How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

goal-setting-signI always find it interesting when I talk to people about goal setting. Lots of people plan what they’re going to watch on TV that week. Lots of people plan what they’re going to eat when they go out to their favourite restaurant at the weekend. Lots of people take 6-12 months planning their holiday. Hell, some people even plan what they are going to eat when they reach the end of their diet. But ask the same people what their goals are and they look at you as if you’re an outta space alien!

Here’s the rub.

You’ve got one life and you don’t have a goal? Or purpose?

If you want to make the most of your time on this Earth and have a great life then you need some kind of a plan.

Otherwise life will just happen to you. And leaving your life to chance often leads you to become frustrated and miserable as you get stuck in a kind of groundhog day where you go around and around and never seem to accomplish anything.

Quick question: how many goals did you set last year and how many of those have you achieved?

You did set some goals didn’t you? You did write them down and commit them to paper? You did tell some close friends or a coach to help keep you accountable? You did take action on them every single day?

No?

Ok, we gotta talk!

A goal that is not written down is just a wish!

Studies have shown that those who commit their goals to paper are more likely to succeed than those that don’t. However, the simple act of writing them down does not guarantee that you will achieve them.

Writing your goals down on paper allows you to visualise, internalise and see them every day. That way, you are reminded why you created them in the first place.

However, doing that, still isn’t enough to ensure success.

In order to reach your goals you have to take action each and every single day. You need to make sure that you are moving at least one step closer to your goal. You need to be able to look back at the end of the day and be happy that you are closer to your target, to making your goal a reality.

Re-read that last paragraph again. Once you’ve grasped the importance of those three points you’re closer to creating and achieving your goals to success.

Now I’m not talking about average run of the mill goals like the ones I mentioned at the start of this article.

I’m talking about life changing goals!

You might be thinking, “What’s the difference Marc?”

Quite a lot is the answer. Most of the things I mentioned at the beginning are more likely habits or within your comfort zone. You probably watch the same things on TV. It’s possible you go to that restaurant often and planning a holiday, while some can be life changing, is more of a distraction from your day-to-day life.

Life changing goals need planning and working on and often require that you get out of your comfort zone and face some of your fears.

So, I thought I’d share a simple and effective “success” formula for making your dreams a reality.

Step One: Ask yourself exactly what your goal is. You must be SPECIFIC. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to earn more money” is not a goal, it’s a statement. “I want to lose 16lb” or “I want to earn £5000 per month” is much much better.

Step Two: Why do you want to achieve this goal? “I want to achieve this goal because I don’t want to embarrass my kids.” or “I want to earn £5000 per month so I can help my family.” – nice, BUT you have to set your goals for YOU.

Nice, but a better answer would be “I want to lose 16lb I’m not fat.” or “I want to earn £5000 a month so that I can have less stress in my life” Not bad, but we can improve on that in step three.

Step Three: You need to create your goals using positive language. Calling yourself fat or using the word stress in your goal is a negative. You’re going to be looking at your goals each and every day so you don’t want any negative words in there. So, let’s rephrase it so that it becomes more positive and it reminds you why you want to achieve it.

“I want to lose 16lb so that I can lead a fitter, healthier life and become a positive role model to my children, family and friends” or “I want to earn £5000 so that I can lead a happier, more fulfilled life, that will allows me to spend more time with my friends and family.” Now that’s a pretty sweet goal. But we can improve on that some more with step four.

Step Four: You need to set a timeframe. You have to know exactly when you are going to achieve your goal otherwise they’ll be no pressure to do it and it’ll never get done! Therefore we want to modify the goal to read “I want to lose 16lb so that I can lead a fitter, healthier life and become a positive role model to my children, family and friends. I’m going to achieve this by X” or “I want to earn £5000 so that I can lead a happier, more fulfilled life, that will allows me to spend more time with my friends and family. I’m going to achieve this by X” Now we’re talking. You now have a specific goal and a date when you are going to achieve it. All we need to do now is start planning how you’re going to achieve it. We’ll do that in step five.

Step Five: Lots of people are great at setting goals. Great at setting a deadline but then put no thought into how they’re going to achieve it. So what are your plans? Go on a diet? Exercise? Hire a personal trainer? Get another job? Write that book you’ve been going on about? Start a business?

Once you’ve figured that bit out you then need to add it to your goal statement “I want to lose 16lb so that I can lead a fitter, healthier life and become a positive role model to my children, family and friends. I’m going to achieve this by X. I will achieve this by enrolling on the Six Week Transformation Programme” or “I want to earn £5000 so that I can lead a happier, more fulfilled life, that will allows me to spend more time with my friends and family. I’m going to achieve this by X. I will achieve this by starting my own coaching company that will service X market”

Can you see where we’re going with this? You’re really dialling down so that you have the ‘what’, a positive ‘why’, a ‘timeframe’ and the ‘how’

You’ve got loads of clarity now, so you’re all set to start achieving right?

Hold your horses there my friend. There’s just one more step we need to take to ensure success. The who?

Step Six: Who else is part of this goal? Or who else is going to be affected by this goal? And who can help you achieve your goals?

Having friends and family on board and on your side if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy is massively important to you achieving your goal. So is hiring a great coach who has a track record of helping people achieve similar goals to you.

Starting your own coaching company isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and this might pull you away from your family and friends. How is that going to affect them? Is it going to bring more stress to your life? This is one point that many people fail to consider. You think you’re trying to build the perfect life for your family only to find you don’t know your family any more because you were never around.

So, don’t think that setting goals is easy. If it was, everyone would be setting and achieving goals. Big goals take hard work, dedication and sacrifice. so as part of your goal setting you have to decide what you are willing to give up to achieve them AND just as importantly decide what you ARE NOT willing to give up.

Knowing all this is vitally important and it takes time. But it is time worth spending if you want to achieve remarkable things with the life that you have.

In a nutshell…

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed up by action each and every day makes your dream come true. But know that there will be sacrifices. Decide what is important and what is not.

Have an awesome day,

MK 🙂