Many of us struggle to accomplish our objectives because we don’t follow common sense and good processes as we pursue our dreams and goals. Typical obstacles are “unrealistic and impossible to achieve” goals, vague objectives, unwritten goals, a lack of planning and a shortage of measurement of progress. These can easily be overcome!
- Write your goals down. This simple act alone will increase your chances of achieving the goals by high double digits.
- Break goals down into timeframes to allow you to categorize them as short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Being able to focus on the timeframe in an appropriate way reduces the possibility that you will become discouraged and prone to give up prematurely on a goal that might take months to accomplish.
- The temptation to over-complicate your goals must be avoided at all costs. Simple goals, with clear outcomes, are easier to describe and measure. This process lends itself to more positive outcomes. Complex and complicated doesn’t help get the goals accomplished, trust me.
- Measure your progress along the way to your accomplishment and celebrate hitting each milestone. This makes it much easier to stay motivated long enough to achieve the final victory! Remember to keep a few goals that are meant just to make life fun! There’s nothing wrong in that.
- When you’re setting goals, it’s okay to set some that are easy to reach and some that will be a serious challenge to achieve. Aiming for the stars on one or two goals is fine, if you really believe they are achievable. Shooting for perfection on every goal is a recipe for frustration and disenchantment. Don’t do it, particularly when the goals are in a team setting. Label stretch goals as a serious stretch and be open to the idea that getting close is a victory in itself. Ridiculous goals that are unachievable are a waste of time and your energy. Keep them sensible.
Remember, all goals should always be SMART goals (an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Based). If your goals meet this standard, they are much more likely to be accomplished. For instance; “I want to lose weight” is not SMART. “I want to work out three times each week, eat a low-fat low-sugar diet and lose 20 pounds by December 31” is much more likely to meet the SMART test. Only you know what is truly realistic and achievable.