How to Create Goals you'll Actually Achieve
I'm one of those people who love the New Year for one reason. The chance to start over. The chance to have a completely blank planner (don't you just love the feeling of writing in a fresh planner?) I'm not sure why we convince ourselves that we can only set goals for a new year or that there is something magical about January first.
The truth is that we can set goals on any day, at any given hour. We don't need to wait until the stars are exactly in alignment. We can start right now. There is no reason to wait for the new year, a new week or even a new day. It doesn't matter when we set our goals, or when we start the journey. What matters most is that you just start.
So what is the secret to setting goals that you will actually achieve?
It's surprisingly pretty simple. Let me share with you how I set my goals and what techniques I've used to stay on track and accomplish my goals.
1. Set Goals by Months or Quarters
If you create crazy big goals at the beginning of the New Year your likelihood of actually achieving those goals is pretty minimal.
Instead of setting goals for the year I try to set smaller goals for each quarter (or every three months). For example, I knew going into 2018 that my goal for the first quarter was to open my second brick and mortar store. In December of 2017 I had the property secured and I knew I needed to get the entire store set up and live by March of 2018.
After I achieved my goal for first quarter I moved onto the second quarter - my goal from April-June 2018 was to start building my personal brand and online business helping others to build businesses.
2. Break the Larger Goals into Tasks
Opening a second store was a pretty large goal for quarter 1 of 2018 but I broke that goal down to actionable steps or tasks to do each day to help me achieve my goal. You may want to create daily tasks or tasks to complete each week.
While working on my goal for second quarter of 2018 I write in my planner specific things I need to get done and also over arching goals to focus on. For example - In April and May of 2018 I focused on blogging, starting an e-mail list and also using Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog. For each day I would break down exactly what I needed to do to stay on track.
Specific Goal: Start E-mail List and get first 100 subscribers
Write Blog post, Publish Blog post, Create 5 pins to promote blog post, ensure Tailwind feed is full etc.
By breaking each goal down into smaller tasks I could stay on track and was more likely to be consistent in what I needed to do to achieve my bigger goals.
3. Done is better than Perfect
I know that sometimes my blog posts aren't the best work I've ever done. But ya know what? I really just had to let that go. Why? Because there are thousands of people out there staring at their computer screens right now having this inner dialogue with themselves:
"I really need to get this blog post published. But it sucks. Will people even read this? Maybe I need to do more research on the topic? Yea, I should probably wait until it's perfect before I publish it. I really don't want people to judge me. Maybe I shouldn't even write a blog, I mean who am I anyway, I am a total imposter. I'm a fraud. Ok, yea, I want to watch Netflix..."
Raise your hand if you can relate (um yea, that's me over here in Wisconsin with my hand raised high). I have this conversation with myself all the time. But here's the deal people, the key to success is not perfection, it is action.
What will set you apart from everyone else is your ability to show up.
Sit down at your desk, write out that less than perfect blog post and hit publish. Done is better than perfect. You will never be able to achieve your goals with you sit and wait and second guess everything you do. Your first attempt at anything will probably be crap but hey we all start somewhere.
So write that crappy blog post and hit publish. Next week just show up and do it again. Guess what? Over time you will get better and better at whatever it is you are doing and eventually you just may think to yourself, "this isn't so crappy after all."
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any helpful tips that you use to set and achieve goals? Tell me about it! You can follow me over on Twitter @WeberHamilton or on Instagram @natalieweberhamilton.
Keep it real people, until next time.