There’s no doubting that people who set goals are more successful than those who don’t. Setting goals can be quite easy but executing on those goals is often much more difficult. There’s a number of reasons someone forgets or fails at their goals. Let’s try to eliminate as many reasons as possible.
Why are some goals easier than others?
I don’t know about you but when I set up goals, there’s always a few that seem way easier than those daunting (often bigger) goals. Turns out that how you set up a goal can have a significant impact on whether that goal gets accomplished or forgotten. It’s very important to break annual or monthly goals down to daily activities. For example: If you wanted to be fluent in French by years end, you should study daily for X minutes. This helps make the goal seem more reasonable if you are only responsible for a simple daily or weekly task.
How to structure goals (SMART)
SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting.
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
- Specific - What exactly are you after?
- Measurable - How will you track it along the way?
- Achievable - Is it possible?
- Relevant - Does this contribute to your ultimate vision?
- Time bound - When will this be completed by?
SMART is my favorite tool because it provides the clarity, focus and motivation you need to achieve your goals. It can also improve your ability to reach them by encouraging you to define your objectives and set a completion date. SMART goals are also easy to use by anyone, anywhere.
This is a critical component to ensuring these goals are completed on time. Adding in another party partially responsible for holding you accountable is another level of security. It’s great to find someone that also has goals they’d like accountability with because you can inspire each other and keep one another from giving up. Set a clear schedule when to check in & book/reserve a time to meet or chat on the phone in advance. This will make sure that there’s no escaping the pressure from your accountabilibuddy.
Pro Tip: Make a bet/promise with a friend to help catalyze a goal. They key is to pick an amount or incentive that’s large enough to get you to accomplish the goal despite limited will power. Here’s a few examples:
- I owe you $20 for every morning I do not make it to the gym
- Send a friend $500 bucks that you only get back if you finish the goal (choose the friend wisely)
Revisit & Revise
You may find that your goals need adjusting after a few attempts. This is normal, especially if you are fairly new to setting goals. It’s perfectly fine (and actually encouraged) to revise your goals as you go. Maybe taking a goal a few steps back or increasing a goal you’ve blown out of the water will help you stay motivated with reasonable goals given your changing schedule. I recommend reviewing & visualizing* your goals on a daily basis with a deeper dive weekly & especially quarterly. Doing this on a daily basis can seem daunting but dedicating just 5 minutes in the mornings or evenings will make a big difference.
*Visualizing your goals is an extremely effective strategy to speed up the process. Close your eyes and visual yourself in a world where the goals you’ve set are complete or being completed. This can help your brain get used to the change that needs to happen to complete your goals.
Wrapping it up
There’s still hope for you if you’ve failed a few goals in the past (join the club). By using some of these frameworks you can drastically increase your ability to check off that list. I’m forever curious about goals so if you’d be interested in sharing them with me you can add a comment below or email me.
If you need any help or want an accountabilibuddy, you can contact me here.