We all know goal setting is important, however most of us don’t actually set any concrete goals. We might have some vague aspirations but nothing committed to writing, with completion dates. Whenever we ask, during our time management classes, how many people have written down goals, the positive responses are usually around 10%-20% of the participants. Why don’t we set goals? Often, we are too busy or we might be too scared. If we set a goal and then we don’t achieve it, we might feel we have failed. The best way not to fail is to do nothing! Even for those who set goals it is not all smooth sailing. As many of us can attest to, many of these goals, especially long term ones, will fall by the wayside as the weeks and months pass by. This week we’ll be examining 7 simple tips for sticking to your goals and accomplishing them.
1. Live up to your own expectations. Set your own goals, not those someone else’s. By setting the bar yourself, you will be more motivated to reach your goals and push yourself beyond your initial expectations.
2. Write your goal down. Be specific and always keep it visible as a reminder.
3. Reward yourself by celebrating the achievement of small milestones. Motivate yourself with a small reward for each step you accomplish toward achieving your goal. This can be something as simple as taking yourself out to lunch, taking a break to do something you enjoy, spending time with friends and family, or buying something to help with the next stage of your goal. Instead of beating yourself up, reward yourself and change your psychology of achievement.
4. Eliminate distractions and avoid taking on too many activities all at once. Stay focused on the task at hand to avoid getting sidetracked. Break the task down into small incremental steps to keep your goal realistic and don’t multitask.
5. Get all the facts. Weigh all of the facts before you come to a decision in order to make the most informed choices possible.
6. Dream big. Set your sights high, even on the outrageous. Better to set the bar too high than too low. We often surprise ourselves by what we can actually do, once we set our mind to it.
7. Be willing to fail. Accept the fact that you might fail, learn from your mistakes, and get back on the horse. It’s better to regret something you have tried then something you haven’t tried.
Goal setting makes a difference in achievement. If you have never set any concrete goals for yourself, then start with something modest. Experience success and then challenge the next level of goal. Keep pushing forward in this way and you will start to create a roadmap and build the required habits for success.