1. The type of goal
Is your goal measurable?
Ever heard of SMART goals? The main point of a SMART goal is that it’s measurable.
This means that you can track your progress in regards to your deadline.
Are you on schedule? Are you miles ahead or maybe slightly behind?
If you said goal was simply “I’m going to be a millionaire”, that is not a smart goal.
Because there’s no plan of when it’ll happen. It’s just a dream.
But, if you were to say, “I’ll be a millionaire by July 2035 because I’ll be saving $50,000 per year over the next 18 years.” Now that is a SMART goal.
Because you have a plan and you have a deadline, you can measure your progress.
You can check in at any point in time to see how far you’ve come & how far you’ve got to go.
Then you’d break it down further to start fleshing out your goal.
That’s $4,000 per month or $1,000 per week to save.
2. The deadline
Did you give yourself enough time,or maybe too much time?
Of course you want results and you want them now. But you need to give yourself sufficient time to see results from the effort you’re putting in.
There’s a reason why most challenges are 12 weeks long (or 84 days).
Because it’s just enough time for you to start seeing encouraging results.
I believe 90 days is the perfect length of time for life-changing goals.
It’s short enough so it doesn’t feel like forever. Yet long enough to achieve something big.
What’s a realistic time frame for your goal?
Think about the kind of progress you can make each week. How long does that take you to do? How much further do you have to go? Use those estimates to determine a realistic deadline.
3. The plan
Did you write the plan down?
The act of writing something down is actually quite powerful. By writing it down you crystallize your goal in your mind. This make’s it easier for your brain to recall & focus on your goal.
Your brain will start to pick up on opportunities around you that relate to your goal.
Once you’ve written or drawn your goal down, keep it nearby.
Put it on your mirror. Keep a copy at work. Keep a mini version in your wallet.
Put it somewhere that you’ll see it at least twice a day.
And remember, your goal isn’t set in stone.
If you feel like there’s a more exciting path to take, then take it. Adjust your goal. Don’t be afraid to add more detail to it each day.
4. External support
Are you surrounded by supportive people?
More often than not, you’ll face negativity from others when you mention your goal.
They may laugh at your ambitiousness. They may doubt your skills to get there. They may say “this isn’t what you want”, or, “there’s no point in trying.”
As hurtful as it is, it’s important to not take it seriously. These kinds of words come from a place of concern or jealousy.
Loved ones may try to deter you because they don’t want to see you fail. They don’t want to see you hurt, upset, or disappointed if you don’t reach your goal.
Which is a backwards form of kindness, but it’s because they care for you.
But some people don’t want to see you do better than them. They don’t want to see you put extra effort in. Because it makes them feel bad for not trying to better their lives.
Ignore their words and take it on as strength. Because that jealousy means you’re going places in their eyes.
Did you plan for success along the way?
Working at a goal can feel like a long time when you don’t celebrate little wins along the way. It can even destroy your motivation. It’s important to acknowledge your progress, even if it feels small.
Once you’ve got your end goal sussed, think of ways to break it down.
If you’re losing weight, set a milestone for every few pounds or kilos lost.
If you’re saving money, mark down and celebrate every $100 you save.
If you’re working towards self-care, reflect on your wins this week.
Did you imagine how it’d feel?
Another really important step that people often miss is visualization.
When you’re describing or drawing your end goal, add as much detail as possible.
Note the time of day, the weather, what you’ll be wearing, how you’ll be feeling, and where you’ll be when you reach your goal. And just like #3 (write it down), keep that drawing or description close to you. Relive it every morning before work and every night before bed.
When you visualise your goal in detail, your brain sets that as your destination. So it’ll do its best to help you get there. You’ll soon start to see and hear opportunities around you that’ll get you there.
Did you tell yourself that you could?
At work you might think, “I’m no good at this”, “I’m not brave enough to share my ideas”, or “I’m hopeless at this”.
The trouble with thoughts is that if you think them often enough, they’ll become your truth.
But this is perfect if you’re feeding yourself positive messages!
“I can do this”, “I’m confident when I speak”, “My ideas are great.”
They become your reality. So when you notice yourself feeling scared, nervous, or doubtful – listen to your thoughts.
What are they saying? Chances are they’ll be negative. So flip your thought patterns around. What are some kind & encouraging words you can tell yourself right now?