“Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority”
– Gary Keller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
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At the end of each year, you start hearing everyone talk heavily about setting new goals and making New Years resolutions. You start thinking about “getting in shape” or “being more focused on my career,” and each year you find yourself not achieving these goals. A few months in, or even within weeks, you find yourself slipping and ultimately putting off your goals for everything else that is more “important.” Sound familiar?
I know this to be true because I am the same way. Every year, I have all these same thoughts run through my head. “I’m going to hit the gym more” seems to be one that is a reoccurring goal for myself. You know what happens? Like every other person with this same goal, I go to the gym for a few weeks and then slowly stop going until it’s been several weeks since I’ve last seen a dumbbell.
“Looks like this will be a goal for next year…”
This year, I am making a strong effort to change that mindset and I hope you will too! I’m going to outline several reasons why we all fail at our goals and 7 Ways to Set and Achieve Your Goals. This will be the EXACT formula that I will be using, myself, to make this new year a successful one.
WHY CAN’T I ACHIEVE MY GOALS?
This is probably the first question that pops up into your head each year when you start thinking about goal setting and New Years resolutions.
Why did I fail last year? How come I’m not in better shape? Why didn’t I get that promotion at work?
ARE YOUR GOALS TOO BROAD OR NOT REALISTIC?
The truth is, most of us are probably setting goals that are too broad or are not achievable because they just aren’t realistic. When you set a broad goal such as, get in better shape, there is no way to track this goal. What is better shape? Losing one pound? 10 pounds? Eating better?
How do you know that you are on track to achieve this goal?
How do you know when you’ve accomplished this goal?
Likewise, if you set a goal to earn $1 million this year and you only make $10.50 an hour, how are you going to achieve $1 Million? You would have to work 95,238 hours ($1,000,000 / $10.50 per hour). Given that there are only 8,760 hours in one year, making that kind of money on $10.50 an hour probably isn’t very realistic.
Now I’m not trying to crush anyone’s dreams here. Making $1 Million may be possible and may be something that you are looking to accomplish, but you need to have a process to get you there. Which leads me into my next reason why goals fail: there is no Plan or Process to achieve these goals.
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE TO COMPLETE YOUR GOALS?
Every goal that you hope to achieve needs to have a plan or process in order to accomplish it. Something as simple as grocery shopping usually involves some level of planning: write out a shopping list, drive to the grocery store, grab the items off the shelf, pay for the items. There is a clear plan in place when you do even the simplest of chores or tasks. Goal setting needs to be looked at in a similar fashion.
So how do you set better goals and successfully attain them?
THE 7 WAYS TO SET AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS…
- Set SPECIFIC goals
- Set goals that are MEASURABLE
- Set goals that are ATTAINABLE
- Set goals that PUSH YOUR LIMITS
- Create a clear and concise PLAN to achieve your goals
- Have ACCOUNTABILITY for your goals
- WRITE DOWN your goals
1. SET SPECIFIC GOALS
I mentioned earlier that setting too broad of goals can lead to not achieving those goals. The best way to help ensure that you complete your goals is to make them more SPECIFIC. This can be as simple as taking a general goal that you have, such as starting your own successful online business or starting a successful blog, and breaking that down further.
What makes your new online business or blog successful? Is it making $5,000 in the first year? Gaining 1,000 subscribers in the first year? How long do we have to complete this goal?
Rather than saying we want to start a successful blog, we can start by saying:
“To start and grow a blog to 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year.”
If you know what you want the blog to be about you can break it down to be even more specific:
“To start a blog about Passive Income that has 1,000 subscribers, by the end of the year.”
2. SET GOALS THAT ARE MEASURABLE
Since we have a clear goal in mind: Reaching 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year, we need to continually track our progress throughout the year. Setting Milestones (or smaller, more achievable goals) throughout the year, would be a good way to measure how well we are doing with our overall goal and help keep us on track.
If I want to achieve 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year, that would mean that I would need roughly 84 subscribers per month. 84 subscribers is a lot less daunting of a number than 1,000, and I am able to see exactly how well I am doing throughout the year. Each month I can take a look at how many subscribers I have gained, and make sure that I am on track to reach my 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year.
Now, we have actually broken our goal down even further and created multiple levels to help us accomplish our ultimate goal.
“To start a blog about Passive Income, To gain 84 subscribers per month, to ultimately gain 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year.”
You can continue to break this goal down into even smaller, more attainable parts:
- 1,000 subscribers per year
- 84 subscribers per month
- 21 subscribers per week
- 3 subscribers per day
By doing this, you are able to see exactly what you need to do in order to accomplish your goal. This is a similar technique that Gary Keller talks about in his book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Affiliate Link). I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to achieve results and accomplish their goals.
This doesn’t mean that if you set out to gain three 3 new subscribers each day and only get 2 on one of those days, that your whole goal is shot. Now you are just more aware of where you are at in achieving your goal. If you gain 2 one day, shoot to get 3 again the next day. Maybe you’ll get 4 or even 5 that day. Who knows. The key here is to be able to track where you are at and keep control of where you are at in your goals.
3. SET GOALS THAT ARE ATTAINABLE
After you have a clear idea of what your goals are, we need to determine if these goals are actually attainable.
We could just shoot for the moon and say that we want to gain 100,000 subscribers by the end of the year! Although this would be great, if you’re just starting a blog for the first time, this goal might not be realistic. That’s not to say this isn’t is possible for some. Maybe you are an expert at SEO and you know exactly what it takes to gain 100,000 subscribers and have done it time and time again. Then GO FOR IT!
Our goal here is to set a goal that is attainable for YOU. What is possible for some, might not be possible for others and that’s OK. Setting goals isn’t about building a $1 million company overnight. It’s about setting yourself on the right track towards success, following through, and accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.
Setting goals and achieving them is a great feeling. When you set out to do something and actually do it, you feel fulfilled. You have a feeling of self-worth. Success.
4. PUSH YOUR LIMITS
Setting goals that are attainable has an evil step-cousin: not pushing yourself hard enough.
Although you shouldn’t set impossible goals for yourself, you also shouldn’t set goals that are too easy. For example, if we set a goal to start a blog and gain just 1 subscriber by the end of the year, we can more than likely complete that goal, but will have no sense of accomplishment.
I could set up a brand new blog today, get my brother to subscribe to it and be done: Mission Complete! Now I have nothing more to work towards this year and I don’t feel any more successful.
The whole point is to be able to look back on your goals and feel great about what you have accomplished.
5. CREATE A CLEAR AND CONCISE PLAN TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
After you have established your goal, now is the time to put together a plan to achieve that goal.
HOW are we going to get to start a blog about Passive Income and gain 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year?
First of all, we need to create the blog. Next, we’ll need to work on getting subscribers to the blog. So how do we do that? We’ll need to break it down into clear steps:
- Come up with a name for the blog
- Find the domain for the blog and purchase the domain
- Build our website
- Write content on our blog, ect.
By breaking down all the steps, we are building the framework. Each step is like another rung on the ladder, leading us to the top of accomplishing our ultimate goal: starting a blog and gaining 1,000 subscribers.
Just like in Step 1: BE SPECIFIC. The more specific you can be in building out your plan, the more likely you will see success in each step, and the easier it will be to keep pushing yourself towards completing your goal.
6. HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR GOALS
Goals are a lot harder to achieve when you don’t have accountability for them. One reason many people seek personal trainers when looking to get into better shape is because someone is holding them accountable. If I skip a personal training session, I don’t just feel like I’m letting myself down, I’m letting down the personal trainer as well. Accountability is a great way to stay motivated to complete your goals.
This doesn’t just count for personal training. Finding people with similar goals to yours, like a spouse or a colleague, is a good way to hold yourself, and them, accountable.
Going back to our business goal, I’m personally going to be looking for others to help hold me accountable. I know several people who are in the beginning stages of starting their own online businesses as well. I can use them as motivation to keep me moving when I don’t feel like I am being productive.
Scheduling weekly calls with these people to discuss your progress and their progress can be a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you have to meet up with, or call in to, someone every week with an update on your progress, you won’t feel very good if you have no new successes to report. On the other hand, if you call in each week with a list of items you have accomplished that week, you’ll feel good about it and pretty well motivated to keep pushing forward.
7. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
I saved this step for last, and it is probably one of the most important of all:
Write Down your Goals!
Actually write them down. Yes. Grab a pen and paper. Write them down, and sign that piece of paper with your goals on them.
This is something that I have not done at all in the past and I know is a big factor in why I don’t accomplish many of the goals that I set for myself. By writing them down on paper, you are basically creating a contract with yourself to accomplish your goals.
Keep these signed, goals somewhere that you can always see them. For example, in your office, next to your bathroom mirror, or anywhere you frequent, so that you will see them every day. Seeing your goals hanging up every day will remind you to make sure you are doing something today, RIGHT NOW, that will help you achieve your goals.
BONUS STEP: ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS
I gave you the framework, now it’s your turn to put this information into action!
We set goals to achieve them. To push ourselves. Be better human beings. To be successful.
Now set out to accomplish them.
Don’t let these goals be forgotten in 2 weeks and put off until next year’s New Years Resolution kick. If you find yourself slipping, or your goals aren’t as attainable as you previously thought, readjust. Don’t just give up on them. Hold yourself accountable and have others help hold yourself accountable.
“You never fail until you stop trying.”Albert Einstein
My dream is to start my own streams of passive income through online business and ultimately leave my 9 to 5 job. In doing so, I have various goals that I hope to accomplish not just in this year, but several years down the road. My main goal this year is to build and monetize a niche site. I will be documenting my whole process along the way and hopefully be able to help others that are looking to do the same.
If this is the same path that you are on, I encourage you to take a look at my first post What is Passive Income? In that post I give various examples of ways you can start earning passive income. If you like the information here or in my previous post, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list:
I don’t want to bombard you with spam emails, so I’ll only be giving you the good stuff! If you are looking for advice on how to get started, what business to start, or what blog topics to pick, I will have several new posts coming in the very near future. OR you can always just contact me!
Happy New Years!
And let’s make this year the best one yet!
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What are your specific goals for this year?
I am an entrepreneur and adventure enthusiast, looking to break free from the Nine-Five grind. I'll show you what has worked and is currently working for me, as well as what hasn't worked so well.