One of the most vital productivity tools at your disposal is being able to set goals. Without goals, it’s difficult for you to be going in any direction. Not to mention, a lack of goals doesn’t put you in control of your life.
You may already know all of that, however, what you may not know is that not all goals are created equal. Setting goals is incredibly easy, but many people still struggle with setting goals effectively.
People are quick to think big, create vision boards, or use other goal-setting methods. However, a few weeks or months later, those people are not even close to their goals; some may have even given up.
I don’t want you to fall into that pitfall now or ever again. So, to help with that, I want to share with you some simple steps on how to set goals effectively and achieve them.
Why Do People Struggle With Goals?
To understand why I’m giving you these methods, you need to understand why you are stuck with goals in the first place. The list of why people struggle with goals is extensive.
In most situations, why people struggle with goals is to do with a lot of what’s going on inside you.
Some specific examples are:
- You harbor doubt in the goal or your abilities that the goal demands from you.
- Your goals are too impotent – as in they’re not important enough.
- There’s little risk of major setbacks if you give up or stop.
- Maybe you view your goals as a final result rather than the start of something new. You’re not enjoying the process and lose motivation after some time.
The thing is that these issues can be remedied if you know how to set goals effectively.
How Do I Set Goals Effectively?
If you’re tired of setting goals and never achieving them or losing momentum, here are some steps on how to set goals effectively, make them realistic, and achieve them.
Step 1 – Develop and Write Down Your Core Values
Also known as personal values, understanding what you value is important to goal setting. What you value the most is what structures your habits, processes, and the goals that you set.
When you’re not aligned with your core values, chances are you’re not motivated to achieve them at any capacity, even if those goals are inherently good for you like losing weight or being a better partner. If you don’t have core values in those areas, then chances are your willingness to improve isn’t going to be much.
And that’s okay. Because that often means you are more focused on other things that are more important to you. You won’t know what that is until you put together your core values.
There are many examples of core values. Some of these are:
- And many more
You can do this in two ways: either write your goals and find core values after or find core values you associate with and set goals around those.
Step 2 – Remove Weak Goals That Are ‘Good Enough’
What this refers to are the goals that make you feel good but aren’t driving you to pursue them.
One example is how most people use vision boards. People are quick to putting together a large vision board and filling it with all kinds of goals. While there is a feel-good feeling, a lot of it is filler and things that would be nice to have but aren’t actual needs. I’m referring to the massive houses and the “expensive cars”-type of goals.
These are good goals to have as it suggests making more money and working hard and smart financially. That said, they’re big distractions from the goals that play a bigger role in your life. Maybe you’re having relationship issues and one of your core values is to fix it and make amends however you can.
The more goals you have means the more opportunities there are for distractions. As much as goals are important, it’s key that you have a narrow focus on the goals that you set and a narrower one on goals that you are working on.
One way to help you focus on goals is after you’ve written down your list, create another list. One list ought to have the five most important goals for you at this moment. The second list has any other goals that you may have or come to mind.
The list of five or fewer goals is your “must-do” list, while the other is the “avoid all of them” list. Instill in your mind to only focus on the most important goals.
Step 3 – Enjoy the Process
I mentioned earlier that goals aren’t the end, they are the beginning and it’s true. This particular step is crucial to completing goals as it provides the motivation you need to push forward.
When you are focused on the joy of the process, you also begin to believe more in yourself and your abilities. In a sense, your goals become fun which comes with various perks.
While there are other big motivators to completing goals, the goal should be fun and something that you want to achieve. If it’s fun, you’ll find it easier to tackle problems.
For example, say you’ve experienced a setback and lost some of your momentum. Many people usually become fearful and worried. They begin to lose belief in their abilities.
All that changes when you are enjoying yourself. You see this as a new opportunity to look at something you enjoy from a different perspective.
In the end, a setback can introduce a new perspective to something you love doing. It creates a new appreciation for your goal and the habits you are building.
Step 4 – Have an Action Plan
Preparing yourself to enjoy the process is good. However, it pays to have more direction than simply writing down a goal. Writing down goals works wonders, but mapping out your goals is important too.
The biggest thing is that an action plan allows you to break down your goals into smaller pieces. Often, people feel overwhelmed when looking at a big goal. Furthermore, people are more motivated if it’s a smaller task.
For example, what sounds easier to do: losing 25 pounds in three months or working out at the gym for three hours per week?
Most would go for the second option as it builds up habits. Best of all, you can put it into your action plan and schedule it into your routine.
In the end, an action plan can be made however you like, but it has to outline actions you can do every day. If you put down daily actions, it puts into perspective that goals are habits you work on regularly.
Step 5 – Have an Environment to Make Working Easier
Once you have everything in place, the next thing is to ensure that you have an environment that is conducive to you working on your goals. In some cases, you may need some productivity or organizational tools in your office, or maybe you need to find another location that works better for you.
Determine what needs to be done and take steps towards making it happen. Your environment needs to be geared towards the work that you want to be doing. This means having the proper tools there, posting positive reminders, and mitigating distractions as much as possible.
Step 6 – If You’re Stuck, Ask for Help
You are reading this article because you’re struggling with goals in some way and need help. And that’s okay. When you are stuck or you feel uncertain about something, it creates doubt and chips away at you.
Instead of caving in, you should make an effort to look for help. Refuse to give up and instead, turn to articles like this and others. Reach out to people and ask questions or guidance.
Many people refuse to do something like this as it could be a point of pride for them. That said, every person that has achieved something has been able to do so thanks in part to someone else in their life.
If you want to achieve something, make a note that if you’re stuck, ask for help. Knowing how to set goals effectively also means knowing when to ask others for help.
Step 7 – Assess Progress Often
An action plan and your goals work only as effectively the more you check on yourself. If you’re not looking at your progress, it can feel like a long time before you obtain your goal.
Motivation and inspiration drive us to accomplish goals and by looking at your progress, you can see how far you’ve come. Furthermore, if progress isn’t to your liking, you can change up your action plan.
You can say that goals are one massive experiment on yourself. Don’t be afraid to make tweaks and see if any changes have been made.
Learning how to set goals effectively boils down to striking a balance between great goals and having the motivation to complete those goals. As such, you want to remove distractions both around you and your goal setting system.
A lot of people struggle with their goals, but this strategy of managing internal motivators and influencing your world around you will allow you to set and achieve better goals.
More Goals Setting Tips
- How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully
- How To Set The Right Direction For You Life And Do What You Want Most
- How To Set Your Goals And Achieve Them Without Stress
Featured photo credit: Tim Graf via unsplash.com
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