When was the last time you took the time to think about what you want to achieve for your next twelve months ahead and focused on the process of goal setting to make your best year yet? One of the best things you can do for yourself is plan both on a personal and business level, particularly if you want to achieve your goals.
Goals are powerful, but without a process to follow to become a goal achiever that can lead you to their completion, they are almost worthless. The key is to have a goal setting process to help you bring your dreams into reality. One that works.
What is a goal? The Oxford English Dictionary defines a goal as ‘the object of a person’s ambition or effort… a destination… an aim’.
This post is not about the practice of how to set goals. There are so many books, courses and articles teaching you how to set goals but very few of these, if any, go on to explain how to actually make these goals come into reality. You see goal setting is only part of the process required for goal achievement.
Many of you see goal setting as the whole process, rather than just being part of a process. Setting effective goals is essential, achieving them is life changing, but unless you have a process to use to help you then as I’m sure you’ve already found out many times before they don’t work. Larry Lewis – The Single Page Plan.
If you want to make your goals work you need to use the complete process. Goal achievement is not an accident. Without an ongoing planning process in position, you are planning to be overwhelmed, distracted, and pulled off course as life has probably already evidenced. Yet if you take the time to plan you’ll enjoy in far more success and your goals will come true.
Without an intentional process, we can’t succeed; it just won’t happen.
We all know that ‘goal setting’ is very important, but please remember that setting your goal is only one of the steps on the journey to actually achieving your goal… Richard Branson
Let’s be honest it is easy to set a goal. I want to be a best-selling author is an example. We’re told to make it SMART. So I will write it as I want to be a best-selling author by December 2017 through writing ‘A Single Page Plan Goal Setting Made Easy.’ There you go all the hard works done so I can now sit back and wait for it to happen. Alas it doesn’t work that way. Maybe I can find a lamp with a genie inside and then all I need to do is ask for this to be my wish that he can grant. I think I’ve got a better chance to win the lottery. But even this won’t guarantee this goal that I would still want no matter how much money I had in the bank. ’
The process of setting goals is very important but the key is the process you follow to achieve your goals. Let me introduce you to the key five step process to ensure you’re moving toward your goals each and every day.
1. Determine The Place Life Finds You Right Now
You need to first look at your year just gone, deliberately taking time to assess with accuracy how it has been for you. You need to look at both the good and bad. The negative things that have happened as well as the positive. List your achievements over the past year. Nothing is too small here, and it’s important to list anything that comes to mind. Then list your failures over the past year and those things you’ve not been happy about.
Having done that you now need to review all the important areas of your life to see how you’re doing in each of them. You’re going to score your life. The choice of areas can be a very personal thing, only you know what is of real importance to you. For me this includes my health, my relationships, my finances, my business… what would you include?
Reviewing these areas I’d dig deep, asking myself questions to discover how happy and satisfied I am in each of these areas. I would then give myself a score between one to ten, one being everything’s dreadful and 10 being as good as they could be.
Having done this you are now in a position to determine the most important changes you want or need to make to make your best year yet. Ask yourself what 4 changes will bring about the biggest improvement in your life? This is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself, leaving you in no doubt what can bring massive change to your life and put you in a position to address these things.
2. Where do you want life to go?
Having determined the place life finds you now it’s time to work out your destination to see clearly where you want to be. You have the ability to dream and visualise the things that do not yet exist. Use this to imagine the life you want to be living 5 years into the future. Then write down a list of everything that you’d like to achieve. It doesn’t matter how big or outrageous your goals may be.
“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ Michelangelo
So that your next year is totally empowered you now must set yourself a phenomenal powerful goal that will be tough yet achievable that can transform your life. This goal should be designed to go a long way to achieving the four changes you concluded in the previous step. “What one goal, if I were to accomplish it, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?” Your one big goal should be a central feature in your life, so you should have little trouble in finding some time every day to work towards it.
Then you need to set yourself short-term goals. Make sure your short-term goals, align with your big goal. Choose 4 that present you with a big challenge for the next year but by achieving them you’ll achieve your big goal.
You also need to work out the long term targets which will keep you focused on your ultimate vision. The primary importance of these goals is to provide direction and purpose. They will keep you focused on your desired future in 5 years’ time. The world’s most successful people have set huge goals and reached them because they kept their steadfast vision on their end goals. When you correctly draw up the map linking you to your end destination, all it takes is perseverance before you eventually reach your goals.
3. Why do you want these things?
While of course it’s essential for you to know what you want to achieve, which is your goal, it’s equally important that you understand the powerful emotional reasons why you want to achieve it. Your why is at the heart of what this goal will actually mean to you. Every goal you will set for yourself is going to take a lot of sustained effort, and to ensure you carry on your reasons have to give you the strength to persist.
To truly empower yourself and ensure you throw your every effort into each goals attainment you must find as many reasons as you possibly can to why you want to achieve this goal. The more reasons you have for achieving your goals, the more motivated you will be to get started and to keep going, and never stop until you bring them to a successful completion.
What are the reasons you absolutely will achieve this no matter what? Remember, reasons come first, answers come second! Why do you want to do this?
4. How are you going to make these things happen?
Now you know where you’re heading, you have your vision which has given you a big dream to excite you, and you’ve created a big goal to start making it come true, you have to work out what you have to do to begin bringing it all about.
You need to start to see the strategies that will bridge the gap between your now and where. This will include the specific action steps you need to be taking. Action steps are those specific, achievable, and measurable steps that you must commit to that you’ve determined will move you towards your goals.
Having clarified your short term goals that you want to achieve in order to create your powerful goal, you need to determine the actions you must take to achieve each of them. Every goal you desire requires specific steps you have to take to make them happen and you need to work out what these action steps are, ensuring you spend every day doing the critical activities that will be required to achieve your individual goals.
When it comes to achieving goals, the key is to break them down to small, manageable, and actionable tasks. Once equipped with the top priorities and necessary areas of focus needed to further your short and long-term goals, you’re ready to plan your day.
5. Are you making progress?
It’s important to take time out every week to check on your progress. Reviewing your advancement should be an ongoing process that happens from the start of your goal pursuit until the day you achieve it. It should provide constant feedback on the effectiveness of your actions and their implications toward the outcome. By reviewing constantly, you get immediate lessons which can then be incorporated to increase your chances of success. It gives you clarity on your performance.
You can’t any longer leave things to chance. Every week you need to check on your progress, determine what’s working and what isn’t and make the necessary changes. By getting on top of things ensures you are in control. Taking a look at the actions you’re taking and the results you’re creating makes certain that every single week you will move forward. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments, because your outcomes and actions are associated, and only you can ensure ultimate success.
Use this process if you want to change
I have spent the last decade refining my goal-setting process, creating a proven and reliable roadmap to get to my destination. I rely on this process every year to get me laser-focused on the kind of life I want to experience in the next twelve months. This plan enables me—and the people I’ve coached—to achieve consistent, significant progress toward the things that matter most.
My message to you today is that if you’re ready to use goal setting to make your best year yet, make sure it is only one part of the process if you’re going to be successful. Setting goals and mastering a tried and tested processes will help you access more of the amazing potential within yourself and achieve within a year what it might take others their entire lifetime to accomplish.
Enjoy the success your goals will help you create.
LARRY’S MESSAGE: There are an massive number of goal setting systems out there. I should know, because I have spent most of my adult life studying personal development. Over time, I have developed my own system that I use to set goals for everything I want to achieve in life, and is one of the most important tools I have. So, if you want to know how to set goals and motivate yourself to actually achieve them, take time to explore the single page plan.