With the end of the year so close, it’s time to evaluate your progress on your goals for this year, and start thinking about goals and dreams for next year. In part 1 of this 2-part series called “Ready, Aim,” we will look at some of the reasons you may be floundering, and in part 2 on Friday, explore ways to advance on your way to success.
Some of the biggest roadblocks to achieving goals include:
- Unreasonable goals. I frequently have grand ideas of what I want to accomplish, but then the nitty gritty of every day keeps me sidetracked, and suddenly that goal seems unreachable.
- Uncertainty about how to proceed. Some goals can be intimidating, and you find yourself stumbling over what the next step should be. That can lead to procrastination because it seems too difficult to figure out or deal with.
- Someone else’s goals. Be honest here, how many times have you set goals because family or friends encouraged (ok, pushed) you to – but you weren’t 100% sold on the idea yourself? It is hard to buy into a goal about which you are not passionate.
- Vague results. Goals must be clear and measurable. You’ve heard this before – don’t set a goal like “lose weight” – because how will you ever know when you have succeeded? You will be more likely to achieve success if you set a reasonable goal like “lose 10 pounds by X date.”
For me, goals help me manage my life, so my life doesn’t manage me. When I set sensible goals with realistic results, the outcome is much more satisfying.
The problem comes when I haven’t set proper goals to begin with. Then they become just another obligation to avoid, and it ends up being detrimental to my peace and contentment.
To counteract these problems, here are some down-to-earth tactics that will help you meet your goals:
- Set reasonable goals. It’s ok to dream about owning the company, but if you are just getting started, it’s probably not a realistic goal for next year. Start with achievable goals that move you in the right direction. You might strive to “take # classes to build leadership skills” or “train X team members to take on X responsibility.”
- Break the goal down into steps. You aren’t going to reach your goal in one leap, so don’t set yourself up for failure by stating it that way. Spend some time planning what action steps it will take to reach that lofty goal. If your goal is to run a 10K in 6 months, but you haven’t exercised in years, the first step would be to walk a mile 3 times a week. Then plan to walk a longer distance more often. Then add running.
- Set goals for you. Decide what you need to accomplish for you and set goals around that. Don’t be influenced by others here – you have to be passionate about what you want to achieve or you will not make progress.
- State what “wildly successful” looks like. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal if you haven’t stated what finished is?
- Share your goal. That’s right – don’t keep it to yourself. State it out loud to someone you trust and who can encourage you. Even better, challenge a friend or family member to help hold you accountable by asking about your progress periodically.
Goals are worthless if you aren’t making progress toward them, and determining the barriers is only part of the challenge. In part 2 of the series “Ready, Aim,” we will explore the process of setting up better goals to help you reach your dreams.
What excuses are keeping you from accomplishing your goals?