Let’s talk about setting goals for success in your life or your business. Setting goals for yourself and actually sticking to them is easier said than done.
As entrepreneurs, it is up to us to make it in this world. If we want to make it, we need to show up for our dreams. The more you show up, the easier it will get. Setting your goals will increase your focus and motivation to get things done. In this post, I share how you can set goals for success and actually achieve them.
What is a Goal?
A goal is something you really want. But more than that, a goal is a need for something more. It's a deep, dark dissatisfaction with your current state and a passionate search for something better.
We all have goals – make more money, travel the world, retire at 40, buy a home. These goals say a lot about who you are now and who you want to be.
It’s not hard to set a goal. We all want something better. We all want more! The hard part is making those goals into reality. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps we can take to make sure we follow through with our good intentions!
Here's something you should consider…setting goals can actually reduce your current happiness! Don’t ever make the mistake of pursuing a long-term goal at the expense of joy in the moment. It’s not worth sacrificing your health and relationships to achieve any goal if you’re sick and friendless when you get there!
Achieving any goal should be as much about the journey as about the actual accomplishment of that goal.
Right now, let’s consider that goal of leaving your 9 to 5. Let's be honest. That’s why you’re here, right? You want to ditch your 9 to 5 and pursue your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. You’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort to reach the end goal of successful entrepreneurship.
Just thinking hard about it won't get you there. You need to consider the steps you’re going to take along the way - the journey if you will. As you’re planning out your entrepreneurial journey, give yourself room to make mistakes. Give yourself extra grace. And find the time to connect with the people who are most important to you! Make sure they understand your journey and ask for their support.
Set Long-Term Goals that are You Actually Want to Achieve
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. In fact, the bigger you dream, the better! However, if you dream big dreams and don’t work toward achieving them…well, let’s just say that’s not the way to live.
As you are setting your goals, ask yourself whether or not these goals are something you’ll be happy working toward for the next several years.
Don’t set the goal of being a millionaire in 5 years if you don’t want to put in the extra hours and extra effort right now. This goal will mean buckling down and working your backside off in the next few months and years. Yes, when you reach your goal, it will be awesome…but is it worth it to put forth that much effort right now?
Don’t set goals that are the end. If your goal is to buy a house, don’t make that the end of the line! What will happen once you own your home? Will you entertain, or will your home be a private oasis?
Goals provide great direction and motivation, but again, just having goals will not get you where you need to go…
Set Short-Term Goals that will Help You Reach Your Long-Term Goals
Whatever you want to achieve in 10 years, break it down into smaller goals. What can you do in 5 years that will make your 10-year goal possible? And then go even smaller: what about 3 years? 1 year? 1 month?
Create steps to follow along the way. These shorter term goals act like a road map, providing motivation and direction toward your long term goals!
Set yourself both long and short-term goals.
I have goals set for each day, then each month, yearly goals and five-year goals. Once you have the destination in mind, the journey becomes a lot clearer.
For example, my five-year goal is to inspire thousands of women to find financial security and happiness in their own business, without the confines of a 9 to 5 job. I want women to leave their dream life, that they never thought was possible for them. This means that, within these five years, I need to grow an audience, build trust with that audience, and create products that they’ll enjoy.
Five years to build a business isn’t just realistic and achievable, but motivating as well. I find setting realistic, yearly goals that I can look back on to be really uplifting. However, it’s also important to set short-term goals so that you can always be achieving them. This has been really helpful for me to stay motivated to moving forward.
Everyday, I give myself three massive action goals (I work passive action in around them) and I tick each one off as I achieve it.
Develop a Goal Process that Works for You
There are lots of great goal-achievement models out there. Maybe you’ve heard of a few of them! Some popular models include the SMART model, GTD (Get Things Done), and BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals).
While many of these are awesome and will provide lots of inspiration and help, there is no one-size fits all approach (I guess that's why there are so many options!). Let’s look at a few ways you can build your own process and figure out how to reach your own goals the best way for you!
Reach for the stars – it's okay if you don’t end up with the stars in hand. It’s the journey that counts! Set aside some time to do some thinking. Have a pen and paper handy and make sure you are in the frame of mind to do some soul searching. Put down all those impossible things you always wanted to have or do.
When you’re starting this process, don’t hold back or worry about whether it’s practical or possible. Just put those dreams down on paper so you can make a plan!
Write Them Down And Make It Visible
When you write down your goals, you’re constantly reaffirming where you’re headed and the changes you want to make. You don’t want to keep your goals floating around in your head. Have fun with it! Pull out markers, stickers, pictures, anything that will help get your goals out in front of you.
I personally like to create vision boards or colorful goal charts based on the S.M.A.R.T method. Doing creative activities like this will help make setting your goals and actually achieving them a breeze.
Focus on Details
Details are what will get you to your destination goals! The details will map out the actions you are going to take. What tools do you need to get there? Do you need to take some classes to learn the right skills?
After you've identified your big, long-term goals, you will need to figure out the small steps. Once you know your destination, look at the map and plan out where you will need to stop along the way.
One of my biggest goal-setting tips is to break down larger, long-term goals into manageable, short-term ones. This not only helps you achieve them, it prevents you from becoming overwhelmed and frustrated.
Let’s take my earlier example: I want to impact thousands of women in the course of five years.
This year (my second full year), my business goals aren’t money-orientated. I just want to build an audience that I can help, who trust me, and want to stick around.
I broke this yearly goal into monthly goals, such as implementing a group coaching program, mastering Pinterest, and creating an affordable, helpful product. I’m also launching a Podcast and membership program soon!
Every month, I reassess these goals and re-prioritize if I need to. Goals CAN change, which means your journey on the way to achieving them does as well. I then break these monthly goals down by week, and then day.
This may sound excessive but breaking down my goals into manageable steps really helps my anxiety, stops me from getting overwhelmed and also keeps me motivated.
Make Your Plans Actionable
The biggest key to successfully accomplishing your goals is having actionable steps to take. No matter how you lay out your plans, make sure you are creating a process that you can consistently follow.
Just wanting to be a millionaire isn't going to put money in your bank. Long hours, making connections, and taking the first steps toward starting your journey will get you moving in the right direction, though.
For my own action plan, I generally set myself a weekly schedule that consists of all the smaller tasks I need to accomplish to work towards my goal, projects with upcoming deadlines, errands I need to run, time to work out, and any upcoming social events.
Using my organization and prioritizing skills, I schedule everything in properly with generous breaks in between just in case something comes up and I need to allow myself more time. I also make sure to have time off as well as it’s important to recharge and take care of myself.
I then work really hard to stick to my schedule. It can be hard to really follow it religiously but it’s so important that you do if you want to slay your goals! Without following a schedule, it’s easy to be careless with your time and waste a lot of precious time doing useless things (*ahem*.. social media, I’m talking about you!) that don’t help you get any closer to your end goal.
Check in Often
This might be the most important step. Accountability is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Not only should you regularly check in on yourself, but you should build a support group that will check in on you too!
Set a regular time each week to review your goals. Are you making headway? What have you accomplished? And the most important question – Are you still enjoying the journey? If the answer to any of these is no, then it’s time to reevaluate!
Goals that change your life
Learn to set the right goals and pursue them with passion and you will change your life. Yes, learn to find joy and peace in your present circumstances, but don’t be satisfied to stay there.
So, set some great big life goals and break them down into little tiny achievable chunks.
Then, get out there and take the first step!