For most of us, setting goals is the easy part; actually achieving them is a different story! So what can we do to make sure we’re successful – or at least close? Inspired by my word of the year, “do,” I set out to find some tips that can help make goals into reality.
The first step is to set goals in a way that helps you achieve them. The SMART framework is a great way to make sure your goals are doable. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
Setting your goals this way gives you a solid foundation for success!
Your goals shouldn’t just stay in your mind. It’s important to hold yourself accountable in some way. At Purple Ink, each of us has another Inkster as our accountability partner, and we meet several times throughout the year to check in on how each other’s goals are going. If you’re not up for talking about your goals that much, try just telling a colleague, friend, or family member that you have a goal to [insert goal here] this year.
Don’t want to tell someone else about what you’re striving for? Write it down – it’ll make it feel more real. My day planner is crucial to me for accomplishing everyday tasks and some of the smaller stages along the way to my goals; something similar may help you too. Another great tool is Trello – I use it for my to-do list at work, and the Purple Ink team is using it to track our goals this year as well.
Breaking down your goals into several tasks can be helpful in a few ways. First, it gives you a smaller first step and a path to follow, so you’re gradually taking on a new habit instead of trying to flip a switch. The other great thing about breaking goals down is that you can feel a sense of accomplishment and progress every time you cross off one of those steps, keeping you energized and motivated to keep going. This is big for me as someone with Achiever in my top 5 strengths; I know how many pages I need to read each month to reach my reading goal, the steps I need to take to accomplish each of my goals at Purple Ink, etc., and it helps me to feel like I’m getting somewhere as I work toward my goals.
Setting goals at the beginning of the year and not thinking about them again until December 31st isn’t going to help you achieve them. Make time to regularly check in with yourself on how you’re doing, whether that’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Make a note of how each of your goals is progressing, and ask yourself questions, like, “Am I on track to reach this goal?” “What have I learned so far in working toward my goals?” “Which goal(s) am I not doing well at, and why?”
Regularly reflecting on your progress will help you stay focused and on track, plus help you set better goals in the future as you understand why some goals worked for you and some didn’t.
By intentionally using some small tricks to get your goals to fruition, you can be more successful at achieving them! All it takes is a little bit of effort and attention to the process.
Good luck with making your goals a reality this year! If you could use some more assistance, we offer a fantastic goal-setting training, and we’d be happy to do individual coaching as well. Reach out to us for more information.