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We’ve combined our top goal-setting strategies into a quick, comprehensive and fun crash course.
There’s never a better time to set goals than right now.
We’re obsessed with helping women discover the real ways to achieve more and get the life they want.
We’ve compiled our best articles on goal setting into a one-stop crash course to get you pumped up and tool’d up to have the biggest year ever.
Now, all you need is to buckle up and take the journey.
Let get into it!
4 Pernicious Pitfalls That Sabotage Your Goals
Everyone sets goals that are important to them. But what tends to happen is we don’t plan out how we intend to achieve our goals, or we sabotage our goals by forgetting about a few important things.
Here’s how to set up successful goals this year.
1. Set Realistic Timelines (& Move Deadlines)
Matthew Kelly famously said:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade."
Some important goals need more time.
When we think about goals, we should remember there are 2 main types:
1. Short-term goals
These are your goals for the next 6 to 12 months. They should include small, consistent actions to reach an objective, grow a skill or learn something new.
2. Long-term goals
These goals involve the key milestones you want to hit in the next 5 to 10 years. They’ll be a direct result of sticking with your short-term goals.
Pro tip: If you find your short-term goals are making you feel overwhelmed and burnt out – move them into your long-term goals. No goal is worth the cost of your health and wellbeing.
Think about it this way: For most people, it’s unrealistic to become a fortune 500 CEO in 12 months. But it is possible to start a business and get 10 clients in that time.
Having a goal framework is essential in setting realistic, achievable goals.
A well-known tool is a SMART framework, which helps you define goals that are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC and TIMELY.
But the process shouldn’t stop there. After you’ve used the SMART framework for each of your goals, take a moment to write a few sentences about WHY you want to achieve the goal in the first place. What will it mean for your life once you’ve achieved it?
For example, when it comes to setting a successful financial goal, someone might write their WHY as…
I want to save $10,000 this year because that will mean I can finally open up an investment account. This will help me invest any extra money and earn dividends for the next 20 years. So when I retire, I’ll have full financial freedom and won’t have to worry about whether I’ll be taken care of in my twilight years. Knowing this gives me confidence right now, and reduces my anxiety about the future.
It’s completely ok to get raw and real with your WHY sentence. We all have real needs and real fears. And sometimes, we get so wrapped up in achieving our goal, that we forget the core reason we wanted to achieve it in the first place.
2. Grow Your Strengths (& Outsource Your Weaknesses If Possible)
Business and management genius, Peter Drucker, was once asked his advice on the best way to improve employee performance.
What he said was the complete opposite of what people expected.
Drucker said, “First and foremost, concentrate on your strengths. Put yourself where your strengths can produce results. Second, work on improving your strengths.”
He goes on to say that if a person only focuses on improving their weaknesses, they will be mediocre at best and won’t keep up with their colleagues.
Lesson – high performers focus on their strengths first.
Often, our goals are to improve or develop ourselves in areas of weakness. According to Drucker, this is a mistake.
We can’t forget that we have talents, abilities and experiences that are uniquely ours. Using and growing our strengths is the secret to high performance and achieving more in our career, business and lives.
3. Book Regular Time to Review Your Progress
We know that achieving our goals takes time and effort. But what we can forget is managing and reviewing our goals takes work too. So we often forget to book time with ourselves every week to look at how we are progressing.
Here’s the truth… achieving your important goals isn’t a straightforward path. It’s more like a zig-zag, with a few loops thrown in. You have to give yourself time and space to try different approaches and strategies. If you brazenly stick to your first plan, you may find that you’re getting stuck and can’t move ahead. Then, you may start to think YOU aren’t cut out to achieve your goal.
That’s when people quit.
But this is not a YOU problem, this is a PROCESS problem. And you can fix it almost instantly by reviewing your goal every week…
And more importantly, give yourself permission to change your mind about your approach.
You don’t have to stick to a plan that isn’t working for you.
4. Procrastination is Normal, & You Can Outsmart it
Setting and achieving goals is uncomfortable, and it’s human nature to move away from discomfort. We can’t help it, our biology is constantly telling us to do what’s comfortable so we can save energy. Even capable, high performers struggle to get through their important goals.
The key is to recognise the normal symptoms of procrastination, that’s built into us on a biological level.
We have to accept that our brain will put up resistance when we push ahead. It’s completely normal. The trick is not to blame ourselves when we feel procrastination coming on and a lack of motivation. The brain doesn’t like to change, and that means it tries to get us to stop what we’re doing and go back to our comfortable state.
This only lasts for a little while, with experts showing that a new habit can take as little as 18 days to develop, and 66 days to become fully automatic.
Now, you can plan for your brain’s resistance and push ahead with your goals. If you can do it for 66 days – when it comes to day 67, you’ll be working toward your goals virtually on autopilot. Best of all, you’ll have built a life-long success habit for life.