as well as being the perfect way to practise reflection of your goals and successes.
Yop and Tom have an Undated Goal Planner that provides you with all the support you need to record your goals and help you to be successful. Using this planner will make evaluating your goals and progress a much simpler task. It means that you will spend less time setting the goals and more time achieving them.
2. Set Specific Goals
The more specific your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. A highly generic goal may not be actionable or attainable. It is easy to procrastinate over a vague or unclear goal than it is with a specific goal with a deadline. You need a goal that is going to give you sufficient direction. You can make it really simple to get where you want to be by defining precisely where you want to end up.
3. Break Down Larger Goals
The best way to get where you want to be is to have a selection of short and long-term goals. When looking at your goal list, it can be really overwhelming when you see big goals and this is why breaking them down into more manageable steps that are easy to action is essential.
When you have set your bigger goals you have to:
- Define your milestones – once you have created your goals, you should then divide them into milestones
- Create a task list – milestones ae still big steps, so you need to break them down even smaller. You should make a list of specific tasks necessary to help you achieve milestones. This helps you to beat procrastination and achieve your goals.
4. Celebrate Every Success
As humans, we measure success with only big achievements. However, the big goals may seem unattainable and overwhelming, which can push to a burn out. Celebrating every small win can prevent that.
Acknowledging your successes can evoke motivation. It will fuel a more positive mindset and attitude when it comes to working on your tasks. Journaling your successes is a great reflection activity and something you can re-read when you are struggling with motivation.
When you practise celebrating your successes, it can also:
- Inspire others – when you share your success, it inspires and motivates others to achieve
- Boosts confidence – when you recognise what you are good at, you improve your confidence and you are far more likely to succeed
- Increases motivation – as a goal-orientated society, being able to check task off and rewarding yourself can encourage you to work harder
5. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress with your goals is important as it can help you to stay focused on achieving your goals. When you are tracking your goals, it helps you to recognise potential obstacles that could stop you and how you overcome them. Using a goal planner will help you to be clear on exactly where you want to be. Writing in your goal planner what you want to achieve and writing in you progress ensures that you avoid distraction and procrastination. Tracking your progress keeps you informed of how far you have come which can promote momentum and confidence to achieve your goals.
These are 4 benefits of tracking your progress when you are trying to achieve your goal:
- Accountability – if you did not track your goals, you could forget… it’s easily done! We will have all done it at least once!
- Motivation – when you see the progress that you have made, it will motivate you to do more
- Shows your strengths and weaknesses – you can sometimes overestimate; however, when you track your progress, it is based on factual information. It highlights what you are doing well as well as areas that you could be struggling with; where you need to make adjustments to help you achieve your goals.
- Keeps you on track – if you are working on a long-term goal, it can be difficult to stay focused. Tracking regularly can help keep your focus on the tasks at hand.
6. Learn From Your Setbacks
When making changes, setting your goals can be very different to achieving them as there are many things that could derail your progress. Sometimes, a small setback can lead to self-sabotage. You need to harness your determination even when you are facing obstacles. You have to learn to use being side-tracked or setback as an opportunity to reflect and revise how to move forward.
Tips to help you push through setbacks to achieve your goals:
- Remind yourself why you started
- Do not dwell on the mistakes
- Let go of what you cannot control
- Re-evaluate your tasks to reach your end goal
- Stay positive – it is a small setback
7. Good Time Management
By managing your time effectively and through careful planning, you can control your schedule so that you can achieve your goals. So much pressure and stress comes from not allocating enough time and being overwhelmed with your task load when you have goal deadlines. When you use a planner or a diary to schedule our time, you are far more likely to be successful in achieving your goals. You will have enough time to complete your tasks and reach your milestones.
Tips to help you get better at managing your time:
- Use a goal planner to include timescales, or use a diary to include goal deadlines
- Blocking time in your schedule for each specific task
- Set alarms or reminders for deadlines or tasks
- Prioritise your tasks – that way you know which tasks to spend your time on first
- Take regular breaks – when you have regular breaks, you are more likely to be productive in your work time
Goal setting is not something you can only do at the start of the year; you can start it anytime as life is constantly changing. These are 7 important elements and tips to consider and practise in order to help you set effective and achievable goals.