You may be surprised to learn that research has that found only 3% of the population set goals and aspirations for themselves. New Years eve is probably the most popular time of year for new resolutions; however most of them never become fulfilled with the majority being dropped after only two weeks.
Not achieving your goals? Why goals fail
The reason for these failures is that people often don't set proper or realistic goals. Goals that fail are usually not specific or do not have total committment to their success. They may also require you to take on too much, leaving you feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.
Not having goals to achieve can lead to:
- Lack of motivation
- A sense of failure
- No incentive to achieve
- Bumbling along without direction in life
Setting goals on the other hand gives us:
- Direction and motivation
- A success mind-set
- Something to aim for
- Self confidence
- A thirst for life
Having a goal to achieve can be the difference between staying in your comfort zone or pushing your boundaries. Creating realistic goals is crucial to their achievement. So how do you create effective goals?
1. How to achieve goals: Decide
- Decide what you want to achieve.
- Write it down so you can explore it in detail and be specific about all the details.
- Write the goal in the present tense as if it has been achieved.
- For example; I am a healthy non-smoker and I enjoy life to the full with the extra money I have saved through making productive life choices.
- Or, I make £100,000 a year which enables me to holiday with my family every year somewhere really fantastic.
- Create a compelling future for yourself that is more inspiring than your current reality.
2. How to achieve goals: clarify
Ask yourself some questions to clarify your desired outcome and to establish what it will mean to you to achieve this goal.
- Why do you want to achieve this?
- What will it mean to you to achieve this goal?
- What differences will it make to you and others in your life?
- Is it realistic?
- What benefits will it bring?
- Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve it?
- Do you have support?
- Do you have someone to hold you accountable?
- Will you take it seriously?
- Do you need someone to bounce thoughts and ideas off?
- What obstacles are in the way of achieving this goal?
- How will you get round these?
- How will you stay motivated and on track?
Identifying the answers to the above will help you to understand the reality of where you are now, where you want to be and the committment you need to make to getting there. I see this step as the cement that puts the dream into action.
3. How to achieve goals: time frame
Decide on a time frame that you would like to achieve your goal by.
- Setting yourself a time frame helps to keep you on track, and motivated to complete it within the time allocated.
- Sometimes there are hinderances along the way. Just adjust the time scale accordingly: Add any extra steps that may need to be included and carry on as planned.
- Your goal may be taking you from one reality to another one so there is bound to be some unforeseen challenges along the way.
4. How to achieve goals: break it down
Break the goal down. If you have a three month goal to stop smoking, break it down into logical weekly or daily bite sized steps and identify what needs to be done first to get things moving.
- For example; go to the stop smoking clinic, remove anything from the house that relates to smoking, find a new hobby, get friends on board to support you...
- Carry on in this way to identify all the steps you need to take to make this goal possible.
5. How to achieve goals: review
Review your goal weekly, write down what you have achieved and what needs to be done next.
- Many times the goal will take on its own momentum with many things being achieved quite quickly as a knock on effect from one step being taken. At other times it may feel like things are stuck and not moving forward.
- Ask yourself what else you can try or whether you need to enlist help with this area?
6. How to achieve goals: celebrate
It is always a great idea to celebrate each success along the way. Mark your achievements in some way that has meaning to you.
Goal setting can be a lonely and challenging journey. It is not uncommon for 'things to get on top of us' and for thoughts to turn to giving it up. It is important at these times to find allies, a good friend, a qualified coach or someone you trust to help you work out a way forward.
I am more than happy to talk through any of these steps and assist you on your journey to creating a better life for yourself.