Goal Setting 101: One of the reasons people don’t reach their goals is that they choose the wrong goals in the first place. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing much more with a whole lot less stress.
Delete all goals that are over a year old that you’ve made no real progress on in the last year.
These are “dead” goals. Cross them off the list and pick something that actually excites or interests you. Life is too short.
Only work on one major goal or project at a time.
If you have too many big goals going at once (i.e., more than one!) you’ll dilute your energy and may not accomplish any of them. A big goal may take six months to one year to complete or more. If your goal takes more than one year, break it down into one year chunks. The temptation is to have too many goals. Pick one and stick with it until it is done.
Give your best hour of the day to your major goal or project.
Do this BEFORE you open your e-mail or check your voicemail. This should be obvious as e-mail is a can of worms waiting to distract you and waste your precious time. Get into the office an hour early and work on this goal/project. Or, negotiate to come in an hour later and stay at home to do it if that works better for you. One colleague only had half-an-hour a day to devote to writing and she wrote a book in one year.
Set up a powerful structure for support.
Most people rely too much on inspiration to carry the day. The problem with inspiration is that it is short-lived. Use the inspiration to set up a structure for support that will ensure your goals are accomplished. For example, working with a trainer or workout partner is a structure for support for fitness; hiring a life coach is a powerful structure for support for reaching huge goals; joining a book club is a structure for support for making sure you read outside your comfort zone; hire a house cleaner to ensure your goal of a clean house is reached, etc.
Getting the right structure for support in place makes reaching your goals a piece of cake! No will power is required with an excellent structure for support. Spend some time getting a solid structure in place—one you know will do the trick and then all you have to do is show up.
Match your big goal to one of your top four values or passions in life.
If you don’t know what your values are, read The Secret Laws of Attraction by Talane Miedaner where I’ve spelled out exactly how to identify your core values and passions. Don’t waste your life pursuing goals that really aren’t that important to you when you could be achieving your goals effortlessly.
Make a list of everything you are putting up with or tolerating (usually 60-100 things) and eliminate them. You can’t afford to be slowed down by this stuff. (See tip 1, Coach Yourself to Success by Talane Miedaner). Or watch our video on how to eliminate your petty annoyances by clicking here.
Put in place strong boundaries to protect yourself and your time.
If you need peace to think, make sure your friends and family know not to call you after 8 p.m. Need a half-hour to meditate or write? Make sure that your partner and family knows this and doesn’t intrude on this special time. Most people need to expand their boundaries significantly. Learn some basic communication skills to establish your own boundaries effortlessly click here.
Get the right tools for the job.
I had no idea how slow my old computer was until I got a brand new one. I finally recorded the audio book for Coach Yourself to Success because I had the right tools to do it at home (my fabulous H2 recorder and a Kindle!) Are you procrastinating simply because you don’t have the tools to do the job easily?
Delegate the parts you don’t like, can’t do, or aren’t good at.
If some parts of a job are slowing you down, hire someone else to do it for you. I couldn’t bear to write the proposal for The Secret Laws of Attraction so I hired a writer to do it for me. I had already written most of the book, but for some strange reason I just couldn’t find the energy to write the proposal. Yes, it cost me a fair bit, but the advance more than covered the cost so it was worth it in the end. You don’t have to do everything yourself. And if the goal is worthwhile, then it should be worth getting help along the way. Lots of famous authors such as Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins have ghost writers. See—you don’t have to even write the book yourself! (I do write my own books, just in case you are wondering.)
Create the time and space for your big goal.
It may mean cutting out some lesser projects or activities. Don’t be afraid to reduce your social commitments, get off committees, and say “no” to new stuff that pops up. You now have a powerful reason and can say, “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m dedicating all my free time to xyz project this year.” Maybe you can enlist their support as well. I spent one summer off writing my third book, Coach Yourself to a New Career, which published the next spring. And I even got a bit of tan too. But not before enlisting the powerful support of my mother and sister who looked after my two girls every morning so I could write. Don’t be afraid to ask for lots of help.