In a recent blog I discussed the idea of using your time wisely by asking the question “What should I do right now?” and then creating an action list of no more than 6 tasks to get completed.
But how do you know which tasks to choose in your ‘should do’ list.
To determine this, we first need to step back and review what you are trying to achieve.
So what are your current goals?
You have them written down somewhere, right?
To know that the tasks on your list are the ‘right’ ones that you should focus on, they have to take you closer to the achievement of one or more of your goals.
There has been so much written on the subject of goal setting – so why is it that people still aren’t setting clearly defined goals, and achieving them on a consistent and regular basis?
Firstly, I believe that most people haven’t been taught how to set effective personal goals. Goals, yes, but effective goals, no.
Secondly, goal setting is a bit like eating an apple… Remember the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? We all know that an apple would constitute part of our 5-a-day intake of fresh fruit and vegetables…. And it’s easy to eat an apple, right?
So why don’t people eat one every day (particularly since there is overwhelming evidence to suggest the health benefits are far greater than just ‘keeping the doctor away’)?
The answer is curiously simple…. Yes it is easy to eat an apple, but it is easier, NOT to eat one!
And this hold true for setting goals – It is easier for people to NOT set them.
For many, goal setting is part of corporate life – but this also has its issues. In my experience, when people set goals at work, the goals are not personally motivating, so whilst they may be achieved, employees can see them as ‘chores’ rather than something exciting to aim for.
How to set personally motivating goals
Here is my own goal setting process
Sit down with a blank piece of paper – close your eyes and imagine how you want your life to turn out 5 years from today. Imagine things in as much detail as you can – sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Spend at least 20 minutes doing this.
Make a detailed note of what you imagined on the paper – use colour and pictures if appropriate. If you use words, write AS IF in the future, and it has already happened: ‘I am’ is more powerful than ‘I will be’.
Based on where you want to be in 5 years; write down where you need to be in 3 years so that you are on track to achieving your 5 year goals. – Again, write in detail, in the present tense.
Repeat this for where you need to be in 1 year, to be on track to reach your 3 year goals
Now break down your 1 year goals into 3-monthly chunks.
Looking at the first chunk, write down all the things you need to do to reach your target. Then put these into a sensible order – Pin this list up where you will see it regularly
At the end of each day, write down the top 6 things you should do tomorrow to keep you on track towards your 3 month target. It is important to do this the day before.
As you drift off to sleep, go back and imagine the detailed version of your 5 year goal. As your sleep, your subconscious will be working for you to help make things easier in your achievement.
It is important in this process that you focus on YOU and what YOU want to achieve. Then reward yourself for your progress – even if you didn’t quite hit your targets.
It isn’t sufficient to do this process once and then forget about it! You need to regularly review and recommit your goals to paper.
Ideally you should take at least 15 minutes every day to review your goals and write them out, making sure they are always helping you progress your 5 year plan.
If you follow this process, you will keep yourself focused and motivated on the journey.
Oh, and if you want to DOUBLE the chance of your success in achieving your goals, you need to keep a track of your progress…. More about that next time!
If you could benefit from talking through goal setting processes, then give me a call!
Why should you contact me…?
Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.
I will expect and encourage you to set goals so you achieve more than you think possible. You will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…
So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me: 01962 670200.
If you think you’re not – then it makes no difference what you do…