As we enter the goal setting season, I think it's important that when you set your goals, you give yourself the best chance of success. Especially when you look at the failure rates, according to Forbes 92 percent of people failing to reach their targets. Here are five goal setting tips that I have used which will help you to join the 8 percent of people who achieve their goals.
Aim High, But Start Low, Celebrate and Keep Going
If you have read any of my previous articles, it will come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of setting big bold goals, and I think they are exciting and inspiring and can really help you to not only achieve but also exceed your full potential.
But when setting big bold goals, it can be daunting in the early days, and the best way to counter this is to break down your big goal into a series of small goals.
When I set the goal to run my first marathon in 6 months, my first goal was to run for just 15 minutes per run in the first week and then just increase the time I ran by five minutes per week for next two months. Taking this approach allowed me to generate some early success, which allowed me to build momentum and increase confidence, which then encouraged me to raise the weekly increase by 10 minutes for the next two months and then 15 minutes per week for the last two months.
Taking these small steps and then just increasing by comparatively small amounts put me in the position where, after 24 weeks, I was able to run for over 4-hours which then allowed me to be successful in achieving my big bold goal.
When it comes to setting you big bold goal, the more you can slice that elephant the higher your probability of achieving it.
Don't Let Others Set The Goals For You
When you let others set your goals or modify them for you, this can have several damaging effects on your ability to achieve them.
First, it's now no longer your goal, and you have no sense of ownership or commitment to this new goal, as its now someone else's goal.
Second, people can look to make you more aggressive and look to set the goal to be bigger than you believe possible, and when you lack belief, this can cause you to quit at the first sign of difficulty.
If people want to be involved, then let them help you define how you will achieve the your goal, but don't let them set a new goal for you.
Be Clear What Success Looks Look
If you don't know what success looks like, how will you know when you have achieved it. If you don't have a clear goal, then you cannot put a clear plan in place to achieve it.
One of my clients was looking to increase their revenue by 50-100 percent in the upcoming year. They were very happy that they were setting a big bold goal, but the challenge is the plan to increase by 50 percent is not the same as the plan to increase by 100 percent.
So which plan are you going to going to implement?
Or are you going to implement any old plan and just hope?
Hope is not a strategy!
Clear goals allow you to create clear plans, which increase your probability of success.
Understand Why This Goal Is Important
If you don't know why the goal is important to you, then it's just random. Understanding the why will give you a stronger sense of purpose, and this sense of purpose will keep you motivated during the difficult times. When you lack a sense of purpose if things do start to go awry, there is nothing stopping you from downgrading your goal and lowering the bar.
To achieve big bold goals, you need to be firm on the goal, but flexible on the approach, and having a strong why will help you keep your eyes on the prize and keep going in the tough times.
Track Your Performance
I'm a big believer in the adage what gets measured gets done, but I am an even bigger believer in the power of motivation.
When we slice the elephant and know what the small interim goals are, as we start to achieve them, this will increase both belief in the approach and also confidence that success is achievable.
If you're leading a team, then make sure that not only do you track performance, but that you also share the progress with your teams.
When the going gets tough, it's great to hear that progress is being made. Sometimes when you have your head down and are charging towards the finishing line, it can be difficult to know just how close you are and hearing the progress can encourage you to make that final push to get over the line.
If you want to set your self a big bold goal, then to increase your chance of success, be clear about what success looks like, make sure it's your goal and understand why it's important to you, break it down to small goals, track your performance and celebrate each small success. If you can do tht then you will signficantly increase your chance of being in that small group of 8 percent who achieve their goals.