Goal setting – does it really help you to achieve more? Yes, and when you do more than just think about what you want to achieve, your action is motivational.
You can take three actions that will change your goal from being just an idea to a tangible commitment.
For example, telling other people about your goals not only makes them more real, but you also now have a deeper need or sense of commitment to achieve them.
Not following through with your goal after telling people it may be uncomfortable and humiliating.
When you’re asked how did you get on with your goal? You want to say – it’s done!
Also, writing the goals down is another way to further deepen your commitment to yourself and your future.
Plus visualizing the successful completion of a goal is also a powerful way to keep you focused on the outcome you want. This is where the saying – start with the end in sight comes from. High performers always see themselves crossing the finish line first!
3 Key Steps
Take these three steps for every goal:
- Tell people your goal
- Commit it to text or print
- Spend some time visualizing your victory i.e. goal completion
Another tip to keep you on track to progress your goals is to provide progress reports or updates as you reach milestones.
Also, use percentages to let your people know how far you’ve come.
For example, your first update may be that you’re done 25% and have 75% left to complete the objective.
Turning an idea into a goal takes discipline, and there’s still more to do before you can start working on the tasks to achieve it.
Getting yourself into the right mindset for goal achievement is vital. The three steps mentioned so far are necessary so your mind is focused and primed for a positive outcome for the future.
However, there is still more to do before you know your goals are worthy of your time and investment.
There will be many challenges to deal with as you work on the tasks to reach the target, and you can be forewarned of many of them beforehand when you use the SMART goal methodology.
What are SMART goals? SMART is an acronym that’s really easy to remember.
- S = Specific
- M = Measureable
- A = Achieveable
- R = Relevant
- T = Time-bound
Being specific gives finality to your idea. You’ve worked your vision from being open-based and left to interpretation to one that is closed, exact, and accurate.
Life is not a dress rehersal
Today, we use life is not a rehearsal to explain the reality of life and death – that every second spent is a second less you’ve got to live. Therefore don’t waste time with non-specific goals.
An example of a non-specific goal is: I want to be a manager. A manager of what exactly?
Here is the same specific goal: I want to be a production manager in my current industry, and ideally with my current employer.
Indeed.com is using a similar example, i.e., become a manager; however, their example uses the goal of becoming a manager of developers for a Tech Startup, so it is specific to an industry (technology) and business type (a startup).
Making your goal measurable requires knowing you’re making progress. What do you need to prove you’re on the right path?
A measurable goal to get a manager role with a Tech startup may be: I will fill in applications for a minimum of five manager roles with tech startups. The number you choose is also essential – don’t just pluck it out of thin air.
Do your research to ascertain what action is required to reach your goal.
For example, if there is little demand for managers of tech startups and a lot of interest from job hunters, you’ll need to apply for more roles to improve your success rate with getting interviews.
Your goal may be too far-reaching for now, and with more consideration, you realize you’ve got to achieve other goals before this one.
For example, if you’ve no managerial experience, nor specific qualifications like an MBA or industry-specific qualification, the purpose of being a manager role within a particular industry may not be where your focus should be right now.
Setting goals to acquire qualifications and supervisory or managerial experience in a specific industry will take time, but the goals are achievable and realistic. Remember, you don’t want to waste your time or investment, so it’s vital to set goals that you will achieve so you’re motivated to keep going on the path you’ve set for your career.
Make sure the tasks undertaken are relevant to completing your objective.
For example, applying for all managerial roles listed by tech firms is not the same as applying for a managerial position in software development.
How would applying for a role managing customer support with a tech firm assist your goal of managing developers in a tech startup?
Every goal must have an end date to keep you interested in it. Plus, your tasks to reach milestones also need to be time-bound.
What am I going to do this week, next week, and so on? Putting a date on it makes it a commitment. Tell your people what you will do and when you’ll do it.
For example, I will be in my managerial role with a tech startup within the next 12 months. This week I will commence the job search and complete two applications.
There is a lot more to goal setting and success. For example for further reading, there’s this article that delves into the benefits and positive reasons for goal-setting on the mind and creating new habits.
The final tip is to use the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) to get your goal-setting working for you. Overcomplicate what you need to do, and you’ll lose interest and motivation. Remember, you’re in control every step of the way!