“SETTING GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE.”
– Tony Robbins
Have you ever found yourself avoiding setting goals so as to not disappoint yourself when/if they don’t come to fruition?
What most people don’t realise is that there are a few simple hacks to increase the likelihood of achieving your goals and it starts with how you set them.
1. Level of difficulty: Research shows that goals become less achievable if they’re not set at the right level of difficulty for the individual setting them. If a goal is too difficult and outside of your current skill level (you aim too high too soon) you are more likely to fail at it. The ‘far off’ dream of the goal that you may not be ready to go after just yet, can trigger inaction, procrastination and limiting beliefs. You’re better off setting something that you truly believe you can achieve with the time, money, resources and skills that you have available to you in this moment and take it one step at a time and gradually increase the level of difficulty. In the same way if a goal is too easy, humans will lose interest and avoid taking action because it lacks excitement, growth and a challenge.
2. Specificity: One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting goals, and I see this often in my coaching clients, is not giving enough specifically measurable details to your goals. Adding ‘write a book’ to your 2022 goals list is a good place to start but it is way too broad for your mind to be able to know where to start. The more specific, clear and measurable the goal is the more likely you are to achieve it because you’ll be able to A. break it down into specific steps and B.Know when you are getting close and even better, have achieved it.
3. Observe: When researching the ‘observer effect’ in the world of science, I came across a bunch of research that shows that when we are being observed we change our behaviour. I liken this to the purpose of business coaching. Working with clients on a regular basis, we first start with the big goal, break it down into smaller steps and I send them off with homework to complete after each session. Clients who have follow up sessions on a regular basis are always more likely to complete their tasks, make progress and bring their business dreams to life. Why? Because they know I’ll check in on them and ask them what they’ve done. We tend to work harder and prioritise our goals when we know we have someone to be accountable too.
4. Rewards: As humans we require rewards to sustain our motivation to keep going even when a task gets hard. Rewards along the way activate dopamine chemicals in our brain and trigger our body to keep going to get more of the ‘feel good hit’. Setting rewards along the way for big goals, or even little ones as you’re working through your to-do list, will trick your body to keep you going and you’ll soon find yourself in a flow like state where taking action on your goals starts to feel easy.
5. Upskill or Outsource: By spending hours and hours on a task that you can’t quite seem to get anywhere with, you become more likely to develop self doubt and eventually give up. Startup and small business goals in particular tend to require multiple moving parts, skills and knowledge. It’s unrealistic to try and do it all yourself. You are more likely to succeed in your business when you activate momentum and move in forward direction. If you find yourself coming up against roadblocks, knowledge gaps or skillsets that you can’t quite master, consider handing it over to someone who can or take time out to get better at it. Attempting to achieve a task that you simply don’t have the ability to do ‘yet’, will see your performance level decline.
Questions to consider:
- Do you have specific goals that you want to achieve this year?
- Are your goals yours and specific to you and your time, resources, ability or are you striving to live up to someone else’s standards/life/goals?
- Have you given them clear, measurable details?
- Can you set rewards, big or small for certain milestones along the way?
- Do you have an ‘observer’,coach, mentor or colleague who will keep you accountable?
- Are there parts of your life, business, personal skills that require you to up-skill in order to be more equipped to achieve your goals?
- Can you outsource tasks to ensure you’re maintaining a forward moving momentum towards your goals?
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Happy goal setting!
get in touch & let me know how you go.