Everyone has certain goals they want to reach. It might be weight loss or finances in your personal life, or specific business growth goals in your career. Regardless of what milestones you want to achieve, you won’t get there if you haven’t mastered your goal setting strategy.
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Setting goals is just one part of the equation. Knowing how to get there is the piece of the puzzle that so many people leave out, which leads them to flounder, procrastinate and veer off course until one day they realize they’re completely off base and have wasted a lot of time and effort.
There are four easy steps you can take to ensure your goals are met. It’s a process that allows you to map out where you want to be and take steps to get there with ease. We will go through a couple here, then review the next steps in the Keep on Setting Goals post.
Know Your End Result of Your Goal Setting Strategy
In order to know what steps you need to take, you have to know how you’d like your journey to end. This is your outcome or end result. You have to be able to concretely define what you want that result to be.
Living Forward is a great book to read that will help you find how you would like your journey to end. The authors give you step by step instructions on finishing life well.
Knowing the end is the bottom line of everything that you’re attempting to do. Many people aim for something without ever knowing what they want the end result to be. The problem with not knowing your end goal is that you won’t realize it once you’ve reached it – if you even reach it at all.
Let’s say that you take up running for the exercise. Your end result could be to lose weight or get in better shape. Now let’s say that you set a more specific goal to take up running because you want to run in a marathon that’s happening in the future.
Your end result changed from a generic goal of losing weight and getting in better shape to the end result of competing in the marathon, which has a specific length and is on a specific timetable.
Only you will be able to determine your end goal. It might be to finish college, grow your business by $50,000 in the coming year, lose 25 pounds, and so on.
Have a large, verifiable goal to reach.
Knowing the end result is imperative for whatever it is that you want in life. You need to know this to be able to work your process. This might mean that you figure out different end results for different areas of your life.
It’s okay to have one for the personal side of your life for building relationships and things like that while having another one for your professional goals. Don’t just say, “I want to be happier.”
What would make you happier, specifically? Visualize that end goal that you want. For now, don’t worry about timing. You’ll be working on that as you develop your specific goal setting strategy.
Craft Mini Goals for Your Goal Setting Strategy
Goals are something that can be used to improve your life. By having goals, you can check to see if you’re on track for how you want your life to turn out. Goals are helpful tools that can keep you headed in the right direction when you need to make a decision that involves changing some aspect of your life.
Encouragement is a by-product of having goals. Whenever you have a setback, goals can encourage you to keep going. By seeing how far you’ve already come, you realize that you’ve already made some strides forward.
Most success-minded people will focus on short-term goals over long-term goals because these are easier to make come true. Living in a results-oriented world causes people to lean toward short-term goals more often.
Dreamers who do very little action taking often focus on long-term goals, forgetting that they need a specific path to get them there. They stay paralyzed, feeling the long-term goal is too far out of reach.
Having short-term goals means that these are things that you do in the present or in the very near future – such as within a week or a month. An example of a short-term goal might be setting up an email autoresponder system within the next 14 days so that you’re ready to build a list.
A long-term goal is usually something that you can’t reach as fast as a short term goal. A long-term goal is one that you plan to reach within a few months or a year or longer after making it.
Long-term goals will be realized over time as each of your shorter milestones are achieved. For instance, your long-term goal might be to have a list of 100,000 subscribers.
So your short-term goals might be:
- Set up an email autoresponder system within 14 days
- Create a 10-day follow-up series for the autoresponders within 30 days
- Achieve a list of my first 1,000 subscribers using social media within 6 weeks
- Grow my list to 2,000 subscribers within 2 months using a giveaway event
…and so on.
Each time you’re able to look at your list and cross off an item that you achieved, it helps you build momentum toward reaching your ultimate goal. Whatever your goals are, you shouldn’t let them just sit there as nothing more than an internal dream that you have.
You need them around visually so that they can help remind you of what you desire out of life. You need to be able to see whatever it is that your goals are so that you’re reminded to take action.
You can create a vision board with pictures that will help keep you motivated. Or you can write them down in a notebook and list the reasons why you want that goal.
Goals that are visualized or written down are reached more often than goals that are not.
It spurs you forward into doing all of the small steps needed to send you up the ladder of success.
Reaching any goal will require you understanding what it is that you already possess that can help you meet that goal. It also takes you understanding what you lack in reaching that goal so that you can level up your skills to achieve it.
Creating mini goals helps you focus all of your energy on the bigger goal. Focusing on the bigger goal can make you feel overwhelmed and cause you to talk yourself out of trying.
Making mini goals takes the overall goal and reduces it in size so that it’s manageable and doable. You won’t allow yourself to have excuses as to why it can’t be achieved.
Each mini goal that you set needs to be specific, too. This means that you divide these up into tasks. You would need to use a calendar in order to set a date for reaching each task that falls under your mini goal heading.
You then break down the date by the time that you have to work on the goal. When you have goals that have a conclusion date, it helps you stay on track to reach the bigger picture.
Goals, even mini goals with a conclusion date of “whenever” rarely get finished. You need to know when you should start that mini goal and when it needs to be completed.
Give each task under the goal a deadline.
Everything that you do under a mini goal should be something that matters. The more specific it is, the better it will be keeping you on track.
Mini goals need to be created in such a way that you’ll be able to see progress. If your goal is to start your own business, then your mini goals might be
- to write a business plan.
- write down when you need that plan finished by
- have a mentor look over the plan and give you tips on how to further polish it up
Each step that you take should have a purpose that propels you toward the end result of your bigger goal. If you can remove the mini goal without it impacting the overall goal, then odds are high that the mini goal may not be needed.
You need to have an order of importance in place before setting mini goals. After listing the mini goal, write down what you gain from reaching that goal. Write down what you have to do to make it happen.
List the deadline that it needs to happen by. Make notes under the mini goal that tell you what you must learn to reach that goal. Is there a class you need to take? A book you have to read or a seminar you must attend?
All of those should be listed under the mini goal. Make sure that you understand if completing the mini goal can be done alone or if you’re going to need someone else’s help with it.
You should list all of the possible roadblocks that could happen during the course of trying to reach each mini goal. After you list the roadblocks, write down all of the ways around them.
What this does is help you be prepared for whenever a setback crops up. They will – and it’s always best to have your offensive strategy in place before you need it.