Part Two: Setting Goals
There are two things you should think about when setting goals, first if it is easily attainable, you aren’t growing and you’re not unlocking your true potential. Secondly, as said by Canadian entrepreneur Robert Herjavec “a goal without a timeline is just a dream”. If you’re setting goals, we need a deadline to work towards.
Your goals can be big and scary and exciting. It shouldn’t feel like something that can be achieved in a couple of days, but it should be something quantifiable and measurable. You also need to be able to set yourself up for success.
First, driven by your values and purpose in life, set motivational goals. I could say I want to help 200 flexible workers find their dream job because my purpose is to champion flexible work. You might want to write and publish a book on marketing for dog breeders because you’re passionate about helping people find their family pet in a safe way. Someone you know might want to go from moving <1,000 steps a day to completing their first 10K because they want to make their health a priority. All of these goals are big goals.
Pick one big goal, and write it down in a measurable way.
But now, add a time limit. I could say, Juggle will help place 200 flexible workers by the end of Q4. You might want to publish a book by the middle of 2021. Your friend might want to run a 10K by October 31st.
Add a deadline. This is crucial because now you’re making yourself more accountable. You’re also giving yourself a period of time in which to break that goal into smaller manageable steps that get you closer.
This is the beginning of using the SMART goal technique.
Be clear – vague goals don’t provide direction.
Add metrics of any kind – that could be a date (for a marathon or getting a website/product live), it could be percentages (increase in revenue or decrease in debt), or a number count (words or chapters for a book or miles run).
I stand by my earlier statement, do not give yourself an easy goal. It should still be hard but within your reach. You still need to be able to do it, and you may have to set other goals before you can achieve that specific goal. For example, if you want to completely change your career, will you need professional qualifications? Is getting accepted onto a course the first step in a longer-term goal?
They HAVE to be driven by what you want to achieve in YOUR life.
Have a deadline. Not reaching your goal by this point does not mean you’re a failure, deadlines can move. But having a set date to achieve something provides accountability and an ability to build a plan.
Put it in Writing and Look at it Regularly
What good is a goal if it’s only in your head? While you might be the sort of person who can work that way, the majority can’t. Writing your goals down and looking at them regularly is key to reinforcing them and making sure you remember to take the steps needed in order to complete it.
Make. A. Plan.
This is critical. You need to have a plan. If you only ever look at the big scary goal, that is what it will remain – a big scary goal!
If you constantly stare at a mountain you’ll never spot the first climb.
Break your goal into smaller pieces. That would be weekly micro-goals, a training plan, ring-fencing time every day to write 1,000 words. Remember: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
This is where we think Covid19 and its impact has created a problem for a lot of people. Remember, you’re never in control of anything in life, apart from your reaction and your actions.
Covid19 is something that nobody could have predicted and for many, this will have made a dramatic impact on plans and goals they had in place.
But here’s the great thing, plans can be rewritten. They can be adjusted. Goals that you had set, can also be adjusted and deadlines can change.
Some have been very lucky and will not have had to make much change. From those we have spoken to in our community only a third have had to change their goals, the rest still have the same ones but in some cases have had to change the plan to get there.
That is ok! The one thing to remember is to always be kind to yourself, but find a way to re-route and get back on track. Don’t stop.
You have to keep going. Next week, we’ll focus on habits, which play a big part in moving us forward towards our goals.
Everyone is different, but if you have a plan, it’s up to you to look at it daily or weekly and do the things you set yourself.
If your goal is driven by purpose, tied to the values you have in your life, then it is an essential goal.
In ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ by Greg McKeown, a great book, he ‘essentially’ makes the argument that if you want to achieve something you have to be laser-focused.
That also means you make trade-offs and you say no to the non-essential. If you want to run a half-marathon, you get up earlier and you say no to late nights out at the pub with friends. If you want to write a book, you have to watch less Netflix and dedicate an hour a day to writing. This ties back to Mark Manson’s point about which s*** sandwich you are most happy to tolerate. Remembering, it might not be forever.
But by taking the small steps daily, and measuring your progress, you build momentum. Once you have momentum, you won’t want to let it go.
The other thing to remember is that you have to celebrate the journey as well as the destination. Small wins deserve to be celebrated, and they will keep you moving forward.
Set One Goal This Week!
Focus on one big scary goal that thrills you, and write it down using the SMART method, then build yourself a plan. Consider what small steps you can take every day to get you closer to that goal.
Next week we turn to habits and routines to help reinforce the daily activities you need to do to achieve your goals.
On Wednesday 24th we host a breakfast webinar with Tamsin Webster, Chief People Officer at N Family Club, where we’ll dive into discovering which habits work for you, recognising those that don’t, and how to build a routine.
Register here to join us at 8.30 am!