We’re more than halfway through the year and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already forgotten 80% of the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of this year. Maybe you had a great outline for everything, setting all the goals up in categories and listing when you want to get them done and where you want to be in 6 months. Maybe you just scribbled them down in a note app or simply made a mental note to yourself and hoped for the best. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: goal setting and, more importantly, goal achieving, can be hard work.
Setting goals is the cornerstone of personal and professional success. Whether you’re aiming for career advancement, fitness milestones, or personal development, a well-defined goal provides direction and motivation. So, go make yourself a cup of something good, find a cozy and quiet place, and get a pen and paper. In this blog post, we’re going to explore the art of setting SMART goals, provide practical tips for achieving goals, and help set you up for success the rest of the year.
Step 1: Understanding the Power of Goals
Goals give your life purpose and direction. They turn vague aspirations into concrete targets, making it easier to track progress and stay motivated. The first step in crushing your goals is understanding their significance. Ask yourself why a particular goal matters to you. The more you connect with the “why,” the more likely you are to stay committed. This is the time for you to dream about who you want to become and why you want to become that way.
✨Success Tip: Honestly, take a minute to sit down and ask yourself why your goals matter to you. Not why it would matter to your company, your friends, or your dog, but why you want to achieve it. If you’re setting goals to make others happy, to impress someone, or to prove yourself, then you’ve totally missed the point of goals. Goals are for you to become who you want to become and achieve what you want to achieve.
Ask yourself these two questions for each goal:
“Why is this goal so important to me?” or “Why does it matter that I achieve this goal?”
“How will this goal change/benefit me in the long run?”
Step 2: Setting SMART Goals
You’ve probably heard about SMART goals a few times. I remember every other year in high school when they would break them out from the lesson plan and make us practice. Every other year I would want to slam my head against the wall. I didn’t care or understand the significance. If you want to get fit, then that’s it. Right?
Wrong!! SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, and these criteria are so so so important for helping you create well-defined, easily attainable goals. Way more effective than just, “I want to get fit.” You know a goal is SMART when it answers these questions:
What do I want to accomplish? (S), how will I know when it is accomplished? (M), how can the goal be accomplished? (A), is this goal worthwhile? (R), and when am I trying to finish this goal? (T).
✨Success Tip: Instead of just saying, “I want to get fit,” try constructing a SMART goal like this: “I will lose 10 pounds in the next three months by working out three times a week and following a balanced diet.”
Every time you start a new goal, go over these questions:
“What is the time frame in which I want to achieve this goal?”
“What are ways that I can keep myself on track?” or “What challenges will there be for me to achieve this goal and how can I conquer them?”
“Do I need to break this goal up into smaller goals for me to achieve it?”
Step 3: Break Your Goals Down
You can’t make a goal to visit Spain in 6 months without planning out how you’re going to save the money and what you’re going to do when you’re there. You need smaller goals. Large goals can be overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps for easier completion. This not only makes your goal seem more achievable but also provides a roadmap to follow, as well as boosts your confidence and motivation.
✨Success Tip: If you have a yearly goal, break it down into quarterly goals – another way to think of this is to plan a mini-goal for every season. You can even break those quarterly goals into monthly goals, and monthly goals into weekly goals, and so forth.
Step 4: Track Your Progress
Regularly monitoring your progress is crucial, otherwise we get to today having forgotten the goals we set months ago. Keep a journal, use apps, or create spreadsheets to track your achievements and setbacks. Having a visual representation of how far you’ve come can be motivating and inspiring.
✨Success Tip: Make time for yourself in the morning or evening to go over your goals at least once a day. See where you could do better and acknowledge what you’re doing well.
Step 5: Stay Accountable
Share your goals with a trusted friend or family member. They can provide support and hold you accountable. Alternatively, consider joining a group or community with similar goals, where you can share experiences and advice.
✨Success Tip: Look up “how-to” guides online to find supplemental information on achieving whatever goals you’re working on. In doing so, you’ll get tips and tricks others have used to achieve similar goals. It may also help you find communities and people you can work with so you don’t feel so alone.
Step 6: Adjust when Necessary
Sometimes, life throws unexpected challenges your way, so adaptability is key. If you encounter setbacks, don’t be discouraged. Reevaluate your goals if necessary
and adjust your approach as needed.
Step 7: Celebrate Achievements
Don’t forget to celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may seem. Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones can boost your morale and keep you motivated for the long haul.
✨Success Tip: Schedule in time during the week or month to celebrate your victories! This will give you something to look forward to, as well as to work hard towards.
Step 8: Try to Stay Positive, No Matter What
Your mindset plays a significant role in goal achievement. Stay positive, even when facing challenges. Replace negative self-talk with encouraging affirmations. Visualization techniques can also help you stay focused on your goal.
✨Success Tip: Create a vision board and place it somewhere where you’ll be able to see it. Make this vision board up of things that show positive examples of what your goals will help you achieve, so as to motivate and energize you. You can achieve whatever you put your mind to, so don’t give up, no matter how seemingly impossible it might seem.
Step 9: Learn from Failure
You know what they say: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Setbacks are part of any journey. Instead of dwelling on your failures, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong, adjust your strategy, and keep moving forward. You never know on what try you’ll achieve what you’re working so hard towards.
Setting and achieving goals is a lifelong journey. By following the SMART criteria, breaking down your goals, tracking progress, and maintaining a positive mindset, you can turn your aspirations into reality. Remember, the key to crushing your goals is persistence and adaptability. Embrace the process, stay committed, and success will follow. By incorporating these goal-setting strategies into your life, you’ll be on your way to not just setting goals, but crushing them. Whether it’s in your career, personal life, or any other area, these goal-setting and crushing principles will help you stay focused, motivated, and ultimately successful in the journey of life.
What’s even more exciting is this is just the start for you. After you’ve crushed a goal or two, the next step is seeing where you can go from there. If your goal was to run a 5k, why not make a goal to run a 10k? If you wanted to learn to watercolor, why not learn to watercolor landscapes? Goals are never-ending paths to self-progression, and it’s up to you to take yourself where you wanna go.