Goal setting is perhaps one of my favourite activities. It makes me feel like I’ve really got my shit together, and I know I’m not alone in this. The problem however, is the follow-through. It’s so easy to set a goal and fall at the first hurdle. Sometimes we give up after failing; other times, life just gets in the way.
If it’s so easy to just forget about our goals, how do people ever achieve them? The answer is, there is no one right path. What we can do though, is follow steps and create habits to help us on our way. If you’re looking to set and achieve big goals for 2022, don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Now is your time.
Get clear on your goals and focus
In order to achieve a goal, you must first be crystal clear on what that goal is. Get as specific as you can and focus on your desired outcome. Perhaps you’ve heard of the SMART framework – this is one that I find works particularly well with coaching clients.
Specific: what is the exact outcome you will aim to achieve?
Measurable: how will you measure your progress and know when you have achieved the goal?
Achievable: what steps will you take to achieve the goal?
Realistic: is it realistic?
Time-bound: when will you achieve the goal by?
If you really want to achieve big things, you should know exactly what those things are and the steps you’ll need to take to get to where you want to be. A big part of your goal-setting activity should be action planning.
Visualise the end result
As a big fan of the Law of Attraction, I use Visualisation regularly, and encourage others to do the same. Not only is it a great way to become clear on your desires, it can also strengthen your motivation and reprogram your mind.
At least once a day, sit or lay alone in a quiet room and close your eyes. Imagine the outcome of your goal as if it has already happened. See and feel yourself carrying out activities that you’d do after achieving the goal. Think about where you’ll be, how you’ll feel and who will be around you. If you want to earn enough to buy a new car, for example, visualise yourself making the purchase and then driving away in the car. Notice the sounds, how it feels physically and emotionally, your thoughts while driving off the forecourt. Get creative in your visualisation and have fun with it.
Take action and create new habits
Remember the SMART framework from above? A key part in this is to outline the steps you’ll take to achieve your goals. You should take action as often as you can and try to form new habits which will help you in the right direction. Do you need to sign five new clients to reach a financial goal? Get out and take action to find them. Meet new people, tighten your sales funnel, follow up with leads.. often, you’ll find that creating one small, daily habit will have big effects. Consistent action is key.
Hold yourself accountable
Ever have one of those days where you just think, “I’ll do it tomorrow”? Come on, own up. No matter how motivated you are when setting goals, it’s almost inevitable you’ll reach a day where you want to put things off. These are the days accountability is the most important. Remember how much you wanted that thing you’re working towards when you set your goals.
There are a few ways you can hold yourself accountable:
Track your progress against your deadline. Remember, you want to achieve this goal by a certain date. Do you really want to let yourself down?
Tell a friend, colleague or business partner – creating social pressure can help to motivate you. I’m sure you don’t want to have to explain to someone why you didn’t do the thing you were once so excited to.
Invest financially into your goal. No one likes to waste money by not completing something they’ve paid for.
Be patient with yourself
Some days are going to be hard – the best things take time to achieve and some days you’ll feel like you’re not good enough. Give yourself a break and know that you can continue to make progress. Don’t give up if you feel like things aren’t moving quickly enough for you. Be patient and trust in the process and yourself.
Learn from your failures
I don’t think anyone can honestly say they’ve never made a mistake. Sometimes, things go wrong and there’s not much we can do about it. Instead of beating yourself up when things go wrong, you should see it as an opportunity to learn. We’ve found something that doesn’t work, so now we can discount that and move onto what does work.
Track your progress
The best way to make continual progress towards a goal is to track everything along the way. Keep a record of the action you take and celebrate the small wins. Seeing how far you’ve come is not only a good indicator of how far you have left to go, but can also help to motivate you to keep going no matter what.
Making big moves can be damn hard but, if you put your mind to it, there’s no reason you can’t achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Some people move slowly, others move quickly, but speed isn’t important. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled in every area of your life.