It’s that time of year again! Talking plans and goals for 2019. The last few weeks I’ve been focusing my blog and Facebook lives on the theme of Planning for 2019. Today it’s all about goal setting and more specifically, 5 ways to make sure you achieve your 2019 goals!
From my own personal experience and working with my clients through the goal setting process, I have found specific things that hinder goal achievement that can be very simply overcome in the initial goal-setting process. What I mean is, getting off to the right start and laying the right foundation is the key to you avoiding the pitfalls of non-goal achievement. The great things is that these 5 basic “rules” for goal setting are really easy but will make a big difference!
Here are the 5 ways to ensure that your 2019 goals are achievable:
1. Write your goals down
I know it may sound obvious and you are likely already doing this, but did you know that by doing this one simple step in writing your goals down, you have actually increased the likelihood of goal achievement by 42%? Yes, it’s true! Alarmingly, most people don’t write their goals down, so just by doing so you’re way ahead! The act of writing or typing the goal out also brings it into the physical realm. Your brain can literally see the idea on paper or on your screen and so it already becomes more realistic, more tangible, as opposed to a thought floating around in your mind.
2. Follow the SMART goals format
Your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-framed (SMART for short). This ensures you have defined the goal well and it is clear what the successful outcome will be. It also ensures that there is a way to measure success. How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? The goal must answer this by clearly indicating measurement. Your goal must be attainable (there is an actual chance that the goal can be attained) and it must be relevant. Are your goals relevant to you and your business growth? (Make sure you review my blog on Power Priorities before you answer this.) And lastly and perhaps most importantly, the goal must be time-framed. In other words, there must be a deadline to achieving the goal.
3. Create a written goals plan
This is by far the most overlooked step in the goal setting process. Goals are often written down but there is no plan made. When you have no plan, it is the equivalent of standing at the base of a mountain and looking up to your goal at the peak of the mountain. It’s overwhelming and more daunting than inspiring! You want to create a plan of action to get you up the mountain so-to-speak. A step-by-step process on how to achieve your goal makes the process easier as it breaks it down into smaller steps and gives you smaller goals to work on and achieve. As you achieve each smaller goal you get closer to achieving the big goal. This will help you get started as you’ll know what to do and when, you’ll be more efficient and you’ll be able to monitor your progress. So many benefits, you simply must have a goals plan!
4. Create accountability
We are all human and can at times fall off the wagon. Even the best, most disciplined of us, can have moments when we do not follow through. It’s not because we are lazy or because there is something wrong with us, it’s simply because we’re dealing with the change process. Working on any new goal will require you to do new things, essentially enact new behaviours and ways of being in the world. This process of change by its very nature is unnatural to us. Our brains tend to resist change. So creating new habits and behaviours can be challenging. Ideally, working with a coach who is familiar with the change process, will make this process much easier for you. The key here is accountability. You can create accountability by stating publicly what you intend to achieve. Knowing that others are expecting you to do something can keep you more on-track with your goals. You can also get an accountability partner, someone who will hold you accountable for what you said you would do and you can do the same for them.
5. Stay focused on one step
The goals you set are likely challenging and require a certain amount of change from where you are at the moment. If we go back to the mountain analogy, you really want to make sure you are not gazing up at the top of the mountain the whole way as you may find you want to give up. In other words, stay focused on the smaller goals, the step that you are working on at the moment. If you have your goal plan laid out, that’s all you need to do- focus on the step you’re on, then move to the next, and repeat until goal achievement is inevitable!