Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 1, 2020

6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals

6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals

Setting goals is the easy part. Making progress continuously to achieve those goals is a whole different ball game. This is why so many people fail to accomplish their goals. This can lead to people never setting goals again because their confidence has been battered by their past experience.

It does not have to be that way.

If you follow these golden rules, you can always make progress. Working towards your goal will be easier, and you will have a much greater chance of achieving goals you set out:

1. Don’t Set Too Many Goals

When we sit down to think about what we want to achieve, we often begin a list and start writing down all the things we want. And that is a great way to get yourself started.

The problem is we often end up with a long list of things we want to achieve, and it becomes very difficult to decide which ones are important and which ones are less important.

Instead, once you have written your list, set yourself some parameters. For example, I only allow myself five goals per year. This means I can give each goal total focus for two months.

Most goals, when you break them down, involve changing or developing a habit. For example, if you want to save $20,000 next year, you will need to change your spending habits. Spend less, save more.

But if you are in the habit of going out shopping every weekend or spend an inordinate amount of time on Amazon searching for the latest digital toy, you are going to have to stop doing that. Instead, you are going to have to familiarize yourself with your savings account. Then develop the habit of sending money to your savings account rather than Amazon’s account.

By allowing yourself two months to change the habit that needs changing, you are in with a much better chance than if you try to change several habits at once.

Advertising

Once your habit changes and it becomes natural for you, it’s time to move on to your next goal.

2. Find the Connections

When you have chosen your five goals, look for connections. Often when we set ourselves goals, there will be a natural connection between your goals.

Losing weight and getting fit is a good example, There are two goals there. Lose weight and get fit. The two naturally fit together so you can plan around that.

Earlier this year, I decided to join Robin Sharma’s 5 AM Club. I had read so much about the benefits of waking up early and thought it would be a good thing to try.

I was not a morning person, and the thought of waking up at 5 AM scared me a little. I realized that this was going to be a very challenging goal. So at the beginning of June, I decided to begin. I gave myself two months to test it out and see if there were any benefits for me.

As I looked at my goals list, I also saw I had “to become fluent in Korean”. So I saw an opportunity to achieve both goals. Then I had a reason to wake up early, I could use the hour between 5 AM and 6 AM to study Korean.

Well, the first week was hell. I felt tired in the afternoons and just wanted to curl up on the sofa and sleep. But I persisted. I knew it would not take long for my body to readjust to the new time frame.

By the end of the first week though, it was much easier. By the end of the second week, I was beginning to look forward to that quiet hour of study. And now, I don’t even think about it and it has become my favourite part of the day.

Not only do I now wake up at 5 AM, I am also doing quite well with my Korean studying too.

Advertising

On my list of goals, I had “start meditating” too. I realized I could add that to my morning routine. So now, I study Korean from 5 AM to 5:45 AM and I then do fifteen minutes of meditation. I have linked three goals I set for the year together and after five months practising this, these goals have become deeply ingrained habits.

3. Set Weekly Objectives

In my experience, the hardest part about achieving goals is staying focused on them. After we have planned out what we want to achieve, become motivated and determined, we then come face to face with the daily crises and problems that get thrown up at us. When that happens, it can be hard to stay focused on our goals.

To overcome this, spend some time each week and set one or two objectives that will take you closer towards achieving your goal.

For example, if your goal is to get fit and lose weight, each week set the number of times you will exercise and how much weight you want to lose. If your goal is to save $20,000 in the next year, set the objective to save $385 that week (or not spend $385 that week).

Breaking your goals down into bite-size objectives like this helps to keep you focused on the process. In the end, it’s the process that will take you closer to achieving your goals each week.

4. Write Your Goals Down

As David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says,

“Your brain is a terrible office.”

That means your brain is terrible at remembering things. Get your goals written down.

Writing down your goals gives you a reminder. But the key to writing down your goals is:

Advertising

Write them down in a place you will see them regularly.

It’s no good writing out your goals on a piece of paper only for that piece of paper to disappear under a mountain of other bits of paper after a few days. Instead, if you keep a journal or diary, write out your goals in your journal. If you use a digital notes app, write your goals in there and pin them to the top of your notes list.

I keep a written journal on my desk at all times. I record what I do each day, what my objectives for the day are and what I will be focused on for the day.

At the front of my journal, I write out my goals for the year. Each year, I go through three or four journals and so I write out my goals three or four times each year.

Every time I write out my five goals for the year, it reinforces my commitment to my goals and creates a great way to hold myself accountable to my goals.

5. Review Your Goals Weekly, Not Daily

When you read through your goals every day, you soon become numb to them. You begin to just go through the motion of reading through a list and that list soon stops having any meaningful impact.

Instead, take some time out on a Sunday for reflection. Reflect on what you have accomplished that week and how you are doing on your goals. Analyze where you are weak, where you gave in to temptation and where you failed. Then, create a plan to make sure the same thing does not happen the following week and set yourself one or two objectives to accomplish.

This way, your goals remain meaningful to you. You are setting yourself achievable mini-goals each week that will take you closer towards achieving your overall goals.

I make reviewing my goals and objectives a part of my weekly review. It does not take long—usually ten minutes—but that time is what keeps me focused on what I want to accomplish. It reinforces what I am trying to achieve and why.

Advertising

6. Have a Strong “Why”

A goal without a purpose is a weak goal. You need to know why you want to accomplish the goal.

Now your “why” is personal and often can be quite embarrassing if you explained it to another person. The important thing is the reason why you want to achieve your goal needs to be YOUR reason, and not because someone else says it’s a good idea.

If you are a smoker and you visit the doctor for a checkup, and your doctor says you should give up smoking for your long-term health, whilst true, that is not your “why”. You may enjoy smoking and not care about the long-term consequences, in which case that “why” is weak.

The same applies to losing weight. You might be perfectly happy with your weight as it is. If someone comes along and says you should lose weight, that is not your “why”.

Your “why” needs to be personal and needs to have some kind of emotional connection to what you want. “I want to lose weight so I look fantastic at the beach” is a good personal “why”. I’ve found the more embarrassing it is to tell someone your “why”, the stronger the “why” is.

If you haven’t found your “why” yet, this guide can help you.

The Bottom Line

Goals are important in life because they give you a sense of purpose; and a sense of purpose gives you a reason to wake up in the morning with energy and enthusiasm.

Purpose gets you through difficult days and contributes to your overall happiness and wellbeing.

Take these six golden rules to setting goals and you will soon find yourself achieve far more than you could ever have dreamed of. Good luck!

More Goal Getting Tips

Featured photo credit: Xan Griffin via unsplash.com

More by this author

Carl Pullein

Dedicated to helping people to achieve their maximum potential through better time management and productivity.

6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals How to Be Organized: The Ultimate Guide to Get (and Stay) Clutter Free How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity) How to Become a Morning Person: 8 Steps to Kickstart

Trending in Goal Getting

1 6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals 2 How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More 3 How to Start Taking Action on Your Dreams Now 4 How to Focus on Yourself and Accomplish Your Goals in Life 5 What Should Be Your End Goal In Life Above All Else?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

Setting and achieving goals can be an interesting adventure on your journey to success if you form the habit of tracking and reviewing your performance on the goals you have set. To achieve this, you can carry out a periodic or end-of-cycle goals performance review to know how well you are progressing.

In this article, you will find useful tips on how to carry out a goals performance review and important steps to take on the outcome of your reviews.

What Is a Goals Performance Review?

A goals performance review is an intentional and planned activity carried out to measure your productivity based on your set goals. The real essence of this review is to identify what is going right, what is going wrong, and to set future goals.[1]

Taking a periodic review of your goals is an indicator that you are serious about achieving them, and this can actually be a source of motivation to achieve your goals.

Benefits of a Goals Performance Review

There are countless benefits associated with measuring your performance and progress on your goals. You will find some of them below.

Keep Track of Your Goals

It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus if you do not create a plan to follow through with your goals. This won’t happen when you have a plan in place such as a performance review. The review will even be more significant when you have many goals to track, such as financial goals, career goals, family goals, health goals, etc.

Measure Your Performance

A scheduled review will help you to evaluate yourself and see how you are performing with your goals. Many times, the information you gather from this evaluation can help you sit tight or push you to do more to accomplish your goals.

Advertising

Identify Necessary Adjustments

A goals performance review can show you what is working and what is not in your efforts to achieve your goals. Therefore, you might find from your evaluation that you need to make certain adjustments in order to accomplish your goals.

Achieve All-Around Success

Without deliberate reviews, there is a tendency to perform well in one area while other areas suffer. A periodic goals performance review can help you live a balanced life as you keep track of all of your goals and make sure you are not falling short in any area.

How to Carry out a Goals Performance Review

Carrying out an effective goals performance review begins with setting your goals correctly. Be clear about your expectations and results. When you set S.M.A.R.T Goals, it will be much easier for you to track, measure, and evaluate them.

There are no hard and fast rules for carrying out a goals performance review. It all depends on the kind of goals and the time you attach to your goals. However, as a guide, here are some ways you can review your goals:

Based on End Results

Some goals are “end goals,” and the only way to review them is by whether they turn out as a hit or miss. For example, setting a goal to land a particular job or making the cut-off point in a professional exam can be a hit or miss.

However, when you have a couple of goals in different areas, your performance review can include looking at how many of your end goals you have been able to achieve versus the ones you couldn’t achieve. You will be able to judge whether you are generally making progress or not.

Based on Milestones and Timelines

For effective goal setting and tracking, it is usually advised that when setting your goals, you should break them down into smaller units so that you can measure your performance throughout and also get motivated when you accomplish those smaller goals. The milestones will help you to know if you are moving closer to accomplishing your bigger goals or not. Below are some examples of this kind of review.

Advertising

Building a Home

If you plan on building your own home within the next three years, for example, securing a landed property and getting your building plan approved by the government in the first year are significant milestones towards your building goal.

Losing Weight

If you plan to lose 80 pounds in one year, and your milestone is set at 20 pounds in three months, carrying out a quarterly review of your weight apart from checking the scales weekly can give you a picture of your weight loss journey.

Career Advancement

If you set a goal to become a CEO in 5 to 8 years from your current level as a mid-level manager, having a rising portfolio every two to three years is a notable milestones in accomplishing your goal.

Retirement

Another example is planning to retire at 50, meaning that you want to be financially secure at 50. If you are currently 35, your investment portfolio review can be set to every 3 years to know how close or far you are from your goal. You would have carried out this review at least four times before your planned retirement.

What a Goals Performance Review Reveals

Your review can show you different things about your goals and yourself, including:

  • That you have achieved your goals
  • That you failed to achieve your goals
  • That you are on course to achieving your goals
  • That at the rate you are going, you might not achieve your goals

Whatever it is that your review reveals, there is always something to be done to improve the situation.

What to Do When You Fall Short of Your Goals

When you fall short of your goals, there are several things you can do to get yourself back on track.

Advertising

Review Possible Reasons for Failure

If it is an end goal, then you might want to ask questions about why the goal failed. Is it that you didn’t put in the required work, planning, diligence, or follow-up? Or were there simply factors outside of your control?

Generate Ideas to Mitigate the Problems Now or in the Future

If you are able to trace what is responsible for the failure, then brainstorm possible ways to mitigate such problems so that they won’t be an hindrance to achieving your goal in the future.

Get Motivated

If you are still within your set time limit but are running out of time, what you need is motivation and a positive attitude. You don’t have to give up on your goals, irrespective of what the results currently look like.

Change Your Goal Post

Changing your goal post might mean extending the deadline if possible, reducing your goal projection to a smaller manageable scale, or doing something different.

What to Do When You Are Reaching Your Goals

It’s okay to celebrate the achievement of your goals, but it’s also not quite time to relax. You can do the following when you are hitting your goals.

Raise the Bar

It is better to set hard-to-reach goals than to set ones that you can reach without much sweat. So when you hit your goal, you should raise the bar.

For example, if you set a goal to read two books in a month, and you’ve been consistent with your goal for about 4 to 6 months, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to set another goal. Increase the books from 2 to 3, and you’ll have more books and knowledge added to your archive in a year.

Advertising

Improve the Quality of Your Outputs

When you are hitting your goals, you can also increase the quality of your outputs. For example, if you set performance goals like meeting deadlines, you won’t just stop at meeting the deadlines, but you will also ensure that the quality of your work deliverables is top-notch.

Dream Bigger and Set New Goals

Reaching your goals and hitting your targets too often might be an indication that you are not dreaming big enough or that you have outgrown the kinds of goals you are setting. It is time to start thinking differently and create a new set of goals that will stretch your abilities.

Bottom Line

There is always something to learn from an honest goals performance review. It is important to note that doing well with your goals does not mean that you have given your best, and falling short of your goals does not mean you are not doing enough.

Regardless of the outcomes of your review, you will always find an opportunity to do something better: to change your strategy or approach, to aim for something higher (or lower), or to set a brand new set of goals.

More Tips on Measuring Your Goals

Featured photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next