If you are just like me, then you are probably thinking, a new month is here again and I’ve only achieved so few of the goals I set. I get it; it happens to the best of us so just before you beat yourself up all over again, take a moment to think, has it helped you in the past? I thought as much. Rather than beating yourself up, sit and re-evaluate those goals. Did you apply any of the tips mentioned here? If you didn’t, then I’m certain it will be of help.
Tip 1: Think about the results you want to see
It is a very common mistake to set a goal because others are setting it or because it seems like just the proper thing to do. If you set a goal with this mindset, you will most likely not achieve it. You should rather ask yourself these questions.
Am I willing to give my time and effort to it?
Is this something I truly want?
If you are not willing to give your time and effort to it, it is probably not worth pursuing and you should just drop it. I know this is not a tip you must have been expecting but the truth is; if it is not a result you are passionate to see, then you won’t put in the efforts required.
Tip 2: Create SMART goals
Once you are sure of what you want and what is peculiar to you, you should ensure that your goal meets the SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
The SMART criteria is one we are familiar with but don’t quite apply when it comes to real-life situations. Here’s a simple meaning of what it means for your goal to be SMART.
It is very important that your goal is Specific. Do not just set some random goal such as I want to be rich. You could set it as I want to start earning N100,000 in 3months instead. The more specific you can be with your goal, the higher the chance you’ll complete it.
Your goal must be Measurable. You should be able to measure how far you’ve gone in achieving it and track your progress. Do not embark on a goal that is not measurable in some way; you’d only end up frustrated if there are no visible results. I get that for some goals you might not get the results you desire until after a certain number of years but you must be able to track your progress in a way that you would know if you would actually reach those results.
Your goal must be Attainable. If your goal is not attainable, then you’re only going to end up frustrated when you don’t achieve it. If you pick a goal that you know is outrageous – say you are currently earning N20,000 and want to earn 5 million in 6month’s time – you’re most likely going to come up short of your goal. Make research and be sure your goal is attainable before setting it.
Your goal must be Realistic. Realistic goals are those that you are willing and able to work toward that can be achieved by improving your current habits. Make your goals realistic. Make sure you are willing and have the time to put in the work to make it happen, otherwise, it is an unrealistic goal. Following this definition, the problem is not that many of the goals we set are not achievable but that we are not willing to put in the work required to achieve those goals. In one of my posts, I made a list of 5 habits that makes it easier to achieve your goals.
Your goal should also be Time-bound. You must set deadlines for your goals if you’re ever going to achieve it. You have to schedule it. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish your goal. If you don’t meet up with the time frame, you can always reassess.
Tip 3: Write your goals down
I’ve always emphasized the importance of writing things down rather than leaving them to remain afloat in your mind. Write your goals down and put them somewhere visible to you every day. This tactic reminds you to keep working on your goals daily. You can read my post on 3 ways to get intentional with a book.
Tip 4: Create an action plan
Setting a goal is incomplete without putting into consideration the steps you will take to achieve that goal. Here’s a sub tip to create an action plan. Take it step by step. Do not make the mistake of trying to do everything at once. If there are habits to develop to help you achieve that goal, this is where you can work on them.
Tip 5: Create a timeline
An action plan is incomplete without a deadline, that is, a reasonable time you assign for yourself to finish those tasks; without this, you are never going to take action and would only end up procrastinating forever. As part of your action plan, create a timeline to help visualise roles, tasks, milestones, and deadlines to achieve your goal. Once you’ve set those tasks, try to stick to them as closely as possible. A timeline creates a sense of urgency, which in turn motivates you to stay on schedule and finish your goal.
Tip 6: Take Action
You’ve made the action plan; now take action. You didn’t go through all the strenuous tips just to sit and do nothing. Every step you take should lead to another until you achieve your goal.
Tip 7: Re-evaluate and assess your progress
You need to keep your motivation strong to complete your goal. Consider scheduling a weekly evaluation, which includes measuring your progress, and checking your schedule. Once you see how close the finish line is, you’ll feel more motivated to push through to the end. If you’re a little behind schedule, make necessary adjustments and keep going.
There you have it guys! 7 Tips on goal setting. Put them into action. Are there other tips that have helped you in goal setting? Drop them in the comment section. I’d love to read them.