The start of a new year means only one thing – it’s time to start thinking about your goals if you haven’t already got them planned.
But is there a point to setting goals if they don’t push you towards success?
The answer to that is of course no. And below, I will outline some simple steps to creating actionable goals that will help to push you forward, whatever your goals might be.
Why Set Goals At All?
If you don’t have goals, it’s hard to be sure that any action you take is pushing you in the right direction. How can you be sure when you don’t even know what the right direction is?
Having goals that you can track and measure is the best way to keep yourself on track to achieving great things in 2018 and beyond.
You can use the technique below to keep you striving for your goals, whether they are business goals, personal goals or a mixture of the two.
How To Set Your Goals
Convinced you need actionable goals? Good. Read on to find out how to generate your goals for the year.
Step One: Identify Your End Goal
Your end goal is often a longer term goal than just this year. The end goal should be the big thing you envision for your future.
So, for example, it could be something like:
- Run a marathon
- Turn your hobby blog into a business
- Write a series of five novels
- Start your own business
- Switch careers
Literally anything that gets you fired up. Think big and work towards living the life you want to live.
Step Two: Identify What You Need To Do To Get To Your End Goal
Now you know what your end goal is, it’s time to work out what you need to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
So lets say your end goal is to switch careers.
- What extra qualifications or training do you need?
- Where will you find openings in the new sector?
- How can you gain some experience in the new field?
Once you’ve identified what you need to do, it’s time to start planning when and how you will do each step.
Step Three: Break It Down
If your end goal is a long term goal, think about where you need to start and identify ten key areas you can begin to work on this year. Make a list of those areas and what you want to achieve in each one by the end of the year.
Step Four: Break It Down Even Further
Now you know what you want to achieve this year, it’s time to break those action points down into smaller chunks. What will you do in month one? Month two?
For each goal, write down a plan of what will be done each month. Make sure that you keep checking back on your end goal and don’t lose sight of it. Ask yourself if each of these smaller goals will lead you closer to your bigger goal. Sometimes, you can find you get side tracked and you’ll invest a lot of time and effort into something, only to realise it isn’t taking you in the right direction.
Tips for Goal Setting
Push Yourself, But Be Realistic
Try to make sure each of your goals will push you to achieve an important milestone, but keep them realistic. Work out how much time you can dedicate to making your goals happen and plan accordingly. If you only have ten hours to work on your goals per week, don’t set targets that will take you twenty hours – you’ll only end up disheartened and stressed out.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help
Maybe you need some information. Ask someone who is a step or two ahead of you on your path. Most people are happy to help someone out where they can, and first hand knowledge can be invaluable.
If you need more time, ask your partner to help out more where they can with household chores, income or the kids to allow you a bit more freedom.
Keep Your Goals Concise and Measurable
By making sure your goals are clear, you will know exactly what you need to do to complete them. And by making them measurable, you’ll easily be able to see when a goal is on track.
For example, don’t say “I want to have more Twitter followers”. If one person follows you, that means you could technically call that goal completed. Instead, be specific – “I want to have five thousand more Twitter followers by the end of the year”. You can then break this down into your monthly goals list.
Tips for Staying Motivated
Visualise Your End Goal
If you feel like it’s too hard, think about how rewarding it will be when you have achieved the goal and can look back on your old life and be so thankful you put the work in. Nothing worth having is easy to get, or everyone would have it. Accept that it will be hard, but that makes it so much more worthwhile in the end.
Tick Off Your Achievements As You Go
As you work your way through your plan, tick off things as they get completed. This visual representation of how far you have come is a great motivator – if you feel like giving up, looking back on your list and seeing how much work would be wasted can be a good kick up the backside.
Remember Your Why
We all want different things and often for different reasons. If you find yourself ready to quit, remember why you started trying to achieve this goal in the first place. Do you still want it? if you do, you know what to do. If you don’t, reassess your goals to suit your new end goal.
Good luck with your goals this year, and remember – if you want something badly enough, you will get it with hard work. Anyone who says your dreams are impossible didn’t try hard enough to make theirs happen.
What are you aiming to do this year? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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