Considering the uncertainties that are ahead, the pandemic for many of us has shifted thoughts from what may happen months from now to what we are doing today. This is a perfectly legitimate frame of mind, but I’d argue that our world will evolve post Covid and we should also think about how we will adapt to this change.
We all know that Covid has changed the way in which we live and work, but the principles of planning for the future remain the same.
Goal Setting can still help you maximise the time you have to achieve your business and personal ambitions.
I would like to share with you some advice and a practical tool to help you break down your goals into manageable steps which will allow you to celebrate small victories in your personal and professional life.
Write down every goal in your own words no matter how big or small the goal is. This makes them real and gives them more force. It also allows you to share them with those who can help you achieve them or keep you enthused on the journey.
Visualize what you want to achieve and be clear about what success looks like. It is also important to be aware what failure looks like so you can see it coming. When you do you can alter course. One great way to keep motivated when trying to achieve a goal is to have a picture of what your goal is or what will be achieved if you’re successful.
State each goal as a positive statement, why start with a negative? As you should review your goals on a regular basis reading a positive statement will keep you motivated.
Break every goal into manageable chunks which you know are achievable. Let’s be honest we have all tried goals that are too ambitious and many of us may have been turned off the process by the failure to achieve them. I’m not saying choose something ridiculously easy there no challenge in that. Your goals can and should be stretching, but always ask yourself ‘is this really within my grasp?” If not, what do you need to do to make it happen?
Create a timeline for every step of your goal and write down these deadlines. Remember to be precise. Make sure you allocate dates, times and amounts to every goal as appropriate so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals. You can then direct your attention to the most important ones that will deliver the best results.
Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Your daily goals should just be the actions you need to complete to achieve your larger long-term vision.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals. You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over their and can draw satisfaction from them. In short, you control the outcome and manage the change.
It is important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (employers, family, media, and society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions. Alternatively, you may set goals that are unachievable because you may not appreciate either the obstacles in the way or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to attain a particular level of performance.
Seek the help of those you know can help you make your dreams a reality. If you know where you are in life and where you want to go, your goals are your roadmap. If you share these with the people you trust and value then their feedback on your progress or lack of it, this can be a rewarding experience keeping you on track and motivated to succeed.
Remember and play to your strengths When you reflect on what matters to you, we can align our passions with the key strengths we have as individuals to turn dreams into reality. Outlining what we want to achieve is just one part of the goal setting equation, working out what skills we have to succeed comes with a whole set of other benefits which allows us to grow as human beings.
Make goals part of your DNA and live a life designed to achieve them. The act of setting goals and the thought we put into crafting them directs our attention to the why, how, and what of our aspirations in life and work. Our goals give us something to focus on and can impact positively on our development. They can define who we want to be.
Finally, when you achieve a goal reward yourself. Celebrate your achievements when you reach your milestones. Be happy, treat yourself and tell others you have been successful. Then start again now that goals are part of your personal and business DNA.
I promised you a tool to help you write down your goals and here is a link to a simple but effective one-page template that guides you through writing down your goals. Here it is
If you still not convinced about the need for goal setting, I’ll leave you with this quote from Andrew Carnegie the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist.
“ If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”
Good luck and next time we will discuss how to turn your goals into business and personal objectives.