A lot of people seem to know what they want to achieve in their lives. Whether personal or professional, they want a nice income, healthy families, a job they love, etc. It’s easy to know what you want. Yet, many of us struggle to achieve these benchmarks and get frustrated when we don’t.
Why do intelligent, hard working people struggle to get to where they want in life?
They have vaguely said what they want, yet have failed to give themselves specific goals to help them understand whether or not they are on the right track.
But how do you set a goal?
In this post, let’s talk about 11 commandments to follow in order to effectively set goals that will get you to your objective.
1) Determine what it is you want to accomplish.
Your goal should be very specific.
The brain doesn’t work well with generalities. Saying you want something in the far distant future makes it way too easy to let days slip by without working towards your end goal.
I remember hearing Rachel Hollis mention in a podcast that she sets her goals in the present tense. This blew my mind, but it’s effectiveness is impressive.
Write your goals down in the present tense using clear, vivid words. Be specific.
For example, if your goal were to earn a salary of $60,000 a year and be self-employed, you would write:
“I now earn $50,000 per year in a job that is fulfilling and allows me to work on my own schedule.”
It’s your goal, so there is no right or wrong metric.
The method may seem silly at first, but after continually reviewing your goal as if it has happened, your brain will begin to work as though you are already implementing the habits to have achieved that goal. And when you implement those necessary habits… you will be on the fast track towards reaching your next benchmark.
2. Give yourself a deadline.
I can admit that I am a procrastinator. When something does not have a strict deadline and can be put off, it’s just way too easy to throw it on the back burner.
For this reason, a goal must have a deadline.
If you do not have a date on it, then you are just setting yourself up for a continual cycle of procrastination and the goal is never accomplished.
Put a date on your goal…and then stick with it.
Treat it as if you were getting paid…as if it was your job and you are going to get fired if you don’t show up.
3. Make sure that the goal is believable to you.
How much confidence do you have that you can really achieve your desired outcome?
You must feel that the goal can be realized.
If you believe it is impossible to achieve, you will never take the action necessary to make your goals a reality.
4: Take note of where you are now.
Jot down your current statistics, metrics or anything to mark what level you are at in your current progress …even if you are starting at ultimate zero.
By making a note of where are you now, you will better be able to measure your progress and mark future growth.
5. List your obstacles
This may initially seem rather depressing, but without confronting your obstacles…you can’t make a plan to overcome them. Jot down what stands in the way of achieving your goal.
Let’s face it… if you want to ‘pay off your debt,” you will need to come to grips with the fact that you have $120,000 of it.
Face the obstacle head on… denial will stop your progress immediately.
6. What are your knowledge gaps?
I hate to break it to you… but you are not God, and you don’t know it all.
That being said, everyone’s level of knowledge is different.
What skills do you still need to acquire, if any, to reach your goal? Do you need a professional certification or degree to move forward?
Once you have taken this inventory, make a list of ways to acquire that knowledge. Perhaps there is a free online course, or a class at a local community college.
But, remember, knowledge alone is worthless unless you do something with it.
7. Find Your Tribe
What organizations or groups should you associate with to help you achieve your goal? Don’t feel like you need to be an island unto yourself.
Trust me, there is power in community.
When starting my online businesses, I joined Dare to Conquer and the community there makes all the difference in holding me accountable.
If you want to lose weight, join a gym or local class… or just get a group of friends together with the same goal.
Not sure where to look?
Type in a keyword related to your goal on LinkedIn or Facebook and find an online community. I promise they are there.
8. Find your “Why”
Why are you doing this? What are the benefits to you?
The more reasons you can come up with, the more likely you will be to stick to your goal-setting plan.
If you have never heard it, I would highly suggest watching Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on finding your “why?” It is geared towards marketing, but I guarantee it will open your eyes on how you view your personal goals.
9.Create an action plan.
Determine the specific steps you will need to take in order to achieve your goal.
The easiest way to do this is to work backward from your end goal.
Again, be specific… and work until you get to daily goals.
This brings me to…
10. Take Daily Action
Every action counts and consistent action is the best way to achieve your goals.
To help me better organize my weekly and daily goals, I love using Google Calendars goal setting feature.
Once your goal is set, Google will automatically find space in your calendar based around your other appointments and obligations ( assuming they are also in Google Cal)
The goal setting feature is only available in the app, but they will still show up on your desktop calendar after being entered.
11. Resolve to never quit.
Promise yourself to never give up. With any endeavor, there are stumbles and valleys.
People may question what you are doing and why….but keep going.
Success may not be overnight, but there will be significant growth in the journey. You owe it to yourself to see it through until you reach the point where you can say “I did it!”