Every year we spend lot of time and energy for setting professional and personal goals. What actions have been taken towards accomplishing them? Do we even remember what the goals were? Its exiting to set them but very easy to put them on the shelf and forget about them until next year.
Here are top 7 reasons why we fail to accomplish our goals
1. Lack of long term planning: Every new year we set goals to help us achieve something, but shouldn’t there be another day every three months where we evaluate “how are we doing?” We have to set our own milestones.
2. Too many goals: Too often, our list of goals quickly becomes a long list of to-do activities that completely confuses us. You can even make one goal a year but make sure you accomplish it with complete dedication.
3. Unrealistic: It is great to be optimistic and confident but your goals should be at least attainable. A goal should be based on your skills. Knowledge, or abilities .
4. Not Specific: Every goal requires a specific and detail plan. Concentrate on what results you want to achieve? Who is going to prevent you from the same? What resources would you require? How would I evaluate or measure my success?
5. Failure to celebrate success: You need to celebrate even the small success; these small successes will motivate and lead you to the bigger goals in your life.
6. Failure to re-evaluate your goals: There is no law which says you cannot adjust your goals. Circumstances in life changes and you must evaluate and make necessary changes to stay on course.
7. A pessimistic attitude-Always seeing the pitfalls rather than the possibilities. We start our activity by asking what if I fail. Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers
Here’s a simple five-step process of setting goals that you can actually achieve, rather than just wish for.
Step 1: Define your goal
This seems simple, but surprisingly isn’t. Most people do not clearly know what they want. Defining a goal helps you articulate what you want — not only to others, but also to yourself. Imagine leaving your home every morning with a vague idea of where you are headed. What are the chances you will get anywhere worthwhile?
So, how do we define specifically what we want? Take a rough sheet of paper and pick an area of your life (career, education, health, relationships, spirituality, personal growth, etc) where you would like to set a goal. Write down around 20 things that you want to see happen. Don’t think or analyse too much. Let your thoughts flow.
Now prioritize this list — rank these 20 in the order of their importance to you. What you are doing is gaining clarity into what is most important. You will find yourself a lot clearer in your head.
Step 2: How will you know you have achieved this goal?
As an example, let’s work on your top three goals. Most often, if we don’t have good validation criteria after having set a goal, we will never know if we actually succeed in achieving it. So, ask yourself this significant question: How will I know I have achieved this goal?
Step 3: How to go about doing it
Take a good look at your goal and validation criterion. What do you need to do to make these results happen? This is the time to break down your goal into actions and sub-actions.
Step 4: Set a time frame
Setting a time frame for your goal breathes life into it and also allows you to build it into your schedule. It also helps you create a sense of urgency about your goal. If you are having trouble doing this, refine your goals and make them more specific. The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to set a time frame around it.
Step 5: Take Nike’s advice
Just do it.
Unfortunately, this is what proves to be the most difficult step for most. Inertia, procrastination and laziness hold us back from doing what we know we should be doing.
Here’s some simple advice on how to get things done:
1. Read your goals, your validation criterion and action steps every single day, more than once if possible.
2. Use a planner and fill in your list of actions. If you see what needs to be done in your planner, you are more likely to do it.
3. Use a reminder service. You can use an online calendar or reminder service to send you a reminder email every day.
The trick is to keep your goals and action list on top of your mind somehow, and keep taking action. If you do not do this, chances are they will meet the same fate as your New Year resolutions.