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How to Goal Set for Success!
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How to Goal Set for Success!

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How to Goal Set for Success!

First things first, Happy New Year! Bring on 2019! It’s hard to fathom that we’re just under twelve months away from the year 2020. There’s something about the thought of 2020 that sounds so futuristic, surely we are supposed to be getting around in flying cars by now?

We can’t rewind the clock, but we can welcome the New Year and everything that goes along with it, including the trusty New Year’s resolutions. Setting resolutions and goals for success are a great way to get you motived for the new year ahead and set your sights on things you really desire.

But let’s be real for a moment, do you fall into the eighty percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions, only to find you've lost track before you ever really got started? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, by the time you read this, more than 35% of people who have made New Year's resolutions break them before the end of January.  So why are there such a small number of people seeing them through to completion? It probably doesn’t help making these resolutions on-the-fly after one too many toasts on one of your biggest nights of the year at a New Year's party. It’s no surprise that if you're not one hundred percent committed to your goal, the odds of staying motivated are not in your favour.

You’ve got two choices from here, you can fall into the aforementioned category and forget about resolutions all together, or you can read on.

Now if you were thinking of not reading the rest of this article, do yourself a favour and at least read the next paragraph, not once but TWICE and then sit back in your chair and take the time to process the following.

Ask yourself this ONE very critical question right now, “if I am too lazy, couldn’t be bothered, too busy, or simply making any excuse you can to not make it a priority to learn how to ‘properly’ set and write Goals that you will not only stick to but achieve better outcomes as a result, then ask yourself this; what other things in life are you cheating yourself of?”

Yes. That’s right, read that again, pause and think about that for a few minutes.

Before we explore what makes for successful goal setting, firstly we need to understand the distinction between a ‘resolution’ and a ‘goal’. A resolution, as the name suggests, is a resolve, determination or firm decision to do or not to do something. While a resolution is useful in providing a picture of where you want to be, your goal(s) provide direction and calculated steps you need to take to achieve resolutions. Goals are the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Goals involve intention, setting, planning, preparing and taking realistic action.

The next thing I want you to do before planning your goals in more depth, is to start by having an image in your mind or asking yourself where you want to be in ten years from now. What separates those who succeed and those who don’t? …A genuine desire to want to achieve. The journey begins by laying the groundwork for your goal setting in 2019. Having a ten-year plan starts with first formulating a one-year program that sets realistic expectations and connects the present with the future. In the wise words of Mr. Tony Robbins, you need a vision that’s large. And you need a plan that’s achievable.

No surprise here, but 2019’s  most common resolutions were; eating healthier and getting more exercise. Just what you expected? Well, nothing much changes when you set the same New Year’s resolutions year after year. This is your opportunity to STOP what your doing and change the self-perpetuating cycle of habits which are not leading you to success, year after year.

But why is goal setting important in the first place? Well, to be put quite simply, setting goals gives your life purpose, increases your confidence, improves your daily outlook on life and overall leads to a feeling of self-satisfaction. 

Do you tend to take a passive approach toward life? Do you sometimes feel like you are just living life on a day-to-day basis? Are you one of the people that got to the end of 2018 and looked back at the year and said to yourself ‘Wow, how quick did the year go and I don’t know what I have achieved’, or ‘I didn’t do everything I wanted to do in 2018’? Be honest…  If you can picture yourself five years from now, it’s most likely your life would be largely the same, save for a few changes that are more the result of others’ actions and desires rather than your own. After all, to quote Jim Rohn, “if you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan’. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

If you’re like most people, surely you would rather get to end of the year and be so excited about all the AMAZING goals you achieved in 2018 and be rewarding yourself and highly motivated to set your goals for the year ahead… I know I am. OK, so you’re ready to go, where do you start?

Before you pick up the pen and put it to paper, here are some important tips that are critical to the success of your goal setting. I suggest you start by sitting back, clearing your mind from distraction and asking yourself some defining questions. Remember, the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself. The most important questions you ask yourself should be along the lines of;
  • Where do I see myself in 10 years from now?
  • What do I want my life to look like?
  • How will I feel if I achieve this?
(These questions and answers are a great way of becoming emotionally attached.)

When setting your goals, some other quality questions you could ask yourself are;
  • Why do you want to make the change?
  • Is your goal concrete and measurable?
  • What is your plan?
  • Who can support you as you work toward change?
  • How will you celebrate your victories?
So now we are ready to set our goals, what is the best format to do this in? The best kind of goal is one that is SMART:
  • Specific: the goal should have a specific purpose and focus
  • Measurable: the goal should be able to be measured to monitor its progress and effectiveness
  • Attainable: the goal should be challenging, but achievable
  • Realistic: the goal should be realistic within your means
  • Time bound: the goal must fit within a time frame
Remember those expected New Year’s resolutions mentioned earlier, ‘eating healthier and getting more exercise’, these resolutions are not specific, time bound or measurable, furthermore, how will anyone get emotionally attached to achieve success with these? What I’m trying to highlight here is that instead of saying ‘I want to exercise more’ make it more specific and measurable. Change it to ‘I will go to the gym and exercise at least 30 minutes each day, 3 times per week.' Another reoccurring theme we see in goal setting is the idea of focusing on what people don’t want, rather than what they do want. Make sure your goals are positive and what YOU want, not what others want, they are YOUR goals and with positivity comes inspired action.

Breaking up your resolutions into smaller goals that don’t require months of vigilance before getting recognition or seeing results can be rewarding in itself and a great way to keep track. Creating timelines with individual action steps you can check off periodically will help you feel more successful.

For example, if you aren’t exercising at all right now, don’t aim to do five days a week — try two days to start. Then, as you hit your goals, you can increase them to keep raising your level as your confidence, momentum and ambition grows as well as your results.

Quite often, people get stuck when setting their goals, it’s not because they don’t know how to do it - they spend too long procrastinating on perfecting their goals. The biggest take home message here is don’t try and perfect your goals, they are not something that should be ‘set in stone’ once and never touched again. Your goals should always be evolving, as you achieve some, they should drop off and new ones should be created. Goals should be re-visited and reassessed regularly.

Without something to pursue or to look forward to, you run the risk of your life feeling stagnant. We all need something that we’re going for that makes us feel alive. If you don’t, you’re going to feel frustrated, bored and annoyed and you’re going to start looking at other things to blame. As John Maxwell famously said, “Change is inevitable, but growth is optional”.

As we all know, whether you like it or not, there is one constant in life; change. With change provides new challenges and experiences and this is how we grow and define ourselves as people. How successful you are as a person and how much you get out of life is a result of the goals we set ourselves, whether they are conscious or subconscious goals. In taking the time to establish goals, especially when we have the momentum of a new year behind us, it gives us long-term vision and short-term motivation.

Goals help you focus on what’s important to you, they enable us to prioritise and manage our time and resources so you can achieve what you set out to in life. Go for growth, so you can have an extraordinary life on your terms—a life that’s fulfilling to you. Make them powerful and get emotionally attached to them, but don’t forget to ENJOY the process.

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of  becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen

Your Future Strategy’s Advisors are here to help you achieve your goals. If you’re ready to get started today click the link below to get in contact!