7 Easy Steps to Set Goals
As you will have noticed, there has been a lot of discussion recently on goal setting. It’s a common time of the year for people to consider targets and plan future goals. Goal setting is not a magical art form, if you know how, its easy to do. You must, however, give yourself the chance of achieving your vision.
Below are a few points to help you plan and simplify this process and provide you with key goal setting principles.
Step 1 – What Do I Want?
This is step one that I want to really help you out with today – it is the foundation to build everything else upon. Get this bit wrong, or rush it and the house you build upon it will come tumbling down.
How often do we really work out where we would love to be in a years time, in 5 years time, even 10 years. You need to put yourself there, in the future and try to experience it, just as you want it. when you think of your goals and vision, it should fill you with positive excitement and a warm feeling of the thought of being there in the future!
Step 2 – What Do I Want?
This is the key that you really have to answer first – obvious really, but I’ve rarely ever met anyone that really identifies exactly where they want to be going forward. It’s very hard to have the smoothest possible journey if you only know roughly where you might want to go, you’ll need the specifics!
Why do many of us list a few goals and wonder why things don’t work out?
Step 3 – Be Positive
It’s proven that you’ll be more likely to be successful in achieving goals when they are positively stated, so try to re-phrase these; an example would be to change ‘Drink less alcohol’ for someone who drinks every day, you could change this to ‘I will have at least 5 alcohol free days a week, all year during the next year’ – this goal is positive and specific and gives clear direction of what it will take to meet the goal or break it.
Step 4 – Make sure your goals have substance
Part of this is today’s lazy western culture of the ‘instant generation’, who want things now, without wanting to put much effort in!
As people have become more aware of goal setting and making things specific and measurable, this is often lost by setting goals which are too simple, which won’t do much to improve your lives and will certainly give very little satisfaction once achieved.
The journey to achieving your goals is where you will learn and grow the most as a person, including the mistakes and the wrong turns.
Step 5 – Finding Balance
I really like to have a crystal clear vision of my future, then try to identify the components of this and what I can commit to do, to move towards this vision.
It’s important to understand this whole vision, like you are glimpsing into the future. This involves more than just fitness and career goals – you need to consider all the things in this ideal future life, so that you don’t neglect and leave out things that are important to you.
Once you have this vision, check that you have balance, as this is important when trying to move towards your goals in a sustainable way both physically and mentally.
Step 6 – Accountability
Sharing your goals with individuals is a fantastic way to bind you into seeing them through – its human nature to be more likely to stay loyal to your plans if you are accountable to others.
It may be that you check in with your Goal Auditor in Feb and you didn’t quite hit an agreed action, you promise to complete this by the next month and make up for it with starting another action.
Step 7 – Make things easy to measure and monitor
The final thing I’d like to speak about is making it easy to meet your goals.
A quick and usable example of this is for one of my small sub-goals for my own training. I do not drink enough water!
One thing that helped a friend was to make it simple to track it.
They take their drinking/gym bottle with them whether at work or wherever.
The goal is to drink 5 bottles of water per day. They have 5 elastic bands wrapped around the bottle – after each empty bottle and refill they remove a band! A simple way to monitor intake and ensure targets are met, without having to think too hard or over complicate things!
Let us know how you get on with your goal setting plans by writing on the blog or across our various social media platforms 🙂