How to achieve goals is a question I get asked a lot by the small business owners and entrepreneurs I work with as their business coach.
Many of us want to improve our goal setting ability and to have the guidance and support to finally achieve the goals that are crucially important to us.
Goal setting and goal achievement is a crucial skill for small business owners.
Written down goals that harness your emotional energy, and that you commit to achieving, are one of the most powerful actions you can take to achieve the success you want.
But many people fall at the first hurdle. They’re unsure how to achieve goals.
They want to get better at goal setting, talk about reaching goals but fail to follow through and take the action of goal setting.
Others set goals, but they’re not emotionally connected to the end result.
Their goals are too broad and not specific enough such as “I want to lose weight’ or “I want to increase revenue”.
For goal setting to really work the goals must be specific, measurable and have a deadline.
Your personal and business goals must be emotionally compelling enough to really take action on.
Otherwise they will fall by the wayside.
Some people have goals in their mind but they’re not written down or committed to.
Goal setting must be an experience that you are emotionally invested in.
They must have clear, measurable outcomes and deadlines to achieve the goal.
If you want to know how to achieve goals, reach your goals, and get clearer and more focused on what really matters to you, these 8 goal setting tips will make a real difference in your business and life:
1. Achieve goals by visualising your ideal future
Goal setting starts with seeing something in the future that doesn’t currently exist.
It is a future you that is your ideal, across your business and life.
To get a true perspective of what this future looks like visualise it in as much detail as possible.
Get a sense of what it looks like, what it feels like.
Then be clear with yourself on what needs to happen to make that vision a reality.
Once you create a picture of this ideal future, this is where your mindset kicks in.
The more clarity you have around the specific details of what you want to achieve, the more your mind will take ownership of the result.
Setting goals helps you gain clarity on your direction of travel. They help you build a picture and articulate your biggest desires.
They are an anchor and guide that you can continually refer back to, ensuring you are heading in the right direction.
When you think about how to achieve goals, the best action is to write them down and get clear on when you want to achieve them by.
Ensure you have clear measurements in place.
Your goal setting process becomes the framework for creating the kind of bigger future you are looking to achieve.
Ensure they are your goals.
They are not created or defined by anyone else.
When followed day after day, they can become the foundation of your personal growth and freedom.
2. Be clear on what you want to achieve
If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get there?
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs will build a business and personal vision 3 years into the future, 5 years into the future.
Some will look 25 years into the future.
They lay out exactly what they want to achieve and then work backwards setting specific goals that are timely and measurable.
In my experience setting quarterly or 90 Day goals is the key to success, and constantly reviewing is a cornerstone of success.
They are a clear ‘stepping stone’ towards the bigger vision but feel very achievable.
Many of the clients I work with will have 5 specific SMART goals they want to achieve in 90 Days.
This will be a mixture of financial goals, strategic goals, relationships goals, personal goals, goals to free up more time etc. but they focus the mind.
Once achieved, goal setting starts again for the following 90 days.
3. How to achieve goals: write them down
Do you still use a pen and paper to make notes or write down your latest idea?
People who actually write down their goals are more likely to have success getting to where they want to go.
There is a personal commitment at play when we physically write down our goals.
A goal is embedded in your mind and subconsciously your brain is looking for every opportunity to work on achieving the goal.
The written goal also gives you a place to refer back to if you are having a challenging time. You can then break things down into shorter SMART goals.
This can help you reset, get more focused and motivate you to push on towards achieving the goal.
4. Set clear deadlines and measurements
When people ask me how to achieve goals I talk to them about two crucial elements:
- The goal must be measurable
- The goal must have a deadline
To achieve your goals it’s essential that you set realistic deadlines and metrics to measure success.
Your mind needs a realistic deadline to take the goal seriously.
It 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.
The deadline 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.
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5. Hold yourself accountable
This is a big one.
If you work by yourself or feel the weight of total responsibility on your shoulders, then holding just yourself accountable can be difficult.
From my experience as a Business Coach working with successful small business owners, I understand that accountability really is the key to success.
Working on how to achieve goals with a business coach, mentor or sharing your goals with peers, your family or team members provides real incentive and motivation to push forward, do what you say you’ll do and really take on.
You really feel accountable and committed.
It also motivates you to up your game still further and reach for things you didn’t think were possible.
Being held accountable pushes you further and gives you the added incentive of making things happen.
It also pushes your creativity.
You will come up with new ideas, new thinking because you’re surrounding yourself with someone or people you trust and respect.
6. Take big goals and break them down
We all know that goal setting is just the start. It is not the end result.
The process of working to achieve a goal should be enjoyable, stimulating and drive you forward every day.
On the journey to goal achievement you should learn something new about yourself, should push yourself further.
You will learn really important lessons.
The more powerful your goals and the more emotionally invested you are in achieving them, the greater the end result.
Your progress gives you the ability to transform every aspect of your business and life based around your desired outcome.
If one of your goals is to leverage your time to focus on bigger activities, then you can tangibly measure progress towards the goal every day.
You will see the transformation in every area of your life when you know how to achieve goals.
7. Use goal setting to take control of your future
We are personally responsible for our future and must take ownership of what we can become and have belief in creating the ideal future.
If you are not in control of where you spend your time and what you want to focus on others will happily distract you.
Through goal setting you become clearer on what has led you to this moment.
You understand your past and have learnt lessons, both positive and negative.
There is a vision of your future with desired results so 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 your desired future you can take complete control of every aspect of your life.
As a result, you’ll have more freedom in every area of your business and life to think about how to achieve goals.
8. Use goal setting for all areas of your life
Goal setting is not just about your business.
They can be the fuel for achievement in every aspect of your life, be that health, finances, relationships, fitness or personal growth.
As we have discussed the key to thinking about how to achieve goals is to understand your motivation and desire for achieving them.
Why are they important?
What will it feel like when I achieve them?
How will it really make a difference?
When you understand this it will play a significant role in aligning you with your goal and getting you to change some habits that are required to fully realise the goals.
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