How To Write Goals You Will Actually Achieve
A lot can happen in 365 days - a lot.
At the AOL HQ we are big fans of goals & setting clear direction, focus & intentions for the year ahead, including big & small goals plus personal, professional & financial goals. We like to think of it as a personal road map as such for the next 12 months.
However, realistically there is a lot more involved than just writing your goals down in your diary in order to achieve them. Our founder, Beck Wadworth shares her 5 simple steps for writing & actually achieving your goals.
STEP 1: REFLECT, REVIEW + REFOCUS
Life these days is fast paced, and for most, we are our own harshest critic when it comes to things that don’t quite go our way throughout the year. We dwell on the negatives and somehow skim over the positives. Rarely do we stop to celebrate all the incredible achievements we have made throughout the year. Sitting down to write your goals is a valuable time that allows you to reflect on the year that’s been - the good and the bad. It allows you to feel proud of all the boxes you have ticked, and gives you an opportunity to workshop and refocus on the areas you want to improve on.
REFLECT & REVIEW:
Think about the last 12 months. What were the highs and lows? What did you achieve and what could you improve on? Jot it all down. Reflecting on the year that was will help you to assess your priorities and goals for the coming year.
Now refocus for the next 12 months. Where do you want to be personally, professionally & financially at the end of the year?
Split your goals into the following categories;
Personal: For example, work out three times a week, or have a healthy work-life balance by doing X and Y, or focus on being present.
Professional: For example, build my business by focusing on X,Y and Z, or meet all my KPIs to work towards X, Y and Z, or get a job promotion by doing X,Y and Z.
Financial: For example, save for a trip to X, or for a house deposit, or grow my sales or savings by X amount.
Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).
TIP: I think we can all agree that the last few years have been challenging for all. When you're thinking about your 2022 & 2023 goals, you might have a different mindset to other years & this is to be expected. Make your goals work for you - more on this HERE.
STEP 2: BE SPECIFIC
It sounds simple, but it's very important to make sure your goals are very specific & also realistic. Try not to make them vague.
Things to consider?
- What exactly are you hoping to achieve?
- When do you want to achieve this by?
For example if you are wanting to reach all your KPI's at work and receive a pay rise then make sure you specifically write your financial goal as:
* Strive to reach my KPI's at work by XX / XX / XX and receive a $X pay rise.
Being specific with your goals makes them a lot more achievable. Firstly because it gives you an exact measurable task to strive for and secondly visually seeing this challenge / goal as well as the reward from reaching this goal allows you to really focus on it and manifest. It gives you direction and purpose to work hard everyday towards this goal.
STEP 3: IDENTIFY THE POTENTIAL ROAD BLOCKS?
I'm not going to lie, when you set a goal, 99% of the time it's never going to be smooth sailing the whole way when you are trying to achieve it. But this is a positive as it makes us stronger and is part of the challenge of a goal. Get ahead by identifying the potential road blocks that could lie ahead for each goal and what you could do to overcome this.
My tip is always knowing & prepping for the best & worst case scenario.
A simple example below:
Personal Goal: To focus on my health & wellbeing by working out twice a week every week in the hopes of being stronger & fitter mentally and physically by the end of the year.
What issues or hurdles might I face along the way? & how can I overcome these?
Issue: Time poor & tired with busy periods at work & lack of funds sometimes.
- Look into membership deals that work out cheaper over the whole year.
- If I'm really struggling & can't afford Pilates one month, concentrate on walking.
- When I'm busy find a way to multitask - e.g listen to a podcast on being a better manager or woman in business when I'm walking so that I am working out but being motivated as well. Or book in a call with a team member while I walk or use the walk to brainstorm ideas for a new product or campaign and record notes & ideas via voice recorder.
- Book a pilates class with a friend when I'm tired so that it's fun & motivating.
- Try and get the workouts done and dusted at the start of the week so then I can focus solely on work and I know I have ticked those boxes.
P.S It is so easy to make excuses or give up when you reach road blocks, make sure you challenge yourself to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Take a big deep breath, give yourself time to feel sad or angry or disappointed and then pick yourself up, refocus and push yourself. You only live once so strive to reach those dreams one goal at a time.
STEP 4: WRITE AN ACTION PLAN
Once you have a clear understanding and vision on how you can realistically achieve your goal/s - put an action plan in place with small milestones you can tick off weekly or monthly in your diary (using the goal planning section). If you have a pin board - print or write out your goals and smaller tasks as a to-do list where you can see it, visualise and manifest. Otherwise reflect back to your diary weekly to remind yourself what your goals are.
Tip: Trust me - if you write it down, you are more likely to tick each step off. If you can’t see the plan you probably wont see your goal/s through.
STEP 5: CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS
Now that you are underway to achieving your goals make sure you celebrate the small milestones along the way. Remember all of the small actions & tasks are helping you get one step closer to that big goal/s. Reward yourself for your handwork & commitment.