It’s that time of year when everyone starts making new year’s resolutions. But there is a big difference between having a dream and setting a goal.
“Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” Stephen Covey
If you want to create goals in a way that will generate success here are a few tips that will help.
Start by looking back
Allow yourself some time to reflect on the past year. Consider what you have achieved, learned and are proud of. This will help to motivate your change and put you in a great frame of mind to start looking ahead.
What’s your vision?
Be positive. Make sure you state what you want to achieve and not want you want to avoid. Simply switching your goal from “I don’t want to still be doing the same job” into “I want to have a new job” will dramatically change your perception of the goal.
A trick you can play on your brain is to make it believe the goals is already achieved, or at least that successes inevitable. Express your goal as if it had already happened. Then all you have to do is act as if achieving the goal was a foregone conclusion. You will still have to take action to achieve it. But by believing you will achieve it you are more likely to do the work to get there.
For example – It is 31 December 2019 and I have started my own business.
Making it SMART
A great way to test the that you have set out a goal and are not just dreaming, is to make sure it meets all the requirements of SMART.
Specific – Instead of a goal to “earn more money”, “have more time” or “be fitter” get specific. How much more money, time and fitness do you want? The more specific you are the more motivated you will be. Get really specific. I want to “earn £50k”, “free up an hour a day” or “lose a stone”.
Measurable – How will you know that you have achieved your goal? What is your measure of success? The more specific you made your goal the easier this step will be.
Achievable – Can it be done? Be careful not to set yourself a goal that can’t be achieved or you will feel disheartened and almost certainly overwhelmed from the start. Do make it a challenge though or you may not bother making the effort.
Realistic – This one is totally subjective. Only you can decide if it is realistic for you in your situation. However, if every entrepreneur had listened to their well meaning loved ones when they said “be realistic” they probably wouldn’t have achieved half of what they did. So, think big, be bold. If it has ever been done by anyone on the planet before then you know it is within the bound of reality. If it hasn’t then you can be the first!
Timebound – Set a specific and realistic date to achieve your goal by. Without this you will always be able to let yourself off the hook and put off action until tomorrow.
A vague idea such as to “be happier” is not a SMART goal. If your goal is to be happier, then think about what specifically is making you feel unhappy and set a goal to change that.
Commit it to paper
Writing down your goal will massively increase your commitment and motivation to the goal. Pictures will also help the creative side of your brain be motivated to make the changes needed. If you put your goal on paper, or on your computer (say in a PowerPoint slide), you will reinforce what it is you want to do and why. Look at it often and mark off you progress to help keep you going.
Plan your journey to success
I said earlier that you should make your goal a challenge, but this could be daunting. The best way to achieve something big is to break it down into smaller tasks.
Start with the big picture; what is the end goal you want to achieve. Next think about the different stages involved and list the actions to take. Again, be specific about what you are going to do and when. This way you can give yourself a step to take each week or month on the journey to your overall goal.
Brian Mayne has created a brilliant goal mapping process that helps you to engage your whole brain by setting your goal out using words and picture. He has worked with major corporate industries such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft, as well as top sports people. You can find out more and try out his approach free by clicking here Brian Mayne Goal Mapping
It starts with one step
What do you want to achieve in 2019?
Choose one small step you could take today that will take you closer to your goal?
What are you waiting for?