How to Set Goals for Yourself and Reach Them
Setting goal for yourself is a great way to help you improve your career and personal life. But how do you do it?
Is there a secret formula to goal setting? Where can I get this formula?
The answer yes and no.
There’s a formula to goal setting. But it’s not a secret at all. Any web search will get you the formula. But will this help you?
I find them often too technical and impersonal. So today I propose to cut down the technical talk and make it clearer and more understandable.
Using clear and simple example given to me by attendees in my workshops I’ll help you set goals for yourself and more importantly reach them!
1. Make your Goal Clear
To be able to reach a goal, you have to be able to clearly say what your goal is. How are you going to know your goal has been reached? Therefor you need to make sure your goal is clearly set and has a real meaning.
e.g.: Spot the difference between “I want to lose weight” and “I want to lose 5 kilos”; “I want to become fit” or I want to be able to run a mini-marathon”; “I want to smoke less” and “I want to reduce my cigarette consumption to 10 per day”
In this article I will use the example given: I want to read 2 books a month as it’s very easy to evaluate.
2. The goal has to be measurable.
Once again to know you have reached your goal it’s recommended you measure your current situation and determine what the value has to be once your goal is reached. That’s an accurate way to determine the goal has been reached. Here with our example of the 2 books a month. If at the start there is zero books read per month we know where we’re starting from and where we want to get. Perfect starting point indeed.
3. Reachable is the Word
Obvious but good to point out, your goal has to be at your reach. There’s a simple rule to know if a goal is set at the correct level. If you reach it too quickly, you need to create a harder goal. If you never manage to reach it, you need to re-evaluate the difficulty of your goal. Setting a goal that is too difficult for you may have grave repercussions such has making you lose confidence and motivation. That’s the last thing you would like.
Would you find it reasonable for a person who has never ran to set the goal to run a marathon coming up the following week? Ask yourself this when setting up a goal for yourself. Is This goal achievable for me?
But following our example of the two books a month. You can work on your schedule to find which weekly time-slot you can create to have your reading done.
4. How Relevant is this Goal to You?
Another important point is that the goal has to add value. It has to bring something positive in your life. So, understand why you want to reach this goal. What is it going to bring you? What is the underlying value this goal is going to instill in your life?
In the case of our book reading, reading books has known benefits. It can be a source of personal improvement; A great way to disconnect from everyday life to an imaginary world; And overall improve mental well-being.
That’s what is making it a relevant goal!
5. Now Let’s Talk about Time
What is the best way to fight procrastination? A deadline! When do you need to be done? What is the time-limit you’re setting yourself to reach your goal? You can calculate it in different ways. You either give yourself a certain amount of time to reach it and set your deadline accordingly. Or you can set a deadline when it has to be done and according to how long it will take you, set a start date. There are of course other ways to do it. Find the one that suits you. The important part is to do it. Set a date, make a schedule and stick to it!
Now a few additional tips to help you reach your goal.
First, make the goal as appealing and fun as possible.
You have to look forward to work on it.
For example, I decided to stop drinking coffee as part of my New Year’s Eve resolution. I do love coffee. It was hard for me to imagine not being able to drink coffee ever again. I turned in into a fun idea by changing perspective. Instead of focusing in what I could not have any more aka the coffee I decided to focus on what I was going to have which is a world of herbal tea. Once a month I go to a loose-leaf tea shop and I treat myself to one or two different type of lovely herbal tea. There’s so many to go around. The offer changes regularly. This has become a real exciting experience for me. And I’m very proud when friends come around the house for a visit to have a wise variety of exotic tea for them to choose from.
Find out how you can make your own goal into something more appealing. This will help greatly into making you reach it with ease. Of course, as a life coach myself, I’d be more than happy to help you turn what looks like a dull goal into an appealing and fun one.
Second, find out how committed you are to actually reach this goal?
What are you committed to in order to get things done? You have the will to reach a goal. You want to improve some parts of your life would it be private or professional. To what degree can you commit to it? You need to answer these questions in order to set the right expectations with yourself. It is vital that you know how much you can invest in term of time, energy and maybe money. So before jumping, evaluate yourself. What will you actually be able to commit to in order to get where you want to be? My job as a coach will be to evaluate with you your level of commitment and what is at your reach in this matter.
Last but not least, we need to talk about accountability.
This is where a coach can be very useful to. You need to be held accountable to someone in order to stick to your plan. When you go window shopping with a friend and you say entering a shop: “I’m not buying anything”. You can be sure your friend will remind you not to buy anything when your start picking up items around you. This is being held accountable for a goal you’ve set for yourself. Same if you go out with your friends and say: “I’m not drinking tonight”. Well there’s no way they let you take a sip of that pint when two hours later you change your mind. Having someone you’re accountable to is the extra security you need to make sure you stick to your plan. It’s the safety net you have in case of slip up. A life coach would be the ideal person to offer you this extra security.
I hope this article helped you gain clarity about goal setting and more importantly gave you valuable pointers on how to reach these goals.