Advertising

Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How To Complete Goals Quickly And Effectively

Advertising
How To Complete Goals Quickly And Effectively

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

Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life The Careful Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Effectively How the Flow State Helps You Stay Productive and Concentrate What Is A Flow State And How To Achieve It For Productivity

Trending in Goal Getting

1 What Are Process Goals? (With Examples) 2 8 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Reaching Goals Today 3 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals 4 20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams 5 Goals vs Objectives: What Are Their Differences?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 16, 2021

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Advertising
What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

What Is a Process Goal?

A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

Advertising

  • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
  • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
  • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
  • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

What Is a Destination Goal?

A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

Process Goal Template

Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

  1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
  2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
  4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

Advertising

Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What am I doing right now?
  • How can I get better at this?
  • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

Advertising

Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

  • Sign up for a new class.
  • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
  • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
  • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
  • Practice your interview skills.
  • Read at least one book from the library this week.
  • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

What Do You Need for Process Goals?

Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

Advertising

To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

Final Thoughts

You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

Read Next