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How To Succeed In Goal Setting


Did you achieve your goals last year? Research would suggest you likely did not, at least not all of them. Year after year, majority of people fail to succeed at accomplishing their goals. Now, to be fair 2020 was not a normal year and if you did not achieve your goals you should not judge yourself too harshly. There is, however, some truth to most people failing to meet the goals they set at the start of every new year. 


In Recent studies, there have been connections linked to  attaining goals leading to impact on self-esteem and continual success. In April 2020, there was a paper published on the relationship between the effort and reward of goals, and identifying just when do people decide whether they will succeed or fail at their goals. It seems like such a trivial point, but these studies suggest that you ultimately choose whether you will succeed or fail at your goals; Your mindset throughout, from the moment you make a goal to the second you finish it, has an impact on whether you will finish that goal or not.


So how can you ensure you succeed at accomplishing your goals? Whether its setting a weight loss target, building your brand, starting your online empire, or anything else you seek, the tips we are about to share can be applied to any goal to ensure you stay focused and do not lose sight of your finish line. Read on for our model to help you accomplish your goals.

Photo by @ContentPixie


Discouragement and Motivation


Many people fail goals because they either do not know how to accomplish the goal they set or they lose the will to see the goal through. The biggest challenge for most people making and seeking to achieve goals is being able to break them down into day to day tasks. This can happen when the steps you are trying to accomplish are too big which leads to discouragement. Breaking up a goal into small chunks can give you a powerful ally to encourage the overall success of your goal. Likewise, having tasks too big to complete will see the opposite effect: discouragement and a mindset to give up. This is called motivation.


Motivation is an emotion, and it will sway in the direction you feel about your goals. The key to successful goal setting then, is in knowing how to execute them; how to keep your motivation in a positive direction. It is quite easy to be motivated to set a “goal”. Once you accomplish a goal, the motivation that fills you is involuntary. The challenge with motivation however, are the steps in between making your goal and accomplishing them. This is because it is challenging to establish how to break down and approach your goals, and thus where doubt and discouragement can set in. The good news though is now you know the problem. And when you know the problem, you can use models to help you set achievable goals and stay on track, so motivation can continue to swing you past each goal you set!

 Photo by @Social.Cut
A Wish, A Dream, or a Goal? 

This might be the most important part to setting goals you can accomplish. Differentiating between what is a dream, a wish and a goal is important. We want to create real goals, not just wishes. Defining something as a goal over a wish puts in the motion of actionable steps. This is where a wish can turn into a dream. It is important to dream big, but it is equally important to make sure your goals are not “dreams”, otherwise you will struggle to accomplish them.

To put it another way: a wish is just an idea that you have thought about, where as a goal is something you are working towards. A dream then is the step in between, a wish that you have determined to be a goal, but you do not have the steps figured out on how to accomplish it.

The more detailed you are about your goals, the better you will understand how to successfully execute them in smaller bite size tasks. This includes answering the crucial questions of what, where, when and why. For example: when you want to accomplish this goal by? How do you envision this goal happening? etc. Make sure when you set your targets you are envisioning as much detail about the scenario and goal as possible. This will help shift your mindset from a dream to an actual goal.

There are plenty of great reads on making what is referred to as S.M.A.R.T goals. This is an acronym used to help someone draft up goals that are achievable. We will not remake the wheel there, but we do recommend you check out the concept if you are not familiar with it.


Make & Meeting Deadlines


All goals, whether big or small need to have a deadline. By setting an actual day to complete your task by, you help keep yourself focused on executing and working towards your goals. Remember: a goal without actionable steps is just a dream! Making a deadline and forcing yourself to meet it, is holding you accountable and providing you your next step. Constantly planning out the next deadline and breaking down the next steps to get there will keep you motivated and on route to accomplishing your goals. 


This is not easy by any means, but it is a straightforward formula. When you follow it, it will build habits that make you feel and look like you accomplish way more than everyone else. But all you are really doing is staying motivated to reach your goals and using that motivation to feed off each step, accomplishing more goals.  



 Photo by @EsteeJanssens


Short-, Mid- & Long-term goals. 


Every goal can and should be broken down into steps that can be envisioned over short-, mid- and long-term timeframes. Breaking up goals over time will help you set actionable steps, keeping you motivated and working towards the next steps to ultimately accomplish your goal. To do this, you must understand what makes up your goal and what steps you could do to accomplish it.


For example: say your goal is to grow your social media by 1000 followers. 


To achieve this, you need to create a reason for people to follow you. That is going to take some brainstorming of ideas and should be considered your first short term goal in itself: an actionable step. Come up with ideas on why people would want to follow you. This mini goal you might set a deadline for a day or maybe a week. However, we can agree you would not spend a month or longer thinking of ideas because that would seem like a waste of time. In this way you can see how time plays a factor to motivation too. 


Now say you decided to create more content so people will want to follow you. Great! You know your goal is to get 1000 new followers, but you will take steps to create content so people may be interested in and start following you. Doing that in one shot is unrealistic because content takes time to make. Instead, you will look to make mid-term goals, maybe generating content every month? In doing this you break up your execution goal into smaller chunks, but over a steady state of time. 


Now remember your original goal was to obtain 1000 new followers on social media. In the process of figuring out how to do that, you established the steps in between and the time frame to execute those steps by making mini goals to achieve your goal. Now you can take your original goal and break it down in line with that timeline of steps of execution because you built a foundation of steps to reach your goal over time. It would look like this:


(Short-term) day-to-day / week-to-week.

(Mid-term) month-to-month.

(Long-term) year-to-year.


Short-term: brainstorm ideas for content

Mid-term: create new content

Long-term: meet your social media follower target


Taking your goal, you can break it down in line with your mini objectives to reach your goal. Say you wanted those 1000 new followers in a year. You can now work backwards based on your action steps to establish how to achieve this goal. This is what that looks like:


Long-term goal: 1000 followers in a year 

Mid-term goal: market 12 videos over the year to build my brand 

Aiming for 1 video and 84 followers per month

Short-term goal: brainstorm & create 1 video every month and gain roughly 3 followers a day.  


This break down will help you make sure each month you have a clear vision of all the bite size tasks you need to be doing throughout the month to achieve all your large-scale goals. Once you have broken down your goals into a clear funnel, you are left with an attainable plan of attack. All of a sudden that daunting thought of growing 1000 followers is brought down to a realization you only need to get 3 people to follow you every day and that is a very achievable goal. 



There you have it!


 All it takes to be successful at your goals is to understand motivation and breaking down the execution of your goals: a simple but effective model through breaking down your goal into smaller chunks over time. The wonderful part about models is they are transferable. This tactic can be applied to financial, marketing or even project goals. The more detailed you are in creating your short-, mid- and long-term ideas, the better you will understand how to create your list of short-term tasks to achieve your goals in the bigger picture.


Try it! By the end of your goal setting session, you should have a calendar full of small bite size tasks that are easy to work towards, making your goals and achieving them a year long possibility without breaking a sweat!


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