Setting goals is a critical part of maintaining your overall focus in life. Specifically, when you create clear goals, you will provide yourself with the necessary motivation and sense of purpose to keep you on track and avoid any distractions. Even when you face a bump in the road or a rough patch, goals provide the helpful inspiration to persevere.
Let’s take a step back for a minute and consider the fundamentals of strong goal setting and then some “pro-tips” around goals to help you maintain focus and be effective at a higher level.
Tip 1: Be Goal SMART!
Make sure your goals are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Pro-Tip: Think longer term in order to be more SMART in the shorter term. Picking SMART goals is great but most people I coach are not always sure what they need to be setting as smart goals for today. If you can create a picture of where you wan to be 3-5 years in the future and then work it backwards from there. It’s easier to know what your SMART goal plans need to be today.
Tip 2: Have Manageable Goals.
It’s great to have big goals, but also take the time to break your goals down into smaller and more manageable steps.
Pro-Tip: The magic number is 5. If taking on some big goals that have smaller steps often those “steps” are more like smaller projects. Those smaller steps/projects add up real fast. If each big goal has just 5 smaller steps/projects that’s 25 projects you have to manage, on top of the rest of your life. Try not to take on more than 5 big goals at a time. You’ll be more effective.
Tip 3: Set Deadlines.
Set deadlines for each of the steps of your goals to help you stay on track.
Pro-Tip: I call deadlines DUE dates. But don’t forget the DO date, as in, “When are you doing to DO the work?” Be sure to add in the DO dates as well as the DUE dates and you’ll find you actually start hitting your deadlines successfully.
Tip 4: Stay on Track.
Track your progress and then celebrate each of your successes!
Pro-Tip: Celebration is HUUUUGE. But don’t just celebrate your successes. Let’s face it, MOST of the goals you set you’re not going to hit. It’s the nature of the process. If you’re only celebrating successes, you’re missing the true point. Goal setting is not about success…it’s about staying on track and making progress. Soooo, celebrate progress.
Tip 5: Evaluate your progress.
Remember to reflect on your progress and do some analysis of your strategies and tactics. What’s working or not working as it relates to hitting your targets.
Pro-Tip: Talk the game with your coach and/or an accountability partner. Setting and achieving goals can be a very challenging process. Remember there are many people in your life and the world who really truly want to see and help you succeed. Might as well let them. You’ll be more successful in the long run and they will enjoying being a part of your success.
With those helpful tips in mind, let’s focus on several specific benefits that you will enjoy once you begin the process of setting goals.
Sense of Clarity: Having clear goals gives you a sense of direction and purpose. This clarity will help you stay focused on what is important and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions.
Overall Motivation: When things get tough, setting goals can provide the much-needed motivation to keep going. When you know what you are working towards, it is easier to stay motivated and focused on your tasks.
Additional Planning: Goals not only help you head in the right direction but also can assist with creating an actionable plan to conquer each step. This can help you break down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps, which can make them seem less daunting and more achievable.
Progress Measurement: Goals also help you measure your overall progress. This creates additional motivation as you celebrate how far you have already come and reveal how much further you have to go.
Improvement: The process of setting goals is not a one-and-done situation but is a part of a process. Work on enhancing your goal setting and goal achieving process and you’ll see all of your goals and dreams become realities.
Having these tips and benefits in mind, you are well on your way to successfully setting goals and maintaining your focus to achieve every single one of them! Are you ready to get started or do you feel that you need a little more assistance to begin the process? Contact us today so we can help you stay focused and achieve both your short-term and long-term goals!