How to Set AND Achieve Goals

How to Set and Achieve Goals

Do you set goals, but forget about them? Do you have a list of New Years’ Goals that hasn’t been looked at since the beginning of the year (or maybe one week after the year started)? We all struggle with goals, that’s why I wanted to write a post about how to achieve your goals. I read something recently about goal setting that I thought was a great idea, so I can’t wait to share that with you.

We should be excited about our life goals, whether they are short-term or long-term goals, and want to find a way to accomplish those goals, so let’s have some fun with goal setting here!

I can’t wait any longer to share with you what I read about goal setting. I read one of Ben Hardy’s posts about actually making your goals the items on your bucket list. Your bucket list is exciting and that’s what you really want to be doing, so switch up your goals to include bucket list items. Doesn’t accomplishing your bucket list items sound like a lot more fun than achieving regular old goals? It’s always great to accomplish something you’ve been working toward, don’t get me wrong, but there’s some extra excitement associated with a bucket list!

Alright, let’s start with how to set goals then move into how to achieve your goals.

When I set a goal, I like to think backwards. I begin with the end in mind. What is it I want to achieve? Once I know what I want to achieve, then I ask myself, “What will it take to get there?” I work backward; for example, say my goal is to have $10,000 in savings by my 37th birthday. I’d take $10,000 and divide it in half, so I’d need to have $5,000 in a year. I’d then break it down to $2,500 in 6 months. Breaking it down even further, I’d need to save about $417 per month. I’d set smaller, short-term goals to help me accomplish my long-term goal. Like, only eating out once per week and putting the money I’d be spending on other meals in savings. I could also create a product I could sell for X dollar amount and come up with a promotional plan to sell how many ever I needed to make up for the remaining amount each month.

Also, when setting goals, make sure you’re setting the right type of goals.

1.SET SMART GOALS

I’m sure we’ve all heard this, but it’s true, so I’m going to review it with you. 🙂  Set SMART goals. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. Let’s expand on each part of setting SMART goals.

Specific

Set goals that are specific. If your goal is to get better at running then it’s not specific. Taking Ben Hardy’s advice, if we have on our bucket list to run a marathon, then let’s get specific and change the goal to be: run a marathon before I’m 40 years old. This is more specific and we know exactly when we want to achieve our goal (before turning 40 years). So be as specific as you can when setting goals.

Measurable

Make sure goal is also measurable. If your goal is to get in shape, how would you know when you were ‘in shape?’ When you lost 5 pounds? When you could run up a set of stairs without getting winded? There’s too many answers to the ‘how would you know when you achieved your goal’ question. To make the goal of getting in shape measurable, we would need to change the goal to something like, ‘Lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks.’ The goal is measured by losing 5 pounds. It’s clear what goal we are trying to accomplish.

Attainable/Achievable

Goals need to be attainable as well as specific and measurable. If our goal is to be 100 pounds and we are 5’10” then that’s clearly not a realistic or attainable goal (well, not if we actually want to be healthy). Make sure the goal is something reasonable, something you actually believe you can achieve. Being realistic doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) set high goals, it just means the goals need to be something you actually believe you can accomplish or attain.

Relevant

Is the goal you’re setting actually something that you want or need? Does it fit into your lifestyle? Or are you just setting the goal because other people have it as a goal or have told you it would be a good goal, but it’s not really something you feel like fits into your life right now? Make sure the goal is in sync with your other short-term or long-term goals. For example, if you want to become a millionaire by 40, but you also want to travel to every country before you’re 40, will you be able to accomplish both goals? Just make sure your goals are something you really desire and fit your life, or something you’re willing to give up your lifestyle for or be willing to sacrifice for.

Timebound

Make sure to set a timeframe for your goals. Like we mentioned above, becoming a millionaire by 40, has a specific time to achieve the goal. Without a timeframe or deadline, there’s no incentive to work on your goals. You can continuously put off the goal and not even think twice about it because there’s no deadline attached to the goal. So don’t forget about making goals timebound.

Now that we have what type of goals we should be setting, let’s talk about actually achieving those goals.

2.BEGIN WITH END IN MIND

If we know what our final goal is then we can set sub-goals, short-term goals, or benchmarks to achieve that long-term goal. Being able to visualize the end goal will help us to continue on the path to achieving the goal. If our goal is to work from home, we can visualize ourselves being at home with our kids or having the freedom to work the hours we want.

Just daydreaming about the goal; however, won’t help achieve the goal. Visualize yourself doing, not achieving. Visualize yourself actually working on the computer at home or doing whatever it takes to accomplish your goal.

Also, think of the regret you’ll feel if you don’t accomplish your goal. It’s more motivation than daydreaming everything is perfect. If you think, ‘How will I feel tomorrow if I don’t exercise tonight,’ it helps you put yourself in the mood of not wanting to feel that regret and gives you motivation to keep working toward your goal.

Once you’ve figured out your goal, think of possible hurdles and benefits of your goal. Write down at least one of the benefits, or one way life would be better, if you accomplished your goal. Write down one significant barrier that could prevent you from being able to achieve your goal. Write down the steps on how to deal with with the barrier you wrote down.

Remember to keep the end in mind – the way your life is going to be better by accomplishing this goal. Barriers will arise, but if you already have the steps to deal with them, you can get around them much quicker.

3.ENJOY THE JOURNEY

Just because we have an end goal in mind, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the path to get there.

Celebrate the small wins and reward yourself when you accomplish your goals along the way. Creating a reward for yourself gives you more of an incentive to continue forward. It can be something as simple as once you’ve been able to do 10 push ups, you can listen to an episode of your favorite podcast or get that new shirt you’ve been eyeing.

Start on your goal a little at a time; it will help to make you want to finish it. When we start something, we usually like to finish it, so you can start small to keep the motivation going. Whether that’s doing one push up a day and then expanding to 2 push ups a day and so on. Just start with something small and then gradually increase, celebrating your milestones along the way.

4.STICK WITH YOUR GOALS

It’s not easy to follow thru on your goals, so here’s a few more ideas to help you stick with your goals.

A good option could be to put your goals in your calendar so they have the actual deadline tied right to them! You can set reminders in your calendar as well to help keep you on track, especially with sub-goals.

Have a positive mindset. Expect that you can actually achieve your goals.

Decide who to share your goals with. It’s good to have a support system and ‘check-in’ system. Checking in with someone to make sure you’re on track is a great way to help you stay motivated to achieve your goal; you don’t want to let someone else down.

Keep your goals visible. You can keep them on your screensaver or background on your phone, or where ever you’ll be able to see them often. Remember the popular phrase, ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ well it’s true. Be sure to keep your goals visible.

I have one last closing thought, which has made me think deeper about my goals. Imagine yourself at your own funeral. Imagine someone giving your eulogy. What would they say about you? What would you want them to say about you?

Really think about it. What would you want someone sharing about you after you passed on? That you were nice, a good person, lived life to the fullest, willing to share knowledge/possessions with others? It’s up to you to create your own legacy – whatever you would like.

Reflecting on your personal and professional legacy will help you to determine your long-term goals and assess the degree to which you are achieving those goals and make adjustments where needed.

Share in the comments what’s worked for you with goal setting and achieving your goals.

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