Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about and clarifying what you want to achieve in the future. The process of setting goals in business and life helps you get clear on what you really want and gives you a specific, measurable destination to reach. Goals gives you motivation, direction and a clear plan and path to follow each day to achieve your goals.
The process of setting goals starts with intentionally choosing a measurable result you want to achieve and establishing a deadline in the future you want to achieve the goal by. Setting goals provides inspiration and motivation, and allows you to develop a specific action plan to help you reach your goals.
There are three types of goals: process goals, performance goals and outcome goals.
We all have things we want to achieve that are important to us. That’s where goal setting comes in. Goals are the first step towards identifying and planning for the future you want to achieve. When setting goals, it’s important to put a measurement and a deadline to those goals to give you the best chance of achieving your goals.
The process of setting goals gives your life direction and purpose. Goals boost your motivation, intentionality and self-confidence. The simple choice of setting goals gives you a powerful system for constantly clarifying your future, and for providing daily motivation.
In this article I will share the importance of goal setting and outline 8 tips and strategies on how to set goals and how to achieve your goals.
Read also: My 2021 guide on how to set goals.
Goal setting definition
Goal setting is the act of setting clearly defined goals and then working towards goal achievement every day.
These clearly defined goals should be something you want to achieve in the future with a clear date to achieve the goals by.
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about and creating your ideal future.
To set a goal think about something specific you want to achieve in the future – this must be a number or an event.
Then set a deadline for achieving the goal in.
Why is goal setting important?
Setting goals gives you a set of clear, specific benchmarks and goals to work towards everyday. Goals that are specific and measurable focuses your attention and energy, and helps you to manage your time effectively.
You can use the SMART goals system to ensure your goals are specific, measurable and achievable.
When you commit to goals and learn the steps to achieve goals, it creates powerful actions that act as a guide to help you make progress on your goals each day. Read my guide on how to achieve your goals.
Want proven tips and strategies to achieve your goals in the most productive way? Sign up to my Weekly Newsletter to get the best tips and strategies to achieve your goals in less time.
How to set goals
When setting goals it’s important to decide on your goal and then define your goals with measurements and deadlines. When you have your goals, then break your goal down into clear action steps to help you achieve your goals faster and easier.
First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Ensure you set goals that are clear and well defined. Choose goals that you are emotionally and intellectually engaged in. Set measurable goals that are important to you and set goals that have a deadline attached.
When you set a goal, ensure you are excited and motivated on the outcome of the goal. Motivation is key to achieving goals. When you set your goals, get clear on what achieving the goal looks like and feels like. Understand the difference achieving the goal will make in your life. Then break your goal down into an action plan to help you realise your goal.
Ensure that when you think about the steps to goal setting, your goals must be specific, a number or an event, and your goal must have a deadline attached to it.
Discover why writing down your goals is the key to goal achievement.
Want more tip on how to set goals and achieve your goals quicker? Sign up here for the Time For What Matters newsletter.
Goal setting quotes
I have selected a few goal setting quotes that have been very useful in helping me set goals.
“If greatness is your goal, it can only be achieved today.” – Dan Sullivan
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale
“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” – Michael Korda
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar
“You can do anything if you set goals. You just have to push yourself.” – RJ Mitte
“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” – Dan Sullivan
Goal setting: how to set and achieve your goals
Use this 8 step goal setting process to set your goals and achieve them.
1. Decide on your goals
Goal setting starts with seeing something in the future that doesn’t currently exist. Your goals are a future you that is your ideal, across your business and life.
To get a true perspective of what this future looks like, visualise your goals in as much detail as possible.
Get a sense of what achieving your goals looks like and what achieving your goal feels like.
Then be clear on the action steps needed to make your goal a reality.
Once you create a vivid picture of what goal achievement looks like, this is where your mindset kicks in.
The more clarity you have around the details of your goals, the more your mind will take ownership of the result.
Steps to goal setting success
Your goals helps you gain clarity on your direction of travel. Goals help you build a picture and articulate your biggest desires.
Goals are an anchor and guide that you can continually refer back to, clarifying your focus and ensuring you are heading in the right direction.
With your goals be clear on exactly what you want to achieve. Be clear on when you want to achieve your goals.
Ensure your goals have clear measurements in place because your goal setting process becomes the framework for creating the kind of bigger future you want to achieve.
Ensure they are your goals, not created or defined by anyone else. When followed day after day, your goals become the foundation of your personal growth and freedom.
2. Define your goals
If you want to achieve your goals it’s essential to define your goals with measurements and deadlines. If you don’t clearly define your goals you won’t have a destination to reach or direction to reach that destination.
When you set your goals choose a deadline for your goals. This could be a short-term goal or long-term goal. Your long-term goal could be 12 months into the future, 3 years into the future, 5 years into the future or even 25 years into the future.
By having a clear deadline for your goal, you can work backwards setting defined short-term goals that are timely and measurable.
Read more about setting short-term goals.
3. Write down your goals
Writing down your goals is crucial is you want to achieve your goals. People who actually write down their goals are more likely to have success achieving their goals.
There is a personal commitment and emotional investment at play when we physically write down our goals.
When you write down your goals, the goal is embedded in your mind and subconsciously your brain loos for every opportunity to work on achieving your goal.
The written goal also gives you a place to refer back to if you are having a challenging time.
This can help you reset, get more focused and motivate you to push on towards achieving your goal.
Read more about the benefits of writing down your goals.
4. Set measurements for your goals
With goal setting, it’s essential that you set measurable goals with deadlines to help you track progress and measure success.
With goals, your mind needs a realistic deadline, and measurement, to take the goal seriously.
Having measurable goals also makes you more accountable to actually achieving the goal you’ve set.
Otherwise you may feel “you’ll get to it when you can” and you won’t be properly emotionally invested in the outcome or result of your goal.
The measurements you set for each goal should be challenging, exciting but also feel achievable.
Think about the impact of achieving each goal will have on your business and personal life.
Discover the benefits of setting measurable goals.
5. Hold yourself accountable for your goals
Accountability is key when you set your goals and is crucial for achieving your goals. This can start by telling someone you know about your goals to help you stay accountable to stick with them, and make them happen.
You can set your goals and work towards goal achievement with an accountability partner, friend, family member or colleague. To clarify your goals, and to stay on track towards goal achievement, you can also work with a mentor or business coach, like me.
Staying accountable to achieve your goals provides real incentive and motivation to push forward, do what you say you’ll do and take action on achieving your goals.
There are always obstacles on the way to goal achievement. Having someone hold you accountable will help you overcome obstacles, eliminate distractions and ensure you stay committed.
Accountability will motivate you to dream bigger, up your game and achieve goals you thought were impossible.
Being held accountable pushes you further and gives you the added incentive of making your goals happen.
It also pushes your productivity and creativity.
You come up with new ideas and new ways of thinking because you’re supported by someone you trust and respect.
Read more about the benefits of working with an accountability coach.
6. Break your goal down
This is crucially important for big goals. Defining your goal and putting measurements and deadlines to your goal is just the start. If you want to achieve your goal, you have to break your goals down into actionable steps with clear measurements.
Achieving your goals should be enjoyable, stimulating and drive you forward every day. But, if you have no clear action plan, it will be difficult to make progress.
When you set your goal, ensure it has a future deadline. Then come back to the present day and identify the obstacles that will stop you reaching your goal. Then, identify strategies you can use to overcome each of the obstacles. Finally, identify each action step you need to take.
This insight will allow you to lay out a clear action plan to take every day.
7. Use goals to take control of your future
We can use goal setting to take control of our future. We are personally responsible for our future and must take ownership of what we can become and have belief in the ideal future we want to create.
When you are not in control of where you spend your time and what you want to focus on others will happily distract you.
When you set goals, you clarify where you are right now and where you want to be in the future. By creating a vision of your future with desired results, you become more in control of where you are right now. In this present moment.
By sitting in the present with a clear view of the goals you want to achieve, you can take complete control of every aspect of your life.
Through goal achievement, you’ll have more freedom in every area of your business and life. Read more about how to leverage time.
8. Use goal setting in all areas of your life
Goal setting and learning how to achieve goals is not just about your business.
It can be the fuel for achievement in every aspect of your life, be that health, finances, relationships, fitness or personal growth.
The key to achieving your goals is to set measurements and deadlines for your goals. When you set your goals, get clear on your motivation and desire for achieving the goals.
You can ask yourself:
“Why is the goal important to me?
“What will it feel like when I achieve my goal?
“How will achieving my goal make a difference in my life?
When you have this clarity on the outcome of your goal, it becomes much easier to set goals that align with your bigger vision.
Setting goals gives you a long-term vision and short-term focus. Goals helps you clarify exactly what you want to achieve in life and give you a specific plan and path for achieving them. In this article I’ve shared an 8 step process for achieving your goals.
Remember, that goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve in the future, and has specific measurements and deadlines against the goals.
Setting goals that are important to you, and that are you are motivated to achieve, will give you the best chance of achieving your goals.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your best goal setting tip?
Let me know in the comments.
About Mark Pettit
Mark Pettit is a business coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. He is the Founder of business coaching company Lucemi Consulting. Mark provides business coaching programs and time management coaching programs to entrepreneurs and business owners in Essex, Suffolk and across the UK.
He also provides online time management coaching programs to business owners in the US, Canada and Australia.
Get more goal setting tips, tools and strategies on the blog.
Sign up to the ‘Time For What Matters’ newsletter to get the best tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals quicker.
Download my Free 1-Page Daily Planner to help you prioritise your most important tasks each day so you can make confident progress towards your goals.
Want to achieve bigger goals in 2021?
As a business coach and time management coach I specialise in helping entrepreneurs and business owners achieve bigger and better goals in less time. If you’re ready to set bigger and better goals in your business and life, that fulfil your future vision, schedule a 30-minute clarity call with me today.
You’ll come away with greater clarity on your goals and an action plan to achieve your goals, Use the button below to schedule your call.