Always wanted to be successful like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Start by setting goals! Many of us know the importance of goal-setting, but how many of us are doing it right? Based on a survey that I have personally conducted, 65% of the people considered themselves successful and more than 90% of them attribute it to SMART goals and the ‘right’ mindset. Goals give our lives meaning and something to look forward to. It ensures that we are constantly striving to be a better version of ourselves. Think of goals as a road trip with a destination. It might take months (short term goals) or even years (long term goals) to reach your destination, but having a plan will lead you to your destination. Don’t wait any longer! Embark on the journey to effectively achieve your goals!
Create SMART Goals
Specific – Don’t be vague about your goals! It is easier to achieve your goals when you are clear about them, so make sure you ask yourself the 5Ws.
Measurable – This refers to the 1H. How can you measure your success? How do you know that you are on the right track? Think metrics and numbers.
Achievable – Challenge yourself, but set realistic goals. Realistic targets will boost your confidence and motivate you to stay on track.
Relevant – Look at the big picture and know how a particular goal aligns with your other goals.
Time-bound – Remember to set a deadline, this is not a never-ending road trip. Working with deadlines increases your sense of urgency and keeps you focused on the end goal.
Divide Goals Into Smaller Goals
Does your goal seem too daunting and overwhelming? Feeling the inertia of starting on a new goal? I used to abandon my goals whenever I found it too big and daunting. Yes, big goals might seem too impossible and even frightening to take the first step. But rather than giving yourself another reason to procrastinate, why not create smaller goals that will lead to your eventual goal? It will give you the motivation you need to kickstart your journey! Treat these smaller goals like road signs and landmarks that will guide you to your final destination.
Find Your Reason
What’s the point of this goal? Does it make you happy? Will it benefit you in the long run? We tend to lose sight of the end goal especially when we are feeling demoralized or working on a long term goal. Knowing why you are doing it will give you a sense of purpose and motivate you, even when the end goal is out of sight. Keep your goals personal and do it because you want to. Setting personal goals gives you a sense of ownership and commitment to the goal. Give your goals a good mix of intrinsic (personally satisfying) and extrinsic (reward-based) motivation to achieve your goals more quickly and easily.
Set Your Priorities
Yes, we have so many things that we want to do and everything is important to us. But importance will lose its meaning if everything is important. Know which is more important and do what is crucial before working on others. Start by writing a daily to-do list with just 3 things on it. Focus on completing the 3 things one at a time, rather than multitasking. Not sure how to prioritize your tasks? Work on the one with the earliest deadline first. Don’t be afraid to say no or negotiate a deadline for new tasks.
Change Your Daily Habits
If you have read self-help books on being successful, you would know that habits are a powerful force that can propel you to success. Habits are part of you and determine who you are as a person, so be wary of detrimental habits. Instead of just striving to achieve the end goal in mind, focus on the process and change your habits. For example, if your aim is to boost your sales by 30%, aim to reach out to 15 instead of 10 clients in an efficient manner. This can range from inculcating the habit of creating a to-do list daily or waking up 10 minutes earlier to prep your mind for work. Your little daily habits will transform your ways of working and ensure that your sales will continue to thrive beyond what you set out to achieve.
Track Your Progress
Just like how you need to check Google Maps or look at the road signs to determine if you are going in the right direction, it is the same for goals! You don’t want to dedicate so much time and effort, only to find out that you have gone off course. Review your progress every few months to determine where you stand. Get feedback from the people around you and assess if you have achieved your smaller milestone goals. If you are on track, give yourself a pat on your back! Reward yourself for achieving a milestone and celebrate small successes. If things are not going too well, take the opportunity to review your approach.
What are some goals that you plan to achieve? Don’t be afraid to dream big! As long as you have a plan in mind and know what steps you are going to take, anything is possible. Goals are not something that happens overnight. It requires patience, dedication and commitment, so keep working on them and never give up. Don’t wait for a new year to set goals, start planning your goals now!