I just Googled the phrase goal setting, and found approximately 16,700,000 web pages that relate in some way to that phrase. This shouldn’t surprise us, because conventional wisdom is that goal setting is an important skill.
It is easy to document both through anecdotal evidence as well as through research that setting goals can help us achieve more. There are hundreds of books, tapes, speeches, workshops, and websites that will provide us with tools and processes to set goals. One would think for something as important as goal setting, with as many tools as there are available, that everyone would be a goal setter.
This however isn’t the case.
While I could fill a book with the reasons why, there is one that is very important.
People don’t set goals now because they didn’t achieve the ones they set in the past.
They’ve followed the goal setting process they learned or read about, but the seminar or book stopped at the wrong time. The seminar stopped with the setting of the goal. That is like ending the game after the first play, then going to sit on the sidelines, while the goal is out on the playing field.
My advice to you, if you can identify with what you’ve just read is to stop worrying about goal setting. And start focusing on goal achieving.
In other words, stop worrying about which goal setting model to use, or which software to track your progress with. Stop making the goal setting process the focus, and start putting the focus on goal achievement.
How To Start Goal Achieving
Here are three things you can do to put our focus on goal achievement and drastically increase your success:
1. Get sick and tired. It is often said that people really begin to reach new health goals when they become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Achieving a goal means that you want something different than you have now.
To build your ongoing and sustaining drive to achieve the new item, knowledge or situation, you must become disgusted and dissatisfied with the current situation. This doesn’t mean that you should become bitter or grumpy, but rather it means to develop a healthy dissatisfaction with the way things are now (current profitability, the cycle time for new product development, or your inability to find a bathroom in Brazil).
2. Get (and stay) excited about the result. To sustain the challenges, setbacks and disappointments along your way to goal achievement, you must have another motivation as well. You must really want the benefits that will come to you when the new goal is achieved. Build a clear and compelling picture in your mind of what you will feel, sense, see, and believe once your goal has been achieved. Focus on the results you will gain from the goal, rather than just the goal itself. This is important because in the end this is what you are after, not just the goal itself.
As you work towards your goal, the goal might shift, but as long as the desired results remain clear, you have improved the likelihood of achieving the end result you desire.
3. Start a plan and get started. Notice I didn’t say to lay out a complete plan of all the steps between you and your goal. If your goal is of any size and importance at all, it will require many steps, and it will be very difficult/impossible to identify them with any degree of certainty at the start. Too many people think they need the perfect plan. They delay starting so they can get the best information. They want to talk to one more expert, read one more book, examine two more options.
Get started already! Give yourself a clear idea of a general approach, and some clear first steps. Allow yourself the luxury of knowing that the next specific steps will become clear as you stay on the path.
Doing these three things will drastically increase your success in achieving any goal you set.
Actually, let me say it more strongly. Until you have these three factors going for you in large (although potentially varying) amounts, you wont achieve the goals you set. You will lose momentum. You will lose focus. You will lose hope. You wont be able to overcome the first setback. And you will fall into the convenient and comfortable thinking that goal setting doesnt work for you or that you need a new tool, a new technique or a new guru to help you set better goals.
Whether you are setting goals for yourself, a team you lead or for your organization at large, take this advice to heart.
Focus less energy on setting the perfect goal and spend more time preparing yourself for ultimate success. Stop worrying about the resolution, and start focusing on the resolve that will be required to succeed.
Solution: Be A Juggernaut Of Goal Achievement
Did you know that less than 3% of people have written goals? Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.
Setting a goal is not like a New Years resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isnt going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there.
When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month or weekly goals. Also you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 5 times a week.Be specific when you write your goals. Don’t just write down I want to lose weight. Write I will weigh 180 pounds by July 2018.
Make sure your goal statement is positive. Don’t say, I don’t want to be fat. Say I will be a healthy 130 pounds by May 2018.The achievement of a worthwhile goal can seem daunting at first. The easiest way to proceed is to break your goal down into smaller steps. Start with the first step then move onto the next. When making your plans, a good way is to start is from the end part and work your way to the present.
Measure your progress. After you complete a step, check it off. Watching steady progress is a good motivator. A simple example could be if your goal was to be able to do 100 continuous pushups, you could mark off the milestones of 25, 50, 75, 80, and finally 100!
Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. All successful people experience setbacks, disappointments, and failure along the way. That’s just part of the process. That’s part of learning. Many times these act as course corrections to get you back on target.
There are several success principles used in goal achievement.
One is properly programming your mind. You need to review your goal morning and at night before you go to bed. Have your goal written on a 3 x 5 card so you can review during the day. At night, ask your subconscious mind for solutions to problems, and methods or tools for helping you achieve your goal.
Another important principle is that of persistence.
No one has enjoyed great achievement without persistence. Its hard to beat a person who never gives up!
Do something everyday towards your goal.
A days action puts you one step closer to your objective. Doing something everyday creates a momentum that is hard to stop.
Move relentlessly toward your objective.
When it comes to achieving your goals, you need to think of yourself as a huge, monolithic juggernaut! Unstoppable!
Continuous Improvement/Staying Motivated
This may be the difference between goal setting and goal attainment. The first part is never being satisfied that you have arrived. There is always something more that you can do, another improvement that you can make. Life is a continuous journey.
Staying motivated is a challenge. Sometimes meeting our goals will motivate us; sometimes it has the opposite effect. I find having an accountability partner, a coach or a mastermind group to whom I am accountable makes all the difference. I can promise myself I’m going to do something all day long. If I don’t, who will be the wiser? However, when I say out loud to someone else what my intentions are, then my integrity wont let me fail.
Doing all this will bring you greater success, less frustration and will help you and your organization move closer and closer to your full potential.