Advertising

Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How To Complete Goals Quickly And Effectively

How To Complete Goals Quickly And Effectively
Advertising

They say that half the battle of completing goals is setting the goals themselves. But the other half of this battle is finding the motivation to work towards that goal despite the circumstances.

And not many people are very good in the second half of that battle.

In most cases, people end up giving up or failing, and it’s sad to see that after people put effort into achieving their goals. So, for the people who are struggling, my suggestion is to consider some of the strategies listed below to help with completing goals.

Furthermore, understand why you continue to struggle to complete goals in the first place.

Why Do People Struggle With Completing Goals?

While there are many reasons for not completing goals, it can be narrowed down to a lack of two core things: motivation and patience.

Motivation is your desire to complete things. If you don’t have the motivation, then you’ll get trapped by excuses – excuses as simple as “oh, I don’t feel like doing that today.”

Patience, on the other hand, is to help you out long-term. The goals that you are working towards aren’t usually things that can be achieved in a single day or a week. You have to have the patience that what you’re doing is helping you reach your target. If not, you’ll do something rash and lead to failure.

Patience is something that only you can work on. There’s not really any kind of formal strategy as patience is more of a self-controlled aspect of ourselves.[1]

For example, forcing yourself to wait and figuring out what is making you impatient in the first place are strategies to being more patient.

Advertising

Motivation though is something where there is a plethora of advice and strategies as motivation stems from different sources. There are many ways for you to achieve your goals, and there is no specific path that you can take.

Strategies for Completing Goals Properly

With this in mind, here are some strategies that you can keep in mind to make completing goals easier and more achievable. There is no one golden standard for how to set goals and complete them, but that leaves room for you to experiment.

Try out these strategies for at least a few months to see where it takes you. From there, begin making adjustments to better tailor your goal-achieving process.

1. Set SMARTER Goals

If there has to be a gold standard for goals, I’d say it’s the SMART goal system. When people talk about goals, the first method that springs to mind is this system. However, people have expanded on that system and have created the SMARTER goal system.

SMARTER is the same thing as SMART. You are still setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals. But the ER stands for evaluated and re-adjusted.

In other words, after you work on a goal, you go back to evaluate it and then make adjustments to it to reflect that evaluation.

For example, say you’re looking to lose weight and have set a goal to lose about ten pounds in a month. It’s risky, but for some people it can be manageable if you work on your diet and work out plenty. The ER would kick in two weeks into this and allow you to look at your overall progress.

What is going well for you? What needs improvement?

This step in the system can help you in a big way. If you’re in the position you want to be in, you’ll build up more motivation and confidence.

Advertising

If you’re not, you’ll move to the R and re-evaluate your goal. Maybe you were a little too ambitious and need to be more patient. Why not lower the bar slightly to help you build up motivation?

SMARTER goals are better because there is that check system in place. SMART goals can have that too, but that method focuses more on the characteristics of the goal rather than checking up on it afterward.

2. Remove Bad Habits

The main purpose of goals is for you to remove bad habits, but it’s worth reiterating as bad habits aren’t only focused on one area of your life. There are many overarching bad habits, such as coming up with excuses.

Ultimately, these block your progress and stifle motivation, and they can get frustrating to deal with. But this comes back to exercising patience. This process takes time to work on.

My suggestion is to take the time to identify your bad habits. What habits do you have that you think are bad for you? Write them out and come up with a plan to remove them from your life.

Better yet, replace these bad habits with many good habits. To do this, consider what this bad habit provides you. Every habit covers a need, whether that’s emotional support, a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, and so on.

Figure out what that bad habit provides and find something similar – but better – that can satisfy the same needs.

3. Build Self-Discipline

Another strategy is to begin building self-discipline. When you have discipline, you don’t have to worry as much about finding the motivation to do things. Even during the early stages, there is a state of mind that you can enter where you won’t have to think about doing a certain task.

You’ll do things automatically without thinking.

Advertising

A good example of this at work is your morning routine. Every morning, you have a series of tasks you do to prepare yourself during the morning. If you want a more fulfilling morning – provided you’re not happy with your routine right now – you can incorporate other activities. Soon enough, those will become part of your routine as well.

4. Limit Distractions

On top of mitigating bad habits, you also want to focus on having fewer distractions in your life. Some ways that you can limit distractions are to better organize your working space.

Another option to consider is having activities that you can do prior to work or during it to help you get into a flow state. Things like meditation or listening to white noise or soft ambient music can help in those regards.

5. Have Better Management of Your Time

On a similar note to distractions, perhaps you are someone who gets distracted by other tasks. You only have 24 hours in a day, and a portion of that is dedicated to eating and sleeping.

Your time is valuable and you want to be sure that you are spending your time wisely. Keep in mind this doesn’t always mean working all the time. Make sure you strike a balance with your other needs like social and health needs too.

You want to be certain that whatever it is that you are doing at the moment is worth your time. What benefits are you getting from doing a certain activity? What benefits are you getting from talking or being around a specific person?

Remember this benefit doesn’t have to be extraordinary every time, but you want to be mindful so you’re not spending time with those dragging you down or making it too difficult to concentrate. The same applies to activities too.

6. Do the MIT First

MIT. Most important task.

There are many iterations of this, but it’s all the same principle. The first chance you get, you want to be tackling the largest task first. This has a lot to do with how motivation works.

Advertising

People think that handling smaller tasks first makes it easier to build motivation for bigger tasks. I can see the logic behind this. However, remember that these small tasks still drain your energy.

If you spend all day completing the small tasks that inch you forward towards your goal, chances are you won’t have much energy – and motivation – for the big task at the end.[2]

In most situations, you’re probably going to have the most energy in the morning and so, it makes sense to use that energy on something that demands a lot of it.[3] Later on in the day, you can “power down” by doing all the other tasks that don’t demand a lot of mental or physical strength.

7. Accept Failure

The final strategy that will help you is to accept failure. As much as it’s key to be optimistic, remember that you’re not always going to hit your targets. There will be days where you won’t get everything done or experience a setback.

Don’t worry so much about that and take it as a lesson to improve for next time. Going back to when I mentioned SMARTER goals, you want to apply that in all things in life.

When you experience a delay or you want to note your progress, go and evaluate and make adjustments if needed.

Final Thoughts

Completing goals is challenging and requires a lot from us. You need to work hard, and you need to keep that momentum going.

At the very beginning, it’s easy for us to resist change and slip back to our old ways. That’s okay. Remember that motivation comes from when you’re starting something and continuing it.

Like a boulder rolling down a cliff, if you are practicing these particular tactics, you’ll find it easier to have the motivation and the energy to be completing goals in no time. And there will be nothing that’ll get in your way.

Advertising

More Tips for Completing Goals

Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better 17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Trending in Goal Getting

1 A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success 2 The Ultimate List of 29 Life Goals for Living a Fulfilling Life 3 4 Effective Goal-Setting Templates To Help you Set Goals 4 7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2021 5 How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 29, 2021

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success
Advertising

If there was a rule book of life, there would be one particular page that was highlighted, underlined, and titled as most important. It would be the one which told you that you need to master effective goal setting and have an aim in mind before you get on with the process. While there may not be an actual rule book of life, we do have this helpful goal setting guide to offer.

Yes, goal setting is important. In fact, it’s more important than achieving the goal itself. This is because it is the sense of direction that is needed for you to fulfill any task in life.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed if this sounds new to you, as all the following information has you covered.

Today, you’ll find out all about the importance of goal setting, types of goals, and tips to define realistic goals for yourself!

What Are Goals?

To kick off our goal setting tips guide, you need to first recognize what goals are and how they are different from objectives, dreams, and expectations.

A goal is essentially your aim for the long-term future. It is the bigger umbrella, the main focus.

Objectives, on the other hand, fall under the umbrella of goals. They are the stepping stones that help you achieve your goals[1].

Objects vs goals for goal setting tips

    For example, you may decide you want to learn a new language. Your goal is to be fluent in the new language. Everything you do to achieve this goal, such as the daily tasks and monthly learning aims, are the objectives.

    Similarly, your expectations, visions, and dreams are not your goals. If you wish to learn a new language someday, that is your dream. If you see yourself fluently speaking multiple foreign languages, that is your vision. If you think you’re capable of learning a new language, that is your expectation.

    However, if you aim to fulfill these visions, dreams, and expectations practically, that is your goal.

    Why Is Goal Setting Important?

    Why should you bother with goal setting at all? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just get on with your daily objectives, follow a dream or vision, and let life take you wherever?

    Advertising

    While that road can feel exciting and spontaneous, if you actually want to tick off things from your list of goals to achieve, learning how to set goals is necessary.

    Being committed to a goal puts your brain to work in one specific direction. Believe it or not, by having a defined goal, your brain does its magic unconsciously, 24/7, with full efficiency, to achieve the desired results[2].

    Goal setting is important to shift your focus, boost your motivation, and give you a sense of direction. Without formally defining a particular aim that you want to reach, you won’t be able to keep your objectives in line.

    Hence, this one tiny step can end up saving you a lot of hassle and time while also encouraging your productivity.

    Types of Goals

    Before we move onto the technique of setting effective goals, we need to first take a look at all types of goals in this goal setting tips guide.

    These categories will not just help you brainstorm new one for yourself, but it will also guide you to list them down in the right way.

    Time-Based

    One of the two broad categories of goals is based on time. These goals define how far in the future you want to achieve them.

    Daily

    There are certain smaller goals that you can easily achieve in a day or two. In fact, some of these daily goals can be recurring, too. For example, you may want to run for an hour every morning.

    Now, these daily goals can also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. You may be running every day because, in the long-term, you want to increase your stamina.

    Daily goals are highly effective for people who want to improve their mental wellbeing, time management skills, and stress management.

    Short-Term

    Next in line are short-term goals. As you would have already guessed, goal setting in this area is aimed at the near future.

    The great thing about these is that they are generally easier to achieve. This is because short-term goals are set for the foreseeable future. You are aware of the circumstances and have a general idea of how much the situation can change.

    Advertising

    Just like daily goals, short-term goals may also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. Your short-term goal may be to lose 5 pounds in one month. That could be a goal in itself, or maybe it is just one objective to fulfill your goal to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the next two years.

    Another example of a short-term goal is to fulfill the checklist for promotion within the next 6 months. Or, you may want to reduce your screen time within the coming week.

    Long-Term

    Lastly, we have long-term goals that are meant to be completed over a stretched period.

    Whatever you want to achieve in a later stage of life is a long-term goal. An insurance plan, for example, is a long-term goal.

    Some long-term goals don’t have any time frame at all. They are goals that you want to accomplish at some point in your life. So, something like traveling the whole world is a lifelong goal with no specific time constraint at all.

    There’s one thing about long-term goals that isn’t great.

    They are the hardest to keep up with since you’re not seeing any huge achievements regularly. This may take a toll on your motivation. To tackle this problem, it is best to divide a long-term goal into various, short-term and daily objectives so that you’re always tracking the progress you’re making.

    Life-Based

    Moving forward, you can also start goal setting based on the results you want to achieve instead of the time period.

    Career

    Like most people, you will likely want to succeed and excel in your career. Anything that has to do with this intention, regardless of the time frame, is a career goal. These are usually measurable goals, such as receiving a promotion within two years, finding a job at a certain company within the next six months, etc.

    You can learn more about how to set successful career goals here.

    Personal

    The past few years have all been about emphasizing your personal health. So, when it comes to goals, how can we forget the ones that have to do with our personal gains?

    From health to finances to relationships, everything that brings you happiness and composure as a person is a personal goal. It’s important that these are realistic and attainable goals for your life.

    Advertising

    Whether you want to get rid of your debt, quit smoking, start a side hustle, have children, or travel the world, all of these goals are personal and very important to have on your list.

    How to Set Goals

    The best way to guarantee the fulfillment of goals is to set them the right way.

    1. Use SMART Goals

    Every goal you define has to be SMART[3].

    SMART stands for:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-Bound

    In summary, your specific goals should be very well defined. They shouldn’t be generic or broad, and every detail should be clarified as you’re goal setting. 

    If you want to start running, how often do you want to do it? How long will each session be? For how long will you continue this habit?

    There has to be a connection between your goals and beliefs or you’ll never be able to achieve the results you want. Most importantly, do not be unrealistic. You cannot learn to fly, and forcing yourself to try is only going to demotivate and stress you out.

    2. Prioritize Your Goals

    As you’re looking into how to write goals for the next month or year, it’s likely you’ll come up with more than one. In this case, it’s important to prioritize which are the most important or the ones that have the tightest deadline. This is going to be subjective, as only you know which goals will have the most impact on your life.

    3. Think of Those Around You

    As you’re working on goal setting, keep your loved ones in mind. You may have a partner, children, or employees that depend on you, and you should take them into consideration with your goals. For example, if you set a goal to travel to 10 different countries in the next two years, how will this affect your children?

    If you want to lose 30 pounds this year, is there something your partner can do to support you? S/he will need to be made aware of this before you set off on your weight loss journey.

    4. Take Action

    Setting goals is the first step, but in order to be successful, you have to follow this with action. If you set goals but never act on them, they become dreams. Create an action plan laying out the steps you need to take each day or week in order to achieve your big and small goals.

    You can also check out Lifehack’s free guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. This helpful guide will push you to take action on your goals, so check it out today!

    Advertising

    5. Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture

    Most people refer to the big picture as their vision. Whether it is the long-term result or the connection of the goal with your desire, keep it in mind to keep yourself from getting distracted.

    You can learn more about creating a vision for your life here.

    I also recommend you to watch this video to learn 7 strategies to set goals effectively:

    How to Reach Your Goals

    You can ensure your progress by following some foolproof tactics. The use of relevant helpful tools can also keep you on the right track.

    Tactics

    One rookie mistake that most people make is that they work on too many goals simultaneously. Create an action plan and focus on one thing at a time.

    Divide your goal into smaller, easily achievable tasks. Taking it one step at a time makes it much easier. However, do not break them down too much. For example, for long-term goals, you should go for weekly checkpoints instead of daily ones.

    Also, keep track of your progress. This will keep you motivated to work harder.

    Tools

    With so many categories of goals and so many aims, it is almost impossible to remember, let alone work, on all of them.

    Luckily, numerous goal tracker apps will help you keep track of your goals, as well as your plan to achieve every single one. Have at least one installed in your smartphone so that your plan is always within reach.

    The Bottom Line

    In conclusion, using a goal setting tips guide is not rocket science. All that it takes is strong will power along with all the knowledge that you’ve learned so far.

    Try out the tactics and goals setting tips mentioned above to be able to set successful goals so that you can achieve the life that you want!

    More Tips on Achieving Success

    Featured photo credit: Danielle MacInnes via unsplash.com

    Advertising

    Reference

    [1] Smart Insights: The difference between marketing objectives and marketing goals?
    [2] Confluence: Goal Setting Theory
    [3] University of California: SMART Goals: A How-To Guide

    Read Next