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Setting and Achieving Goals - 7 Nexus

Setting and Achieving Goals

Setting and Achieving Goals

Setting and Achieving Goals

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Setting and Achieving Goals can be a difficult process. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding.

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It’s easy to sit around and think what we could do or what we’d like to do. It is an entirely different thing to accept the tradeoffs that come with our goals. Everybody wants a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian.

Your goal must be worthy of your life enough (rather than you being worthy of your goal), because when you face obstacles and challenges on your path, you must find the strength, drive and motivation to keep going. And any goal worthy of achieving, takes time, commitment, persistence and hard work.

Here are some ideas of Setting and Achieving Goals in a right way:-

 

  1. SET GOALS THAT MOTIVATES YOU
  2. MAKE AN ACTION PLAN
  3. FIND A GOAL THAT IS WORTHY OF YOUR LIFE
  4. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
  5. ANTICIPATE ROADBLOCKS
  6. HOW TO ALIGN YOUR ENVIRONMENT WITH YOUR GOALS
  7. DREAM BIG BUT START SMALL
  8. TACKLE YOUR SCARY THOUGHTS
  9. BREAK DOWN ALL THE STEPS TO GET THERE
  10. TIME MANAGEMENT
  11. COMMITMENT
  12. REWARD YOURSELF FOR YOUR EFFORTS
  13. SELF REGULATION
  14. PUT A PLAN INTO ACTION AND REVIEW IT REGULARLY
  15. ALWAYS RE-ADJUST YOUR APPROACH TO REACH YOUR GOALS

 

 

 

  1. SET GOALS THAT MOTIVATES YOU

When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you:  this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is the key to achieving goals.

Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind.

To make sure that your goal is motivating, write down why it’s valuable and important to you. Ask yourself, “If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them it was a worthwhile goal?” You can use this motivating value statement to help you if you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to actually make the goal happen.

If this sounds like you, more than likely, the problem is not motivation, but instead, lack of alignment.

The superficial and traditional way is setting goals based on what you think you should be doing or accomplishing. These goals work and are achievable BUT, these are also the goals you’re likely to drop along the way, because they are not aligned with your Purpose or/and Higher Self. You may not drop them, but you may get there and be like “oh is this it?”

So, when you set your goals, go for your deepest dreams, desires, passions and Calling. Don’t let the voice inside your head tell you “it’s impossible”, “it’s too complicated”, etc — because if you don’t set that goal, you will never do, what you were put on earth to do. Set Goals, aligned with your Soul & Purpose.

Consider what you want to accomplish and be specific in your goals – really think about your core values and what outcome you are reaching for and write them down. Clear goals will ensure a comprehensive understanding of what is required in order to achieve them. Take the time to really reflect on what you want.

The first step in the smarter method of goal setting is to get highly specific about what you intend to achieve. You have to ensure that it’s measurable so that it can be tracked, but you also have to put a great deal of detail into what it is you intend to achieve. You can’t just say you want to be rich. It doesn’t work that way.

If you have money goals, they need to involve a specific amount of money. For example, you intend to have a one million dollar net worth in the next 24 months, you plan to be earning $20,000 per month in the next 12 months by building up a service business, or anything else for that matter. But you need to be acutely specific about it.

 

 

When you get specific about a goal, it materializes. It moves from the abstract into reality. To do that, it must be written down. It must move from your mind to a piece of paper or a screen. What do you want to achieve? What does your life look like at that point when you reach that goal? Who are your friends? What are you doing during the day? What habits do you have? What time are you waking up?

 

  1. MAKE AN ACTION PLAN

This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.

Specific goals put you on a direct course. When a goal is vague, it has limited motivational value. Goal clarity is positively related to overall motivation and satisfaction in the workplace.

Set clear, precise and unambiguous goals that are implicit and can be measured. When a goal is clear in your mind, you have an improved understanding of the task at hand. You know exactly what is required and the resulting success is a further source of motivation.

 

  1. FIND A GOAL THAT IS WORTHY OF YOUR LIFE

You have probably heard of SMART goals already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound
  • Set Specific Goals

Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.

When we start any new journey, we imagine a smooth sail. We believe everything will be easy, smooth and go according to plan. Your goal must be worthy of your life enough (rather than you being worthy of your goal), because when you face obstacles and challenges on your path, you must find the strength, drive and motivation to keep going. And any goal worthy of achieving, takes time, commitment, persistence and hard work.

If a goal is “not that important to you”, you will not do what it takes to achieve it. That doesn’t make you a failure, it simply means, you must find a goal that is worthy of your life.

 

  1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word “will” instead of “would like to” or “might.” For example, “I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year,” not “I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year.” The first goal statement has power and you can “see” yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.

Frame your goal statement positively. If you want to improve your retention rates say, “I will hold on to all existing employees for the next quarter” rather than “I will reduce employee turnover.” The first one is motivating; the second one still has a get-out clause “allowing” you to succeed even if some employees leave.

If you use a To-Do List, make yourself a To-Do List template that has your goals at the top of it. If you use an Action Program, then your goals should be at the top of your Project Catalogue.

Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to do. Put them on your walls, desk, computer monitor, bathroom mirror or refrigerator as a constant reminder. It may seem like an unnecessary additional effort, but there is value in putting pen to paper. Write down your goals and think carefully about the steps involved to get there. The very act of writing something down improves recall and having a physical reminder of what you want to achieve means you can check-in and review it at any time.

  1. ANTICIPATE ROADBLOCKS

Now that you know that your journey may not be a straight line, it means that you will be met with opposition, challenges and obstacles on the way to your goal. If you are not mentally prepared for them, these are enough to

  • Take you off course
  • Stop you and make you quit

So, before you start, prepare yourself mentally to meet obstacles, and to find the means and resources to overcome them. Make a list in advance of all the potential roadblocks you think you will or can encounter. Then make a contingency plan for overcoming those.

Of course, there are blows that you never planned or even expected, and you will have to deal with those as they arise.

Goals must be challenging yet attainable. Challenging goals can improve performance through increased self-satisfaction, and the motivation to find suitable strategies to push our skills to the limit. Conversely, goals that are not within our ability level will not be achieved, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration.

 

We are motivated by achievement and the anticipation of achievement. If we know a goal is challenging yet believes it is within our abilities to accomplish, we are more likely to be motivated to complete a task.

  1. HOW TO ALIGN YOUR ENVIRONMENT WITH YOUR GOALS

Although most of us have the freedom to make a wide range of choices at any given moment, we often make decisions based on the environment we find ourselves in. For example, if I wanted to do so, I could drink a beer as I write this guide. However, I am currently sitting at my desk with a glass of water next to me. There are no beers in sight. Although I possess the capability to get up, walk to my car, drive to the store, and buy a beer, I probably won’t because I am surrounded by easier alternatives. In this case, taking a sip of water is the default decision, the easy decision.

Similarly, many of the decisions we make in our professional and personal lives are shaped by the options that surround us.

  • If you sleep with your phone next to your bed, then checking social media and email as soon as you wake up is likely to be the default decision.
  • If you walk into your living room and your couches and chairs all face the television, then watching television is likely to be the default decision.
  • If you keep alcohol in your kitchen, then drinking consistently is more likely to be the default decision.

Of course, defaults can be positive as well.

  • If you keep a dumbbell next to your desk at work, then pumping out some quick curls is more likely to be the default decision.
  • If you keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, then drinking water rather than soda is more likely to be the default decision.
  • If you place floss in a visible location (like next to your toothbrush), then flossing is more likely to be the default decision.

Scientists refer to the impact that environmental defaults can have on our decision making as choice architecture. This has an important impact when it comes to achieving goals. Whether or not you achieve your goals in the long-term has a lot to do with what type of influences you surround in the short-term.  It’s very hard to stick with positive habits in a negative environment.

  1. DREAM BIG BUT START SMALL

 

One of the best ways to set a goal is to pick a small, tangible milestone.

If your dream is to save money for a home in the long term, then your first goal could be to save Rs. 20000 in the next three months. If your dream is to feel healthier, decide what that means for you. Maybe it means eating 2 servings of vegetables every day for the next month or going on a walk 5 times a week.

 

Dream big, but start with a goal of reaching one, realistic step that will take you closer.

Setting an actual goal should be small and tangible. Once you hit the first one, you can set another goal that brings you further down the path to your dream.

  1. TACKLE YOUR SCARY THOUGHTS

Let’s get real for a minute. Your goal is scary. You doubt yourself. You don’t know if you can do it. You’ve tried before and failed. Also, what if it gets uncomfortable? What if you have to do things you’ve never done before?

Be realistic about what is going on in your mind. When you sit down to create your goal, also write down your scary thoughts. Take a look at them. And pick one, tiny, realistic thought that will help you reframe what that negative voice is telling you.

If the voice is telling you “I’m not good with money,” think about that sentence: Is it really true? What does a blanket statement like that mean? Maybe you haven’t always reached your goals in the past, but you’ve made some steps in your journey.

So instead, reframe that negative thought. You could try thinking: “Sometimes I have managed my money.”  Or, “It’s possible that I can learn to manage my money.”

Because if your body is going in one direction and your mind is going in another, you’ll never get where you want to go.

  1. BREAK DOWN ALL THE STEPS TO GET THERE

Let’s revisit the goal of saving Rs. 20000 in the next three months. How will you do that? There are actually a lot of steps. Let’s break down an example of how you could approach it:

  • Write down/figure out all the places that you spend money over the course of a month (or several months)
  • Write down exactly how much money you earn each month, after taxes
  • In order to save Rs. 20000 in three months, you will need to save Rs. 6700 per month.

Look at all the places you spend money, and figure out where you can spend less

If it’s possible, determine if there are ways that you could earn more money in the next few months

The list might feel overwhelming, but remember, you don’t have to tackle every task at once.

 

 

 

  1. TIME MANAGEMENT

Once you have your full list, consult your calendar. Find some time, and schedule each task. On Tuesday at 2pm you will look at your spending. On Thursday at 7pm you will look at your sources of income. Work your way through the list, one step at a time.

 

Scheduling each task is a great way to manage that giant list. When 2pm on Tuesday comes around, all you have to do is that one thing. You don’t have to worry about all the other steps. You’ve already planned when you will do each one.

Scheduling each step toward your goal is critical to achieving them successfully. And after all that analysis, the actual method of reaching your goal could come down to one, small change in your habits. If you made one change and brought coffee from home every morning, you could make substantial headway toward that goal.

Time management is a useful skill across many facets of life including goal setting. While setting goals are commonly considered to be a specific time management behaviour time management is also required in order to successfully accomplish a goal. If we do not properly consider the timescale required to attain a goal, we will inevitably fail.

Additionally, the time we allocate to planning our goals directly impacts task performance – the more time spent on the planning stage, the more likely we are to succeed.

  1. COMMITMENT

Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.

Commitment refers to the degree to which an individual is attached to the goal and their determination to reach it – even when faced with obstacles. Goal performance is strongest when people are committed, and even more so when said goals are difficult. Given the commitment to a goal, if an individual discovers their performance is below that which is required, they are likely to increase their effort or change their strategy in order to attain it.

When we are less committed to goals – particularly more challenging goals – we increase the likelihood of giving up. In the presence of strong commitment, there is a significant association between goals and performance; we are more likely to do what we intend to do.

A number of factors can influence our commitment levels namely, the perceived desirability of a goal and the perceived ability of achieving it. Whether you are setting a goal for yourself or for others, in order to be successful you must possess the desire and a comprehensive understanding of what is required to achieve it.

 

  1. REWARD YOURSELF FOR YOUR EFFORTS

You realized that the key to reaching your goal of saving Rs. 20000 over three months is one, small habit change. A change in the place you get your coffee.

 

But research shows that you are more likely to reach your goal if you reward yourself for that habit change along the way.

There are three steps to the loop:

  • The cue
  • The routine
  • The reward

In this instance, the cue is morning. The routine that you are trying to create is to bring your coffee from home. But in order to truly solidify the new routine, you need to make this new habit satisfying. You need to provide a reward.

Maybe your reward is to drink a special flavour of coffee from home. Or to use a travel mug that you really like. Maybe you top off that mug with a little more coffee than you’d drink if you got it from Cafe Coffee Day.

The choice is yours. But the research is clear. You’ll have more success reaching your larger goals if you find the right reward for the smaller steps.

Without the desire to achieve, our attempts at goal setting are doomed to fail. Motivation to achieve a goal encourages us to develop new techniques and skills in order to succeed. In more challenging circumstances, the motivation to keep going is a powerful contributor to goal attainment.

This doesn’t mean rewarding yourself with chocolate when you attain a healthy eating goal, rather an internal pat on the back. Acknowledge your success and revel in the positive emotions that accompany it.

It is important to be resilient in the face of adversity. Reassess your goals and make alterations when you feel it is necessary to do so.

It’s great to shoot for the stars, but goal setting is more about what you can realistically accomplish rather than an idealistic vision of what you hope you can achieve.

  1. SELF REGULATION

An individual needs to regulate and manage their own emotions in order to promote their own personal and social goals. With developed Emotional Intelligence comes the ability to efficiently consider and describe motivational goals, aims, and missions.

Believe in your abilities, but know that it’s OK if things aren’t going to plan. Re-evaluating our progress and rethinking goals is all part of the process. Remember that any progress towards your goal is a good thing.

  1. PUT A PLAN INTO ACTION AND REVIEW IT REGULARLY

Consider the timescale in which you wish to achieve your target. If your goal is a particularly challenging one, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals that culminate in attaining your main goal.

Rather than saying “I want a promotion”, consider the smaller steps that will help get you to that goal, “In the next 4 weeks I will commit to taking on a project I haven’t tried before”. Whatever you decide, ensure it is right for you.

When goals are time-bound, they can be evaluated, allowing you to track your progress along the way. The more meticulous you track your goals, the more likely you’ll be to follow through. Pick a system for tracking your goals, and do it every single day. This will give you a barometer towards success.

When you evaluate, you get a better lay of the land. When you fail to chart your progress, it’s easier to ignore things and you’re more likely to revert back to detrimental patterns and bad habits. Chart your progress every single day if you want to achieve your goals in the long term.

  1. ALWAYS RE-ADJUST YOUR APPROACH TO REACH YOUR GOALS

If you evaluate your progress, and you realize that you’re getting further away from your goals rather than closer to them, you can re-adjust your approach. This gives you a moment to correct things. You might not notice this if you fail to evaluate your progress on a daily basis.

When a plane sees that there’s a storm or air-traffic congestion, it can adjust its approach to reach its intended target on time. If there’s major turbulence ahead and it needs to veer slightly off course, it knows what to do in order to correct that so it can make up for the time lost and to ultimately reach its destination.

Our goals are very much like an airplane’s journey. We’re trying to reach our final destination, and in order to do that, we need to be clear about what that destination is and when we’ll reach it. Then, all we need to do is plan, take action and to modify our approach along the way in order to get to where we’re going in the long term. It sounds simple but clearly hard to implement.

The goal-setting framework developed further provision that when an individual has specific goals to meet, their performance is more pronounced than in the absence of specifics. That is, setting clearly defined goals leads to better performance.

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced.

These ideas will surely help you in Setting and Achieving Goals.

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