How do you set your goals? What’s the point of goal setting?
If you’re like many others who fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions and wonder why, yet you carry on doing the same thing every year, then this article is for you.
In this blog, I’m going to share with you the 13 step process I use to help businesses and individuals achieve huge success through focused goal setting. You can also check out my video on goal setting on my YouTube Channel here
The fact is that goal setting is not just once a year job. We need to focus on them every day, every week, every month. We get more of what we focus on. So successful people focus on what they want all the time, not on what they don’t want.
You can achieve huge success by following this method. I developed it from Jim Rohn’s book ‘7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness’. All you need is a bit of imagination and discipline and the willingness to have fun.
Here’s the process. I’m going to take you through each step.
1 Take a piece of paper and divide it into 6 boxes.
In the first box write What do I want to do? In box 2 write What do I want to be? In box 3 you write What do I want to see? Box 4 What do I want to have? In box 5 write Where do I want to go? And in box 6 write What would I like to share?
2. Now, ask yourself the question “What do I want in the next year to 10 years?” in each box, under each heading write down as many items as possible. Take no more than 15 minutes and write down about 50 different items in that time. The key is to take as little time as possible writing down as many items as possible. Don’t think too hard, just let your ideas come. Let your mind free-flow. And you don’t need to be too detailed at this stage. Just get as many things written down as possible
3. Balancing your lists.
Next you need to review your lists. Beside each item write the number of years you think it will take you to achieve it or to acquire it, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years.
Now we check for balance. Are there an even number of items under each year? If you find the majority of goals are 10 year goals, and you have very few 1 year goals, ask yourself whether you’re putting off having to act now by postponing the target date.
Or, on the other hand, if you have very few long term goals, maybe you’re resisting deciding what kind of life you want to build over the long run.
We need a balance between shorter term and longer term goals. We also want to have multiple layers of goals. If we only focus on one goal at a time, there’s the risk that we think we’ve come to the end of our work once we achieve that goal.
4. Refine your lists.
Now we want to narrow our goals down. Once you’ve reviewed and balanced your list of goals, making sure there’s an even number of short term and longer term goals, the next step is to choose just 4 goals from each of the 1, 3, 5 and 10 year categories. Pick the top 4 most important goals associated with each year.
5. Are your goals genuine?
You now have 16 goals. We need to check that they’re genuine, motivating goals and not just a passing fancy. So for each of the 16 goals, write a short paragraph giving a detailed description of what you want. This needs to be a really detailed description. And then write down the reason why you want to achieve the goal or acquire the item you’ve described. This is what will help you figure out whether it really is a goal or just a whim.
If you can’t come up with a clear and commanding reason why you want it, it’s not a true goal and you need to replace it with something else. It’s so important to have a powerful emotional motivator attached to each goal. This is what’s going to give you the persistence and determination to work through possible tough challenges to get that goal achieved. If you can’t find a good enough reason for wanting a goal, then leave it. This is what we want to do here: reflect, refine and revise to find the goals that are really important to you to help you proactively plan your future.
6. Focus on your goals.
Once you’ve settled on your 16 goals, write them out again and carry them with you at all times. Read through them at least once a week to be sure they’re still important and check to see whether you’re actually taking action to achieve them. Goal setting is NOT a one-time task but a continuous life long process.
7. Short term goals.
Short term goals are those that take between a day and a year to achieve. These will be stepping stones towards your long term goals. For example, if your longer term goal is to run a marathon in under 4 hours (and you’ve never run long distance before) a short term goal might be to run 10K in under 50 minutes. Short term goals are confidence boosters because achieving them will give you the confidence to go on.
8. Writing down your goals.
Be sure to write down your shorter term goals too. Goals must always be written down. The process of writing down your goals has been proved to make it more likely that you’ll achieve them. In a survey carried out by the Harvard Business School, only 3% of the group had written down goals. And, 10 years later, that 3% accounted for 97% of the wealth of the survey group. Isn’t that interesting?
9. Celebrate your goals.
When you have your goals written down in a list, it’s also gratifying to be able to see them being ticked off as you achieve them. Every time you achieve a goal, you need to take some time to mark the occasion and celebrate. Taking time to enjoy your success – whether it’s just taking a moment to reflect on it, or a major reward – inspires you to do more.
10. Planning for your goals.
Once you’re happy and excited with your written down goals it’s time to take action and plan all the activities you need to do or delegate to someone to achieve that goal. I prefer to do this in 90 day chunks. Take up to 4 of your shorter term goals and ask yourself what you need to do to achieve them over the next 90 days. Use a spreadsheet or project management tool to plot what needs to be done by when and by whom over the 90 days (13 weeks). And be sure to review and revise this plan at least every week.
11. Making time every day.
Transfer the activities from your 90 day plan to your default diary to be sure you allocate time every day to make progress. You may need to be flexible and adapt your plan according to external circumstances so it’s a good idea to build in some contingency planning. This is especially important during this time of the pandemic. What would happen if there was illness in your business for example?
12. Discipline and focus.
You’ll need discipline and focus to keep on track and these are like muscles in that the more you exercise them the stronger they become. Then it gets easier to follow through with whatever you do. Some form of accountability is critical. That’s why it’s important to share your goals, with your team, your family or a coach.
13. Most importantly, you need to have fun with this. What’s fun gets done!
Go ahead and do this goal setting exercise and have fun. I’d love to hear from you on how it’s going. Accountability is key. So please share your goal with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how you get on.
To your success!