Let me throw a statistic at you: Research shows that those who write down their goals are 80% more likely to achieve them then those who don’t. 80%. Let that sink in.
I have always found it fascinating the impact of writing down goals has on one’s ability to achieve them. I have two really great strategies to share with you to help you set *and achieve* your goals.
Be S.M.A.R.T. with Your Goal Setting
The S.M.A.R.T. goal setting strategy is a pretty common strategy but SUPER effective. If you set a goal, make sure they follow all the criteria in S.M.A.R.T. and you will have a great, realistic goal!
S – Specific. Our goals must be specific or we won’t really have anything to shoot for. If you tell yourself, “I want to be healthy,” well, that just sounds too overwhelming. Do you need to workout? Diet? Take vitamins? And what are you going to do to get there? Things can get real discouraging real fast.
A more specific goal would be, “I want to eat 3 servings of vegetables every day”. This is specific and results in a healthier YOU!
M – Measurable. Make sure your goal has a target to hit. Some sort of specific numerical value whether that be what percentage you want to increase your average test scores by or how many pounds you want to lose. Our goal of having 3 servings of veggies a day checks out because 3 servings is measurable and realistic!
A – Action-Oriented. Your goals need to require that you do something. Your goals should be a step out of your comfort zone, so that you are taking action in different ways than you previously have been. Whether that means the past weeks, months, years, etc.
R – Realistic. Although you shouldn’t make your goals too easy, you want them to be realistic. Don’t set a goal to lose 50 pounds in one month. Nobody could do that (in a healthy way, at least). You have to make sure that you can obtain your goal or at least come pretty close to it! Remember to give yourself a little challenge!
T – Timely. Your goals should have some sort of time frame and a set deadline. This prevents you from procrastinating, so you can hold yourself accountable. Write your goals down in your planner in the monthly and weekly section. Remember to revisit your goals as frequently as possible to see how much progress you have made. I suggest you keep your goal where you can see it every single day. Reminding yourself of your goals daily will help you that much more in achieving them.
S – Self-determined. This is a continuation of the first “S” in S.M.A.R.T. You need to find your inner drive when you set a goal. Don’t simply set a goal because you think it’s what society wants you to do, set a goal because YOU want to do it! Having that intrinsic motivation is what is going to get you places.
So remember, when you set a goal, make sure that it checks out with all of the letters in S.M.A.R.T. If it does, you have yourself a pretty darn good goal!
Remember You “ABC’s”
The other goal setting strategy I have for you today is the “ABC” strategy.
The “ABC” strategy essentially breaks down your main goal into smaller pieces to make your overall goal a bit more detailed and manageable.
So, your “A” goal is going to be the BIG goal. Your overall end goal for yourself. Let’s look at the idea of saving $5,000 in a year for yourself. That’s your BIG goal or your “A” goal.
Your “B” is smaller than the “A” goal and should help you to achieve your “A” goal. Your “B” goal should also have a completion timeframe of about halfway through your BIG “A” goal. So, halfway through to your “A” goal, your “B” goal should be achieved.
In our goal example, I could say I want to create an extra source of income, and any money I make from this, will go into my savings. I can definitely achieve this in my “B” goal 6 month timeframe. This works towards my overall goal of saving $5,000 in a year while making it slightly different from my BIG goal so I get the most out of my goal process.
Your “C” goal is even smaller than your “B” goal. It should be something that you can do right now. The time frame on this goal is to be able to achieve this about 1-2 weeks after setting your BIG “A” goal.
My “C” goal for the money saving example could be to put 10 % of my paychecks into my savings account. This can be achieved in 1-2 weeks, and it is something that I can do right now.
As you can see, the “ABC” system is great for breaking down your goal into smaller accomplishments so it’s easier to reach your overall BIG goal!
Make sure to write all A, B. and C goals down in your planner or somewhere you will see them daily. Keep updated and check your progress towards them daily. Did you do anything today or this week to get you closer to your goals? If no, ask yourself why and devise a plan to conquer your goals.
Ending Thoughts on Goals
Goals are in essence so simple, yet so many of us fail at achieving them. I believe we fail to really take the time to make a GOOD goal of ourselves. Take the time to sit down and follow these guidelines. Set a good, in-depth goal that is meaningful to you. Break it down into smaller parts. Devise a plan. Write it everywhere. Keep it in your thoughts.
Goals should be held near and dear to us. They should be something we crave and desire. We should be hungry to achieve them. If you are not hungry to achieve your goal, is it really a good goal? Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Share your goal with those you trust and those close to you. Make sure they hold you accountable too. We all have our bad days, and sometimes we need someone to hold us accountable and give us that little extra push.
If you follow these guidelines I believe you will have a great foundation to work towards achieving your BIG goals. Just remember one thing, these goals don’t work unless YOU do. You can have the most perfect goal in the world, but unless you put in work, even the most simplest goal can not be achieved.
I hope you found this useful and here’s to going out and conquering those goals!