The Real Reason Why You're Not Reaching Your Goals...Fix This Before It's Too Late
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
The much anticipated new year is finally upon us and we can forever say goodbye to one of the worst years in recent human history, adios 2020. Every new year offers an opportunity for a new beginning and with that comes goal setting. Setting goals is an important task that I recommend to anyone; whether you're trying to boost your productivity or trying to achieve a difficult milestone, you need to set goals.
The first step to effective goal setting is thinking of your end result. Think long and hard about what you want to accomplish. When will you feel like you achieved your goal? At what point will you be able to sit back and say, "I've done it!" It is important to paint the picture in your mind of what success looks like to YOU! Don't focus on what success looks like to your parents or your friends or your spouse, focus on what success looks like to you. You are the one working towards your defined end result, not anybody else, therefore, you should be the one to define what success looks like and what point victory is to be claimed.
Once you have your end result in mind, you should think about all of the steps that are necessary to achieve that victory moment and create S.M.A.R.T. Goals that'll get you there. If you have ever attended a business or entrepreneurship class, you might be familiar with what S.M.A.R.T. Goals are. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. You need all five components to make a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, skip one and your goal suddenly becomes dumb (see what I did there?).
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Let's walk through a quick example. Xavier is looking forward to opening his first plumbing company in 2021 and building a portfolio of at least 10 customers. This is his end result. It's specific and aggressive. You should be shooting for an end result that will motivate you to work hard every step of the way. Notice how Xavier didn't just say his end result is opening a plumbing company, he went the extra mile to include a specific number of customers he wants to have under his wing. After doing a little bit of research, Xavier knows what is required to first open up his company and then get his desired amount of customers. Using this information, Xavier will set S.M.A.R.T. Goals to make his end result more achievable, in a sense splitting his to-do list into bite size pieces. However, these goals should be ambitious, they should push you to work hard, but they shouldn't be so hard that they are impossible to accomplish and will make you lose motivation. One example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal Xavier can set is to have his LLC paperwork filed by March 1st, 2021. This goal is specific (it tells you exactly what needs to happen), measurable (did you achieve your goal? yes or no?), achievable (it's not impossible to do), realistic (he can do it, just like thousands have done it before him), and timely (he has enough time to do it without sacrificing quality). Xavier will do this for all of his tasks and once they're all done, he'll achieve his end result.
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The Do's and Don't's of Goal Setting
Do use a planner to plan out your weeks leading up to your S.M.A.R.T. Goal deadline. Planners help you get organized and help you commit to what you're doing; plus it is scientifically proven that humans get a burst of satisfaction every time they check off a task needed to be completed. Use check boxes and check marks after completing your tasks.
Do ask someone you trust to be your 'accountability partner.' Tell a friend or family member about your ambitious plans and your desired end result, then have them periodically check in on you to see how well you're sticking to your plan.
Do network and ask for help when you need it. You will most likely not be able to achieve your end result without some help along the way. Use your network and tell them what your goals are, people are a lot more likely to help if they know your motivations and intentions.
Don't try to plan out every single day. I know what you're thinking. Everybody you've ever come across tells you to plan out and manage your day down to a T. They tell you to time block and stick to your hourly schedule, and if that works for you, then do it - more power to you. But let me tell you the risk of doing that. While daily goals can be a great way to boost your productivity, If you miss one of your daily goals, you are much more likely to lose motivation because you'll take it as a failure. For instance, if my goal is to post two listings on my instagram account on Monday and by the end of the day I only posted one, I would feel like I failed, when in reality, I should be celebrating the fact that I did produce and post content for my followers; even if it was only one listing, that's one more listing than there was before. By planning out your week and setting weekly goals, like I said in the first "Do," you give yourself a little bit of slack to accommodate for the unexpected life events that are inevitable on a daily basis. With that said, you should be working everyday to achieve your weekly goals and your weekly goals should be challenging enough that you need to work hard to achieve them. Don't slack off or set "easy" goals because you have a week to achieve them.
Don't set goals when you feel motivated. Again, I know this goes against everything you might have previously heard, but hear me out. When you set goals after watching an inspirational video or listening to an inspirational podcast, you will be extremely motivated and you will feel like you can change the world (literally). Of course, being motivated isn't a bad thing, but you have to realize that you won't feel that way everyday. Some days you will feel unmotivated and will feel like the huge list of goals you've set are unachievable, causing you to feel more unmotivated. Instead, set goals after you've been working for a couple of hours and after you see how long each task takes. Set goals once you know what you need to do and get a sense for the time commitment and difficulty of each task.
Finally, Don't compare yourself to other people. Like I said before, you define your own success. You know what you can achieve and how long it'll take you to do it. Slow and steady will win the race, trust me. Don't burn yourself out trying to do a million things. Accomplish what you say you will and you'll be better than 75% of your peers.
I sincerely hope this has brought you value and will help you with all of your 2021 goal setting. Comment what tips and tricks you're going to try. Share it with your friends and family so they can be successful in their aspirations as well. Go get them tiger! You got this!
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