The new year has just started, which means you got a new opportunity to better yourself. A new, fresh start in which you can accomplish more than you’ve ever dreamed of. How do you do this? You set goals. Dreams without goals are a fantasy, not a reality.
But what is the best way to set goals? I’m sure you’ve read or heard quite some things about this subject. Some people say you should follow the SMART-theory, others say you should only pick one goal at a time, or otherwise you’ll probably fail. There are even people who say you shouldn’t make your goals to big, because failing on a big goal is worse than accomplishing a small one.
I’ve spend a lot of time diving into different goal-setting strategies and after reading and trying a lot of them, I’ve come to the conclusion that the following six points are absolutely CRUCIAL to setting good goals:
1. MAKE THEM SPECIFIC.
This is one of the most important things, and I can’t stress this enough. Make your goals specific. If you want to get into shape, and your goal is: ‘I want to lose some weight’, you’re never going to get there. What is ‘some weight?’ 2 pounds, 5 pounds, 20 pounds, even more? Make it specific. Hold yourself accountable. Make it as crystal clear as you possibly can. You want to earn ‘more money?’ How much more money do you want to earn? How much more money a day? A month? A year? Don’t let limiting beliefs get into the way of coming up with a specific goal. If you feel like you can’t accomplish anything, and you’ve already lost faith in yourself, wanting to lose 50 pounds may seem like an impossible goal for you, and because of this, you write it off completely. Change your mindset. You CAN make it possible. You CAN make it reality. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
2. WRITE THEM DOWN & REVIEW THEM DAILY
Oh man, what are goals when you don’t put pen to paper? Writing your goals down is crucial to success. Write them down somewhere you can see them every single day. Put it on your mirror, on the kitchen table, in your journal, next to your bed, etc. It’s very important you’re reminded of your goals every single day. If you think this is over the top or not that important, you’re wrong. Several studies show that people who review their goals daily are 42% more likely to stick with them. Each time you go over your goals, see how far you’ve come, and imagine what it’ll be like when you’ve accomplished it. See it happen in your mind and you’ll attract it in your life.
3. SET GOALS FOR DIFFERENT AREAS IN YOUR LIFE.
You could just jot down twenty things you want to accomplish, but by putting them into different categories, you get much more clarification of what your focus will be on this year. Different areas could be: health, relationships, business, travel, spirituality, contribution, etc. Once you’ve written everything out, you’ll be amazed by the clarity that arises in your head.
I don’t think you should only have one goal to start with, as some people say. You can have multiple goals, but you have to make it as easy and clear for yourself as possible. If you keep your goals all in your head and you have no arrangement in it whatsoever, chances are you will fuck up. But when you apply these bullet points to your goal setting, and be consistent and disciplined enough, you can accomplish more than you think!
4. DIVIDE YOUR GOALS INTO SMALLER STEPS.
I’ve seen a lot of goal strategies over the years that don’t really seem to pay attention to this step. In my opinion, this is a game-changer. Let’s pick an easy goal to break down. Say your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, but you’ve never got into the habit of running before. When you’re out of breath when you’ve stood up from the couch to get some lemonade from the fridge, this goal may seem a bit out of reach. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it into a goal! The way you accomplish something big, is by breaking it down into smaller goals.
These smaller goals will seem less daunting and easier to accomplish. Every time you accomplish a small goal, you’ll move a step closer to your ‘ultimate goal’. In this case, you can divide your goal up into running a 5K race, a 10K race, half a marathon, and eventually, the big boy himself.
What’s important while going through this process, is keeping the big picture in mind. If you’ve been running for a while, the 5K race may not seem like a big task to you anymore, and the amount of time and energy you have to put into it is probably not keeping you awake at night either. This can make you sloppy and take away a big part of your motivation. Keep the big picture in mind. Think of that marathon and get onto the next step (running; 10K). Keep yourself motivated and be proud of every single little step you take in the right direction.
5. MANAGE YOUR GOALS.
You have to keep track of your progress. This is what will keep you motivated to continue. Your goal is to make 300$ more a month and you’ve already made 150$ a month more than usual for three months in a row? Congratulations. Write your progress down and see how much closer you’re getting each time you put in hard work. Maybe your goal is to have a romantic date with your love at least once a week. Well, great. Grab a piece of paper and draw 52 little boxes, one for each week. Cross them off every time you’ve kept your promise. This is how you don’t get sloppy over the long term and keep working towards the bigger picture.
6. TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.
Tony Robbins has been a big influence in my life for a long time, and he continues to be. One thing he says that I really love, is that you always have to take some immediate action. It doesn’t matter where you are; if you’re at a seminar and am inspired to change your behavior, write something down and set the first step TODAY. Same goes for information you’ve read in a book or a blog post that speaks to your heart. Goal setting is the same thing. Writing down your goals and dividing them into different areas and steps is not so hard. It’ll feel like you’ve already taken some action towards achieving your goals. But that’s not entirely true. If your goal is to run that marathon, go buy some running shoes right now and go for your first run. If your goal is to write a book, open a document right now and start jotting down every single idea that comes to mind. If you want to have a romantic date with your loved one at least once a week, start planning that first date and reserve two seats at that musical you’ve both wanted to see for quite some time. You get the idea. Thinking about your goal and writing them down are great, but without taking some immediate action, doesn’t matter how small it is, it stays a fantasy for a little bit longer.
I truly belief that if you put these six points into practice, you’ll come a lot further on accomplishing your goals than last year. Let 2018 bring up the best in you.
Better yourself. Learn. Grow. Teach. Love.
Happy New Year!
PS. What are some of your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments!