The Secret to Finding Success with Setting Goals
Setting goals isn’t too hard right?
Well, how many goals have you set in your life that after a while you just gave up on?
Quite a few, huh?
Here I will teach you:
- The reason why most goals fail
- How to set goals that you will be able to stick to
- And what a SMART goal is
The concept is pretty simple, set a goal for something you want to achieve in your life, and live an incredible life because of what you’re able to accomplish. Right?
If only it were that easy, unfortunately, we often give up on our goals and we don’t live up to our potential.
The reason why we fail at our goals:
Take this case study, for example, Amy’s goal is to take lunch to work instead of eating out every day. She does good the first day, but the second day she forgets to make her lunch the night before, and she woke up late the next morning. She doesn’t have time to make anything, so she reasons that she has to eat out that day.
The third day comes around, she had a long day at work and just wants to relax for the rest of the night. She orders a pizza and tells herself that she’ll find something to take to work in the morning.
When she wakes up there isn’t anything that she can make quickly and be out the door on time. So she decides she’ll just eat out again.
Amy starts to reason that perhaps this is just an impossible goal, and it really doesn’t make much of a difference anyway so she’ll just stick to what she’s used to.
From this study, we find there are a few things that held Amy back from achieving her goal.
1. It was out of her routine.
Our brains like consistency and routine. So when we throw a curve ball by adding a new habit our brain will favor what we are used to doing and often reject or simply forget to do the new habit.
Which is why it’s easier to ration that it’s better if you just relax the rest of the night, and order a pizza. Instead of, cooking a meal and saving the leftovers for lunch the next day.
How can you make your goal part of your routine?
You can’t give up. It’ll be tough in the beginning to remember, so write your goal down and put it somewhere that you’ll see every day.
2. Amy failed because she didn’t have a plan.
She decided she was going to make her lunches instead of going out to eat, but she didn’t have a plan to stick to.
When you are setting goals, write an action plan. Map out each step you need to take to be successful. For example, Amy could have done something like this to make her goal more achievable:
In this action plan, she has clearly stated both her goal and the reason behind it. Which reinforces the importance of achieving the goal. She also has 3 actionable steps she can take to incorporate into her daily routine so that her goal becomes achievable.
3. The last reason why Amy failed is that she talked herself out of her goal
This is another reason why it’s so important to establish why you are setting goals. When you have a clear picture of what the end result is going to look like or feel like, you are going to be 10x more motivated to stick with it.
Here is how you can set a goal that you’ll be able to accomplish
You need to set realistic expectations. Learning 10 languages in a month is not realistic. But becoming fluent in a foreign language in a year is realistic.
When you set your expectations too high it’s easy to get discouraged and it’s easy to give up.
Which is why you should be setting SMART goals
A SMART goal is as follows:
This part of a SMART Goal should answer the following questions:
- where and
Being specific allows you to have a better focus, and create detailed action steps on how to accomplish your goal.
If you were to say I want to read more, that is a very non-specific goal. However, if you were to say I want to read 1 business book a month for a year that is very specific and measurable.
As I just mentioned measurable means that you are able to track your goal.
My favorite way to do this is through a habit tracker. Let’s continue the example of Amy trying to take lunch to work. Her mini goals which are outlined in the template come from the steps in the action plan, plus she has some other goals that she wants to work on too:
This habit tracker only goes to 21 days. Because it Only takes 21 days to make something a habit.It takes 21 days to make something a habit, don't give up. #goals Click To Tweet
Are the goals you’re setting achievable?
This goes back to setting realistic expectations for yourself. If you think you can learn 10 languages in a month slow down! It’s not possible, I would know because I’ve tried.
But it is possible to learn that many languages just not in that amount of time. So set some realistic expectations.
Choose 1 language to focus on at a time, and set a goal to become fluent in that language. Once you’ve mastered that one you can move onto the next until you have reached your overall goal.
Another question to ask yourself when you are gauging the attainability of a goal is what resources are required?
What will you need in order to be successful?
Ask yourself how relevant is your goal to your current life.
Meaning if you’re living pay check to pay check it might not be the best time to set a goal to travel the world. Or buy a new car.
Are the goals you’re setting going to help you live the life you want?
Are you able to achieve your goal in a timely manner and does it make sense?
For example: An impossible goal would be to read all 7 Harry Potter books in a day. You could, however, dedicate a month to each book. So this goal would take you 7 months to accomplish.
When setting goals you need to set a deadline for yourself.
There is one type of exception. In the example above about Amy, she didn’t have a deadline for her goal. Because it’s not the type of goal you want to do for 3 months then give up. She set a lifestyle goal. It’s a new and better way of living, so there isn’t a deadline.
So if you are setting lifestyle goals keep in mind that this new way of life isn’t going to come to you right away. It takes time and practice, which is why using the Habit Tracker is so important, this way you can keep track of your progress.
If your goal does have a time frame use my pro tip.
Create reminders of your deadline on your phone or calendar. This is another way of keeping yourself accountable for what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you want to automate your success with setting goals Download my free “Goal Success” templates: