Goal Setting

Ten tips for goal setting success

On its own, a goal can feel overwhelming, unrealistic and unachievable which makes it easy to push to the back of your mind and put off for another day.

With these tips, you’ll have greater optimism about what you can achieve, an actionable plan that fits into your life and tactics to help you bounce back quicker when your motivation dips.

Here are my ten tips for goal-setting success.

Write it down

To communicate anything you first need to be clear about what it is you want to say. Clarity is important when it comes to goal setting so be clear and specific about what you want to achieve.  

Break down the goal…

The gap between where you are and where you want to be probably feels overwhelming so break down the overall ambition into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. This will help it feel more achievable and increase your chances of taking action.

…But stack up the successes

Every success achieved along the way will help you develop confidence in your abilities and boost your motivation to continue. Don’t forget to plan time to actively celebrate these along the way too.

Focus on one action at a time

It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about everything you need to get done but tackling just one action each day will compound over time to make significant progress. Work out what the next best step is from where you are right now and do that one thing each day.

Be clear how much time you have to spend

Without a deadline, any activity will expand to take up all the time you have available. Just as you should schedule time to work on your goals each week, be realistic with how long you think each task should take and how long you can spend on it each day.

Hold yourself accountable

Don’t just tell your notebook; tell a friend, tell your parents, tell the world. It can be daunting to share your personal ambitions with others but having people rooting for you is incredibly motivating. You never know, they might help you by sharing a resource, suggesting an idea or connecting you with relevant opportunities too.

Schedule time to review your plan regularly

Don’t wait for six months to go by before you check in on your progress. If there were goals you didn’t reach, what stood in your way? For goals you did accomplish, what helped you succeed and how did it feel? Reflect on what is and isn’t working and, if necessary, adjust your expectations.

Be ready to adjust your plan if needed

Goals need to work within your life and sometimes the unexpected happens. Try not to see it as a setback and give up on the plan completely. There are many different ways to reach the same destination and redirection can end up being beneficial in the long run.

Remember you won’t always feel motivated

Motivation will come and go so plan in advance what you’ll do when your enthusiasm dips. You might choose to go for a walk, call a friend or go for coffee with a good book. Try a few things until you find what works best for you.

Create ‘rules’ for yourself

You might be seriously low on motivation one day or completely swamped with unexpected tasks that need to take priority. In this example, you might allow yourself to skip one day but make sure never to skip more than two days in a row.

Let me know if you try any of these tips! What else would you add to the list?

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