Just as we all learn very differently, practical goal setting can look very different as well. What works for someone else may not work for you – and that is just fine. Stay with me as I give you a few creative tips for setting your goals in a way that works for you.
Defining The Goal
When you say “goal,” the term can mean just about anything. You could have a goal to make more money, save up for a larger home, expand your business, etc. These are not wrong goals, but they are not necessarily effective goals. The idea is too broad, with no clear measurement for success, making them that much harder to attain.
An effective method for setting goals is to create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym system for developing actionable, achievable goals. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Assignable, and Realistic.
Once you have decided what you want your goal to be, you can begin to break it down into smaller digestible or smart pieces. Essentially, specify what you would like to achieve, assign a time frame you would like to achieve it in, understand who is responsible for the success of the goal, and assure that the goal can realistically be achieved.
BOOM – that’s it.
Once you have a clear goal, you can shift to the work required to get there. To help you with this, try our free vision board planner from a recent workshop we did helping other women entrepreneurs get clear on their goals. It’s an excellent way to collect your thoughts and get them out into action steps.
Tips for Making Goals Work
If you have taken the time to create your SMART goal, you must also spend some time with it. Schedule a consistent time to look at what you want to achieve and work on the action steps to get there. By consistently showing up to work on your goals, you are developing new success systems and habits. Habits, once formed, are automatic. They rewire our brains with the discipline needed for success.
If your goal were a plant, the time you spend with it would be the food it needs to grow. With consistency, it will thrive in its proper season.
The Language of Goals
First, figure out your goal language. Are you a visual person? Do you need to think things through? Do you thrive in peace and quiet?
Whatever your goal language, roll with it!
If you are a visual person, spend some extra time creating a vision board for your goal. Having a visual map of your plan will allow you to visualize success better. When you envision what you want to achieve, you consciously decide to look for information about the situation that will improve your performance outcomes. High-performing athletes do it all the time- I should know, I was one of them. Before a race, as I settled my nerves, I would see myself running the event. My muscles would fire at the gun, and I would rise out the blocks into formation and turn gears across the 400-meter track- gliding over hurdles along the way. This process helped me create a clear picture of what my body needed to do to get me to where I needed to go.
If you are more of a process and analytical person, try to journal out your goals. Getting your thoughts onto paper will allow you to work through them, see the holes, and may even inspire new inspiration. In fact, you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Writing also helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelm- factors that work against goal attainment.
If quiet reflection is your goal language, find some quiet time and give yourself the space to dream and create. Try a practice from Stop, Breathe, Think, or Calm.com, and dedicate time to starting your process there daily with meditation, then writing. This daily or even weekly practice can help you stay motivated and keep your head clear.
We all want to achieve better results. Writing down your goals is a good starting point. It’s an easy technique that helps you become more efficient and reduce your stress simultaneously. Let us know your goal language in the comments below and what you are working on.
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R gets a whole lot of practice writing wellness goals for corporations and helping individuals navigate goals to improve their emotional and business wellbeing. Jump on her calander if you need to connect!