The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals | Goals and Personal Growth
Did you know that 92% of people fail at the goals they set for themselves each year? That means only 8% of people can say they actually accomplished what they set out to do.
Goal setting can be a fun process because it allows you to dream up a scenario where you’re doing better than you’re doing now. However, setting goals is the easiest part of the process. The hard work comes during the process of working towards and achieving your goals. That’s where most people fail.
I have seen so many people talk endlessly about their goals but at the end of the day, it’s all talk. The question is, how do you convert all that talk into action and then convert that action into success?
Through research, trial, and error, here are the steps I have used to work towards my goals and grow from my experience.
1. Recognize and Evaluate Your Most Important Goal
One main reason so many people fail at their goals is that they focus on too many at a time. While it’s great to want to accomplish many things, we can realistically devote only so much time in a day to our goals.
That’s why it’s important to narrow down your goals to see exactly which one you want to focus on first. If you have one goal that you can dedicate all your time and energy too, your chances of success are higher than if you tried to split your time between multiple goals.
The best way to make sure you are dedicating your time and energy in the right place is to narrow down your goals to only one. You may need to make a list of all your goals so that you can decide on the one that is the most important to you. Once you have your singular goal, you can then establish mini goals, deadlines, and a routine in order to achieve success.
Just because you are narrowing your goals down to one doesn’t mean you are abandoning your other goals. Once you are on track to completing your goal, feel free to pick a new goal to dedicate your time too.
2. Understand and Accept Your Current Situation
Another reason people fail at their goals is that they often take a lot of time to achieve. If we could dedicate every minute we had to work toward our goal, we would be able to accomplish a whole lot more in half the time.
However, that isn’t the reality for most people. Most people have full-time jobs, families, school, and other activities that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. That leaves very little time to work toward our goals.
Instead of getting frustrated and quitting after only a few weeks, be honest with yourself about the amount of time you actually have to work toward your goal. Often, achieving a goal has to fit into the gaps of your busy day.
If your goal is to start a business but you only have one hour a day to work towards that, don’t view it as an obstacle. Instead, accept that you have this one precious hour and learn to utilize it the best way possible.
There is no use in dreaming or wishing you had more time than you do. That distracts from the time that you do have each day. Instead, be honest with yourself and accept the time you have. You’ll find that this amount of time is still better than no time at all.
3. Cut out all distractions. Every. Single. One.
I mean it. Nothing will keep you from achieving your success quite like the distractions of the TV or social media.
We live in a fast-paced society where we have so many things that can distract us. Remember, 92% of people fail at their goals and part of that is because they allow distractions in.
If you only have one hour a day to work toward your goal, do you really want to waste it on looking at pictures of other peoples lives or playing video games? No!
Your time is valuable and should be treated with care. It’s okay to be somewhat selfish with your time and ignore texts for an hour.
You may think that a small distraction from here or there won’t be bad but think about the big picture and where you want to be in the future. The last thing you need is to waste time working toward a goal that will improve your future.
So, in the words of Uncle Joey from Full House, just Cut It Out. Seriously, cut all the distractions out.
4. Assess Your (good and bad) Habits
What good is it to have a goal if your habits don’t align with your vision? Sometimes our lifestyle is counterproductive to our goals. Think about it.
If your goal is to pay off your student loan debt in the next 2 years, but you go out to eat every day, your spending habit is counterproductive to your goal.
That’s why it’s important to assess both your good and bad habits. You’ll obviously want to cut out your bad habits and emphasize the good ones. While it can be easy to judge someone else for the good and bad habits they have, it can be harder to judge ourselves.
That is why this step can be hard for some people, but it is extremely important to your success.
5. Commit to Your Journey
It may feel like setting a goal is commitment enough. It’s actually not.
You can’t go into your goal kind of hoping to achieve it or sort of wanting to succeed. You have to fully commit to all the hard work it will take in order to reach your goal.
Commitment can be tough. But, if we are going to commit to something, it might as well be to ourselves and our future.
Part of the reason 92% of people fail each year in their goals is because they talk about it without putting much action behind their words. This is where commitment comes in. If you are committed to something, that means it’s worth your time and effort.
If your goal isn’t worth your time and effort, perhaps you should select a different goal because you won’t get far without committing.
6. Schedule Your Time
If you don’t make time for setting goals, you’ll never accomplish them. Most goals need to be worked on every single day. That means creating a routine that you can stick to.
I tend to schedule my goal work hours at the same time every day and I always write it down. I know it may seem silly to be this detailed with your time especially if you’re in a routine, but it helps significantly and it leaves no room for distractions.
There are even studies that show that people who schedule their time are more successful.
Basically, if you schedule your time it helps with your commitment, cuts down on distractions, and you’ll achieve your goal quicker.
It can be exciting to start on your journey to achieving a new goal. Often, the first few weeks go really well because we have all this adrenaline and excitement built up.
It’s only natural that the adrenaline and excitement will eventually die down. When that happens, you’ll have to rely on the steps in this article to help keep you on track.
Also, if you haven’t already done so, download my FREE Goals and Growth Guidebook to help you with the process of setting goals and achieving personal growth along the way.
Best of luck on your journey!