Updated: Jan 29, 2020
Nothing breeds success like success. That’s why goal setting is so important. Once you see that you can achieve your sort term goals it motivates you to work towards your bigger long-term goals.
Think of a goal you want to achieve by the end of the year. Use specificity when stating your goal. Generalities are your enemy. Writing down I want to pay down this credit card by “X” amount, or I want to increase my savings by “X”. Having a measurable goal will help you succeed faster. If you wanted to take a trip you would decide on a destination, when you want to go, where you want to stay, and what you want to do while you’re there. Goal setting is just like that. If you don’t have measurable goals, you’re likely to end up taking a road trip to who knows where.
Seeing a large goal can be overwhelming. Breaking it down into smaller manageable pieces you know you can accomplish, or “chunking”, will help it feel more doable. Once it’s broken down into pieces you will see the big picture. After that set deadlines. This is a very important because without deadlines a goal is just a dream.
Goal Setting Methods That Work
Start at the beginning. Plan your year at the beginning of the year, the month at the beginning of the month, the week at the beginning of the week, and the day at the beginning of the day. This formulation has an intuitive beginning and end and will help keep you on track on your journey of achieving your goals. ----- If you’re reading this and it’ not the beginning of the year, start now with goal to accomplish by the end of the year and then begin from there. Don’t postpone success!
It is critical to write your goals down. Neuroscience backs up the relationship between writing and achieving. Additionally, crossing things off a list can be incredibly satisfying and motivating. This also gives you a visual reference of moving closer towards your goal, also motivating.
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
Make time to plan. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to plan your day, week or month. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, sit somewhere quiet where you can really reflect on how you are feeling and where you want to go. Make this time about you. Put the oxygen mask on yourself and transform this into a little “me time”.
Time Blocking is a method of assigning certain times during the day to focus on specific tasks. This is also a great way to create positive habits.
If you’re not meeting your goals on time you can always readjust. The most important thing is to keep the momentum going forward.
Evaluating Your Plan
If you find that you’re achieving your goals faster than expected, congratulations! Be sure to take a moment and enjoy the satisfaction of your accomplishment. Now that you know what worked, see if there are other areas you can improve in and other ways to replicate your success. If you find something didn’t work, think about why it didn’t and reengineer it. Always think can I do this better?
Once you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll get this down to a pretty good clip.
Achieving Long Term Goals
When taking on really big long-term goals it’s best to reverse engineer them. This is known as Top Down planning and is used by most CEOs. An example would be to think about where you want to be in 30 years. Set the goal, remember with extreme specificity. Where would you need to be and what would you need to have done by year 25 to achieve your goal for year 30? List those items. Now move on to years 20,15,10,7, 5, 3, 2, 1. Revisit the goal and imagine it all over again. Are there any detail you didn’t think of the first time? As ideas come to you can add them to your master plan.
If the though of a really long-term plan feels overwhelming, don’t worry. Start small and build up to longer range plans. The most important thing is to get started!