It is well known that motivation is crucial to success, whether it be in our personal or business lives. In February 2003, USA Today ran an article about New Year’s resolutions. One year before, the newspaper had interviewed people about their resolutions for 2002. Only 4% of the individuals who did not write down their resolutions made any changes, but 46% of those who wrote their resolutions down on paper had followed through on them. This is a difference of 1100% in the rate of success and achievement; the difference being in the simple act of writing the resolution down on paper.
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This research demonstrates the true power of goal setting in giving you a strong motivation for success. Yet, often people do not use goal setting to its full potential, and once they set their goal, they are often in the dark about how to accomplish it.
Business Coach, Daniel Tolson shares a proven framework for setting and achieving your goals below.
1. Be Systematic
The first mistake that many people make when they start to set goals for themselves is to set a vague goal and throw themselves at it blindly. You need a plan. Without a blueprint, you will get lost amongst the obstacles that face every person who strives for success.
Firstly, write it down! Once it is on paper, your goal can’t be so easily affected by your emotions, doubts and energy. Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. You need to literally write down: “I will complete a marathon.”
After putting pen to paper, you need to set a deadline. A goal without a deadline is only a wish. Actually coming up with a date for when the goal needs to be achieved will motivate you more effectively. So instead of, “One day, I will run a marathon”, you need to add, “I will complete a marathon in June next year.” Setting the deadline suddenly creates a timeframe, which gives structure to your goal-achieving process.
Once the long-term or larger goal is decided, you can now start creating smaller goals that fit into the timeframe of the ultimate goal. This will mean having sub-deadlines like, “I will be able to run 10 km in 3 months.”
To give a brief example, your goal-setting might look something like this:
End of September 2019 – I will run 15 km
June – 8 km
July – 10 km
August – 12 km
End of December 2019 – I will run a half marathon
October – 17 km
November – 19 km
December – 21 km
End of March 2020 – I will run 31 km
January – 24 km
February – 28 km
March – 31 km
End of June 2020 – I will run a full marathon
April – 35km
May – 39km
June – 42km
2. Be Realistic
Now that you have set a goal, there are a few things to consider before engraving it in stone. Make sure your goal is realistic and believable. If you don’t actually think you can achieve the goal, there is no hope. If you can’t see yourself accomplishing it, you need to adjust your goal. Analyse your current situation, research a realistic timeframe and make sure you actually want it. If a full marathon is a bit unbelievable because you haven’t been doing much running, perhaps make it a half marathon instead!
3. Be Specific
Decide exactly what you want when you write it down. Make it specific and detailed, like the plan above. It also needs to be measurable. Just writing, “I want to be a good runner” is far too subjective and vague to motivate you to do anything about it. Setting the goal, “I will run a marathon” is objective because either you can run it, or you can’t.
1. Find Purpose
Determine why you want to achieve your goal and write a list of reasons. What are the benefits? Be honest with yourself to ensure you are constantly motivated by true desire. Stick the list somewhere you will read it regularly.
2. Find Help
Identify the people, the groups, or the organisations who can help you to accomplish your goals. It is well known that it is hard to be successful when you’re working on your own. Having other people around is an important motivator and reminder of your goal. To continue with the marathon example, a running partner might provide the right inspiration to push you towards achievement!
3. Find Momentum Persistence is key to success.
Putting self-discipline into action is the only way to strive towards your goal. Once the ball is rolling, do everything you can to keep the momentum going. Make sure you do something that is directed towards your goal every day.
It is also important to identify any potential obstacles standing between you and your goal. The best way to identify these is to ask yourself; “Why aren’t I already at my goal?” If you are prevented from achieving your goal by the deadline, analyse the obstacle and set a new deadline. Don’t stop, because when you do, it can be hard to start up again.
The Benefits With repetition and practice, you will master this process and achieve your goals. When you learn the system of how to set and achieve goals, you will be able to achieve more, in a shorter time than you can imagine.