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Let’s talk effective goal setting.
Whatever your personal and business goals are for this year, here are my top tips for setting effective goals, making sure you stay on track and achieve them
Tips for effective goal setting
Just a little note before I start. Some of the tips may seem to contradict other tips. This is simply because we’re all different and some tips will work better for some people and other tips may be better for you.
Get clear about what you want and why you want it.
Okay, so you really wouldn’t build a house without first laying strong foundations and I strongly suspect that you don’t just get in your car and start driving without knowing your destination.
Being clear about your goal and why you want it is essential for effective goal setting. It really is the equivalent of laying strong foundations.
Knowing why you want to achieve your goal is making sure those foundations are super strong and your ongoing reason to keep going.
Example: My next blogging goal is to achieve over 50,000 page views per 30 days on my blog. The reason I want to achieve this goal is because it means more people are visiting my blog on a daily basis which in turn will help me to increase my blogging income, which will allow me to work anywhere at any time doing what I love and giving me the lifestyle I love.
TIP: Keep asking why do I want that until you get to the core reason.
NOTE: This is not my ultimate goal, it’s a step up goal and will continuously increase.
Which leads me nicely onto my next tip.
Start small and step up your goals
Whilst I absolutely encourage you to have big goals, I also encourage you to set your first goal in that journey to your ultimate goal really small.
Let’s take my blog page views goal. Ultimately within the next 12 months, my goal is to be getting over 100,000 page views to my blog per 30 day period. Whilst my page views are growing nicely, I know it’s going to take me a while to push up to this level. I finished 2016 around 48,000. So, the next step up for me is 50,000 page views.
From there I’ll probably go to 55,000, 60,000…
How can you break down your goal into a really small step up from right where you are now?
Always keep your ultimate goal in mind but then look at where you are right now – What is a small step up from where you are now? Make that your next goal.
When you’ve got a really big goal that is going to take quite a long time (3 months plus) to achieve, by using this step up system, you will stay motivated and focused because you’ll be achieving your goals at a good pace.
Now here’s where I’m going to contradict myself a little
I’m going to start off by talking about setting yearly goals and then breaking those goals down into monthly, weekly… goals and then I’ll talk about the method I use now which works with the step up system that I talked about above.
Yearly, monthly, weekly… goal setting
This is a wonderful system that really helps you to keep focused and on track. It’s the system I work through in my Goal Setting for Business Success Course (ideal for procrastinators).
The basic idea is that you start off with your ultimate goal, from there, set your goals for the year, then from your yearly goals, break those goals down to make your monthly, weekly and daily goals.
It’s a fantastic and super simple method to use and it means that every day, your daily goals will help you to move closer to your ultimate goals.
No time scale goals with the step up method
So earlier on in this post, I talked about the step up method of goal setting. I explained that my next step up for my blog is to achieve 50,000 page views in a 30 day period. Just to explain, the 30-day period is simply because google analytics dashboard has an option to view page views over 30-days, so that’s just what I go with.
Now, let’s say I set this as a monthly goal – In January, my page views will be over 50,000. It’s a great goal but by changing it to a simple anytime step up goal, I can step it up anytime. If I hit that goal by the middle of the month, I can celebrate and then move my goal up to the next step. It also gives me some flexibility. If I don’t hit this goal until midway through the next month, I won’t feel like I’m failing. I’ll just keep working on my goal every day until I get there.
Which method works best?
Both are effective goal setting methods and work equally well, I actually use both methods alongside each other.
I love the step up goal for my blogging page view goals but my goal to write 100 blog posts in 2017 is broken down into weekly goals. Find which works for you and your individual goals.
Keep your goals in front of you
One of the things I highly recommend is that you write your goals down freshly on a daily basis. You can also, simply start each day by asking yourself “What is my ultimate goal?” and “What can I do today to move me closer to my ultimate goal?”
The important thing is to stay focused on a daily basis what your goals are so that you stay on track and don’t go off on tangents that don’t lead you to where you want to be.
Prioritize your goals
Let’s face it, we all have a lot of things to do in our day to day life. We all have the same 24 hours each day and I strongly recommend you get plenty of sleep in those hours. How are you spending the rest of your time though? Are you dedicating it to the things that really matter to you?
Prioritize your goals and aim to work on them every day (every business day for business goals).
A question I like to ask at the end of the day is “What did I do today to move me close to achieving my goals?”
If you haven’t done anything that moves you closer to achieving your goals, then I can pretty much guarantee that you’re not prioritizing your goals.
If your goals are important to you, they’re worth prioritizing – If they’re not that important to you, ditch them and find a goal that really inspires you.
Effective goal setting recap
These are my key tips to help with effective goal setting and helping you to stay focused and achieve your goals.
- Get clear about what you want to achieve and why
- Start small and step up your goals
- Have a method for breaking your goals down into smaller steps
- Keep your goals in front of you
- Prioritize your goals
Some posts you might find helpful for setting effective goals.
I’d love to hear about your goals. Share your thoughts and ask questions in the comment area below.