Setting goals is a vital component of success. When it comes to goal setting, though, we don’t really give it a lot of thought. We often think that we know everything there is to know about it. But research shows that although around 60% of people set goals, only about 8% end up achieving them.
Goals have an enormous potential, but to unlock their power we need to learn how to set goals that turn a desire into actual progress. Here are three techniques you can use during goal setting and planning sessions.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Setting SMART goals helps you identify exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Being specific and pinpointing the exact goal allows you to then start planning the journey to reach your destination. And since the goal is measurable, you know exactly where you are in your journey at all times instead of being lost somewhere in between the start and the end point. SMART goals make you sit down and consider whether the goal is achievable and realistic for you at this time. Do you already have the skills and knowledge to start working on your goals? Or do you need to build some habits and work on some skills before tackling it? And lastly, SMART goals require you to give the goal an expiration date so that you have a clear timeline to work with.
Increase search engine traffic by 20% in the next six months. We will achieve this by posting 500-600 word blog posts twice a week and building ten high-quality backlinks to those posts by the end of each month.
In the example above notice how the underlined part is the type of goal that people normally set for themselves. It’s all the added details, timing, and how to’s that make the goal SMART.
Find an Accountability Partner
Research shows that out of the 60 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions, 77 percent actually stick with their goals for at least a week. It’s not until around mid January that our efforts start to dwindle. That’s when we start to make excuses for why we’re not at the gym when we should be. Having someone we respect and trust as our accountability partner will go a long way in ensuring that we continue with our progress even when things start to get challenging. Set up check-in meetings with your accountability partner on a monthly basis to talk about your progress over the last month and plan your strategy for the upcoming month. The monthly check-ins will help you keep motivated and focused on your progress.
Run an Ad Campaign
Advertising works. That’s why the top 200 advertisers in the US spent a record $163 billion on advertising in 2018, according to Ad Age’s Annual Leading National Advertisers report. Corporations know how the brain works – that if they continually get in front of you, they can change your thoughts, which then means they can change your behavior in enticing you to buy their products or services. We can make use of this knowledge and run an advertising campaign for our goals!
People visualize and think about their future more than they realize but the future that they see is often filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty – not exactly the type of advertising you want running inside your brain. Athletes are coached to visualize themselves reaching their goals and overcoming barriers to their success. They not only see themselves winning in their minds, but try to involve their five senses in the visualization to make it as real as possible. They imagine the entire event from running their best race, receiving their medals, or hearing the voices of spectators cheering and feeling all the emotions that come with it.
Get into the habit of looking at your written goals every single day and visualizing that you have achieved them, using as many senses as possible to create a real scenario in your mind.