Most of us deal with goals daily. We make New Year resolutions, write to-do lists and make plans for days or months to come. Goals are fundamental metrics of success in both personal and professional growth. And let’s face it: most of us struggle with achieving our goals or feel like we don’t know where to start.
Research shows that people who set specific and challenging goals are 90% more likely to achieve a higher performance compared to those who didn’t follow these principles. Setting the right goals, and even more importantly — setting them in the right way is the first step to success. Read on for our top tips on making your vision become reality!
#1 first things first
Focus on one goal at a time. Select an objective that you want to prioritise and make it the center of your attention. It’s great (and encouraged!) to have multiple goals in different spheres of your life, just make sure you take your time to really look into each of them properly.
#2 dig deeper into the WHY
Why do you really want to achieve this goal? No, like really. Why do you want to switch jobs? Is it for financial reasons, are you looking for a creative challenge, is it because of external pressure? Once you’re able to discover your true reasons, it gives you the motivation needed to start taking the necessary steps towards your vision. Have your dream scenario in mind and keep going.
#3 be SMART about it
The SMART framework is one of the most well-known tools for efficient goal setting. SMART that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When writing down your goals, make sure they correspond to each of the criteria. When a goal is simply not realistic or you don’t know exactly what you want to achieve, it’s going to be hard to make it happen.
Make sure your objectives are attainable and specific. When setting goals, add the metrics that will help you track the progress: time frame, desired result and even numeric outcome that you’ll pursue. Goals turn into plans and achievements once you break them down into actionable items.
#4 create an accountability system
Feedback and commitment are key for goal attainment, with research showing there’s a 65 % better chance to stick to a goal if you commit to someone else. Thus, sharing your goals with an accountability buddy and having someone that helps you keep track of your action steps greatly increases your chances of achieving success. We recommend finding someone that you can regularly catch up and share progress with.
#5 visualise the goal
Tools like dream boards, screen savers or even simply picturing the desired outcome in your head through meditation can help keep your motivation high. According to research, visualisation works because the neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action.
When you start visualising, the possibility of you making it seems more real. Since you actually see yourself and feel what it would be like to have achieved the goal, the belief in it just becomes stronger, and your self-confidence is bound to get a boost.
(some more) tips for success
Break the goals down into smaller steps. Dream big, but make sure you get there through realistic actions. Identify what needs to be done and make a plan.
Assign time to work on your goals. Make it a part of your schedule, mark daily tasks and to-do’s.
Take a look at your daily habits and routine. Is there anything missing there, are any of your behaviours keeping you back or slowing down the process? It’s easy to get carried away, so make an effort to look into your routine.
Track progress and review goals. Analysing and reflecting is key to achieving your goals. Make it a habit to track your performance in a way that works for you and of course…
…Celebrate! Reward yourself for every little step you take towards your goals. It’s not only about the final result, but also about the effort you put in daily. You go girl, we’re proud of you.
Ready to set those goals and transform your vision into reality? Download our goal setting checklist and get started today!
What's more, we have loads of professional tools and expert resources to support your professional goals. Take a step towards creating your dream career and upleveling your competencies.
Locke, E. A., Shaw, K. N., Saari, L. M., & Latham, G. P. (1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969–1980. Psychological Bulletin, 90(1), 125–152.