Tame Those Pesky Goals!
Many studies show that when you write down your goals, you have a much better chance of accomplishing them. So, then, why do so many people avoid setting and accomplishing goals?
Aside from the stress and anxiety of potentially feeling like a failure when you can’t cross an item off your list, I think there are three key areas that people struggle with when it comes to goals:
- When to set them
- How to define them
- How to track them
So, let’s look at each of these topics.
- When to set goals
The logical time to set a goal is when you are ready to go after it! Traditionally, goals are set at the very end of the year or beginning of the New Year. But, things change over 12 months and you might change your course of action, have a life-changing event, or discover something that absolutely needs to be accomplished right now! Limiting yourself to setting goals just once a year can impede your progress. I suggest setting them, but reviewing them on a regular basis – weekly or monthly – to make sure they still align to you. Having two or three umbrella goals like achieving financial independence, becoming the next best technology company or balancing your work/home life dynamic, will probably remain the same, with the subgoals and projects emanating from that.
- How to define goals
Ah, this one is a bit tricky, as is the next. The best way to define the goal is in a way that you understand and will motivate you to achieve it. I know, that sounds like a cop out, but it truly makes sense. Giving you hard and fast rules as to how to define your goals might dissuade you from setting them. You know yourself best and how you like to see things – vision boards, colored markers, spreadsheets, pie charts, essays – whatever works for you is how you should do it. My one caution here is that if you like to do vision boards to also have something in writing so you can identify accomplishment, or have a way to mark the item off on the board, like a big gold star.
As I stated above, I would start with a couple of umbrella goals, sometimes referred to as your WHY. What is the main reason you want to improve yourself/your business? Once you have the WHY identified, you can create subgoals and projects/action items related to each. As each action item gets crossed off the list, you’ll be that much closer to achieving your goal.
- How to track goals
Again, tracking is as personal as you are. Some people are reluctant to set goals because they’ve tried it in the past and were not able to cross everything off their list by the end of the year. Well, guess what? That’s normal! Many goals take longer than a year to achieve, but as long as you’re making progress, that’s all that matters. I like to identify a highlighter color for each year – either a digital highlighter or a physical one – so I can see very clearly what was accomplished each year and how many years it took. I highlight and date as each action item or goal is accomplished. As you see accomplishment, your confidence grows and you want to achieve even more!
I hope these tidbits help you to begin or renew a process of goal setting and tracking. I talk a bit about goals in my book, Tame Those Pesky Details. I’m also working on an online course that will show different ways to identify and track your goals. Like my Facebook page to be the first to know! Sometimes you just need to find a new way of doing things!
How do you set and track your goals? What might be keeping you from accomplishing more? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments below.