So you followed all the steps and had your goals for last year written down. You then did your best and are wondering why you did not achieve your goals. Before you throw goal setting out of the window it helps to do some introspection and ask yourself why were you not able to get the results you wanted.
There are several reasons why people fail to achieve the goals they set. Sometimes, people set goals and forget all about them only to remember in October that they had a habit they wanted to kick out of their lives. By this time, the year is far gone and they are too discouraged to even embark on it at this time. In order for you to avoid a repeat of this scenario this year, there are simple steps to put in place to ensure that you register success this year.
Define What Success will look like for you.
It is not enough to simply set a goal like I will ensure I get more sleep this year. This goal is vague and will set you up for failure. When you set goals that are vague and are not SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound) it makes it difficult for you to measure your results and see if you have hit your goals. In our example of getting more sleep this year, you have not defined what is the right amount of sleep. A good goal would be to state a particular time when you will ensure that you are in bed. Your action points for this goal would be things that enable you to go to bed at the time you have set. Maybe you will ensure that you have dinner at a certain time or avoid social media after a specific time.
Remember that vague goals produce vague results. This is because you will keep shifting your goals post every time and when it comes to measuring your results this will be a difficult task. Instead set a goal with a clear result. For example, I will ensure that I get 8 hours of sleep by going to bed at 9:00 pm.
Have a Clear Plan of Action
After you have set your goal, you need to lay out a plan of how you intend to achieve that goal. Having a plan of action is good because you are able to foresee obstacles and plan for them. In order to have an effective plan, you need to begin with the end in mind and then work backward. Visualise your goal completed and then figure out what obstacles will hinder you from achieving what you see. Next, come up with actions points of how you will overcome these obstacles.
A good plan is one that lists out the steps you have to take to achieve your goal. Using our example of ensuring that you get in bed by 9:00 pm. You can start by listing down the actions you will take. This may include ensuring your get home in time to have dinner early, having a curfew for engaging on social media or watching television. Once you list these obstacles and come up with ways you are going to overcome them, you are well on your way to achieving your goal.
Get some Accountability Partners
Although some people think it is not a good idea to share your goals, I think sharing with the right people does no harm. Identify someone you trust and who you know will motivate you and ask them to be your accountability partner. Without a doubt, there will be tough days when you may feel like giving up on your goals. However, knowing that there is someone to hold you accountable at the end of the day is what will keep you going.
It is also a good idea to get someone who has already registered success in the area you want to work on. This person will be able to share their experience and advise you on what needs to be done in order to achieve your goal.
Keep Your Goals In front of You
Out of sight out of mind is very true when it comes to goal setting. If you do not keep your goals before you, chances are you will forget what they are. I once heard Brian Tracy advise that for the next thirty days after you have set your goals you should write them on a piece of paper every day. He says this ensures they are ingrained in your subconscious mind.
I use my goal setting sheet which is found on my resources page to capture my goals for the year and they pin them in a place I can see them every day. Another way you can keep your goals in front of you is by having a word which encompasses all that you would like to achieve in the year. Having a word of the year helps to keep your goals in your mind. This is because everytime you say that word you are reminded of what you need to achieve. In this post, I wrote about how you can come up with your word of the year.
You can also use a vision board or have a screen saver with pictures that point towards your goals. Look at these pictures every day and let them motivate you to go to work on your goals.
Remember that it is one thing to have goals which are intentions but these count for nothing unless they are acted upon. Determine to do the work to ensure that what you desire to happen for you actually happens. Ensure that the goals you have set have deadlines but avoid having all the deadlines at the end of the year. Have actions that you will do every month, then weekly and daily all that will be leading you closer to your big goal. Be sure to celebrate the small wins since these provide motivation to keep you going for the big goal.
I wish you the very best as you work towards ensuring that this year you register success in the goals you have set for yourself.