“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
GOAL SETTING. In big, bold, scary letters. It’s easy to brush it off as another futile exercise: you create super long to-do lists, you get lost in the maze of things to do, and you end up accomplishing nothing.
Many entrepreneurs want to know: “How do I grow my business fast?” Well, this is hard to do – if not entirely impossible – without knowing how to set goals properly.
You’re actually heading toward a big disaster when you don’t set goals.
Without goals, it’s difficult to know where to focus your energy, how to move in a single direction, and how to measure how effective you are. Setting goals is so critical for the simple reason that it gets you where you want to be – much faster and more efficiently than if you don’t set goals at all!
Take, for instance, the Harvard MBA Business School Study on Goal Setting back in 1979, where a group of researchers conducted research on the graduating class to assess how written and planned-for goals affect later outcomes in life. The survey found that 84 percent of them set no goals at all, while 13 percent had set written goals without concrete plans and 3 percent set goals had both written goals and concrete plans.
Fast forward to a decade later, the researchers interviewed the same participants, and you might be shocked by what they found: the 13 percent of the class who set goals but weren’t committed on paper were earning twice as much as the 84 percent who didn’t set goals at all.
What about the remaining 3 percent who wrote down their goals and had a concrete plan? Well, they were making more money than the 97 percent combined. Talk about getting actual results!
But you don’t need to be a startup founder or craft lofty life goals to realise that goal setting is actually your first weapon toward achieving something or getting somewhere. Goal setting marks your first step closer to success, and it’s where you transition from a passive state to a deep engagement with life.
So how do you set goals properly? Here are four steps to get started.
Step No. 1: Set daily goals – 2-3 a day is just perfect.
Keep a document handy for printing or writing down your goals on – it could be a planner, journal, or notebook that will help you keep track of your goals. Every single day, set a daily goal, something that you are going to do for a given day.
You might find that two to three goals a day is the sweet spot, or the healthy amount that you can work on within 24 hours. Just work on those goals in a day, strive to achieve them no matter what, and model all the other bits and pieces around them.
This first step is crucial in breaking down your big goal. Say, you want to lose weight or grow your business. If you can break that big goal down into small daily ones, you can take more actionable steps toward it and become better poised for success.
Step No. 2: Simplify.
This entails clearing everything out of your day so you can achieve the two to three goals you have set. Simplifying means eliminating all the unnecessary barriers that make reaching your goals more complex and harder to reach, making your demotivated and overwhelmed with the work ahead.
Let’s say for example, you want to film a video for a vlog. Instead of having to bring a camera, filters, spare batteries, tripod, lighting, and a thousand other things (which can sometimes stop us because we end up missing a piece, and we put off doing the task until we buy the stuff we need online and get it delivered), you can simplify by going: what is the minimum amount I actually need to be able to do this? Then you go, “Hang on, I just need a phone… and myself.”
That’s it. Eliminate everything else in your way that’s slowing you down. I'm not saying that you do it this way if you want to make a high-quality production; I'm just saying that sometimes, it’s too easy to let the little things get in the way of the big goal. Don’t let those things distract or stop you.
Sometimes, we let too many steps stand between us and our ability to reach our goals. Simplifying then becomes an important part of how to set goals properly, streamlining your processes and creating a simple, replicable system that you can stick to every day.
Step No. 3: Focus and set your sights on getting it done.
Eyes on the prize, they say, and this isn’t truer than when you set actionable goals. It means prioritising or ordering your list of goals form the most important to the least important.
If you just randomly do it, you run the risk of doing a bunch of things while neglecting the most important ones. Clear your way, prioritise, and go, “Here are my first, second, third tasks for today…”
Note that it’s especially crucial to work on your number 1 priority first, particularly if something comes up or there’s an emergency.
Step No. 4: Just do it.
Just get things done and make sure you nail, nail, nail that goal until you can relax and move on to other item on your to-do list. Go hard and finish strong, at which point everything on your list has been ticked off.
Get the big goals done first thing in the morning or when you’re feeling fresh or at your most productive. Ideally, you should target your goals when you’re at your peak, not when you’ve just had a big lunch and you’re beginning to feel sluggish. Find the best time for you to pound through those to-dos! So, would you rather be part of the 97 percent who didn’t go all out on goal setting or didn’t do it at all? Would you rather miss out on a higher level of being that you could achieve if only you set goals and went ahead nailing them?
When you set goals, you gain laser-sharp focus.
You turn the invisible into something visible.
You have a target to aim at – and you have a greater chance of hitting it every time!
The great news is you can start becoming more aggressive in your goal setting now that you have a process for achieving it. If you’re deliberate about setting actionable goals, you have a greater chance at taking control of your life and getting maximum results out of every single day. If you know how to set goals properly, you are a step closer to knowing how to grow your business fast.
How do you set actionable goals for yourself? Tell me about it in the comments!
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