As I coach people and work with people all over the country, one of the questions that comes up a ton is how do I set my goals? And not just set them, how do I achieve my goals? And so, we ask that question because a lot of times we feel like we lack clarity. Sometimes we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to do it. And sometimes we got this big idea, like, I want that outcome, but how do I set a goal to actually get there? And then the other reason people are asking me that question is because they’ve set a ton of goals and they haven’t achieved very many of them at all.
And when we don’t execute, when we don’t achieve the outcomes that we desire, we get tired of setting goals because we set them and then we didn’t achieve them. And we find that goal setting doesn’t really work. If we are all honest, pretty sure most of us have had that moment at some point in our journey, if not in the last week. We are coming to the end of another calendar year and I hope you are beginning to think about what are the goals I need to set?
For the next year, what are the outcomes that I’m going to create that I will manifest with intention in 2021? So how do you set and achieve goals? Let me help you out a little bit on this one.
- Your Need to Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.F.
Yes. Smart with an “f”. A smart goal is:
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based, And last but not least…
the F (FUN) I stole this from John Acuff, author of Finish. You should read it. He will make you laugh and give you really practical takeaways, but he said, Let’s not just make them smart goals, can we have a little fun with our goals?
If you do that with your goals. Well, they’re just on a coaching call this morning, and some guys had goals. They actually came back with three goals, but several of them, they weren’t actually goals. They were a desired outcome that had no measurement to it. There was no time component to it. It wasn’t specific enough. When you set a goal, sometimes that’s been your thing in the past but it wasn’t SMARTF enough because you set a goal that was really more an outcome that was way out there. I want this outcome, but you didn’t give yourself the right components that were measurable and specific enough to move you toward that goal consistently.
If you want to set and achieve your goals, make them smart with an F and have a little fun with it as well.
- You Need to Create Clarity and Urgency
I am going to drop some wisdom, the way I believe is the best way to create clarity and urgency. There’s a great book by the title of the 12 Week Year. And the premise is basically this: when you make 12 month goals, you are basically guessing about what, what you’re going to do 10, 11 months from now. You can set a goal for 12 months and for the first 90 days waver on it?
Instead the perspective that the shorter the timeframe between setting the goal and completing the goal, the more specific the goal can be the longer, the timeframe between setting the goal and achieving the goal. So when you set a shorter time frame, 12 weeks (happens four times in a year), you have to treat each of those 12 weeks like it’s a year in itself and you set the goals. And at the end of 12 weeks, 90 days, you celebrate the achievement of that goal.
All of a sudden you have clarity because if you got 12 weeks, you can determine specifically very accurately what you need to be doing day by day, week by week, for the next 12 weeks. You’re no longer guessing at all there’s specificity. And that is power. That is clarity. And the other thing it does is it creates urgency because when you only have 12 weeks and every day counts.
Unlike at the beginning of a year… we’ve all done this that we set goals. And then we look back on the year and we’re saying, man, I was crushing it in January. And then like, yeah, may kind of slow. I don’t remember if I made much progress, July that’s an off month. Like when you set 12 month goals, you can lose a whole month just thinking. But when you said 12 week goals, every day, every hour, every week counts and you create urgency to act. And so create clarity and urgency by setting 12 week goals instead of 12 month goals.
- Progress & Accountability
My mentor, Tony Robbins taught me this: progress equals happiness. When you’re making progress, you are happier. You are more fulfilled. You feel the momentum progress equals happiness. If you’ve got a goal and you are not making progress toward it, you will become discouraged and you will get distracted. And you literally will give up on that goal. But if you could make a little bit of progress every day, every week, then all of a sudden that progress creates momentum. One of the biggest things about creating progress is you’ve got to have accountability. That’s why I put the two together: Progress AND Accountability. If you want to achieve your goals, you’re going to need both of those consistent progress and consistent accountability.
Now that accountability can look a whole lot of different ways, but I’m just telling you growth occurs best in the context of community. We go further, faster together with likeminded people. You will become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So get with some other people that are crushing some goals that are going to push you. And that will let you get away with lame excuses. They’ll call you out on your crap. But they will also call out the greatness that is on the inside of you. You’ve got to get around the right people. They’re going to hold you accountable that are going to push you to the standard that you know you can live up to but left to your own devices like me you’re not going to raise that standard as high as if you were being held accountable by the right people.
So join a mastermind, get a coach, get an accountability buddy. Better, get an accountability buddy. You’ve got to have some accountability. Now, of course, the greatest accountability is self accountability. I don’t want someone to hold me accountable and beat me up. If I don’t do something, I want them to remind me of the standard that I have set for myself and challenge me to hold myself accountable. But there’s just something about having those kinds of people in your life that will propel you forward.
If you’ve never set and achieved goals; this could be the way and this could be the year. If you do some of these things:
- Make your Goal(s) SMARTF
- Create Clarity & Urgency
- Progress & Accountability
If you do those three things, you are going to achieve your goals at a higher level. You’re going to get those outcomes that you’ve been going after. And you’re going to create the life that you desire. So I hope that this was helpful.
Parkinson’s law says that the amount of time it will take to complete the work will expand to the amount of time available, paraphrasing it. So if you set a 12 month goal, then it’s going to take you 12 months to complete it. But I literally have had clients do this. They’ll say, when I dropped this idea on them, they’ll look at their list and they’ll say,well, that was a 12 month goal. And then they say ,but wait, what if I did it in 12 weeks? I’ve seen people do it consistently over and over again because we can condense that timeframe. So get clarity and urgency. And then lastly is the one you need to give the most attention to progress and accountability because if you set a goal, but you don’t make progress for a month, you need to make progress now, and you’ll need to get that accountability in your life. So do those three things! Go out there and give the greatness inside of you to the whole world because somebody needs what’s inside Go out there and give it away.