How to Consistently Accomplish Your Goals
Americans love to set goals. Every December, we start thinking about what we want to achieve during the next calendar year. Some of us go as far as to create New Year’s Resolutions or Goals of the things we’d like to accomplish.
But anyone who works out at a gym regularly can attest that the spike in attendance that occurs in January dwindles a bit in February, and more in March until, finally, during the month of April it’s mostly the same familiar faces you saw last year at that time. In fact, according to a study by the University of Scranton, 92% of people who set New Year’s goals don’t achieve them, leaving a scant 8% who do.
Why do we so often start with great intentions, chasing our goals enthusiastically, yet reach the end of the calendar year and realize we’ve yet to see them through?
I believe that part of the reason is process and part of the reason is that if you want to reach your goals, you need to tap into your natural strengths.
In my case, I have one relationship-building strength and 4 influencing strengths. When I think about achieving goals, I’m most likely to be successful if those goals involve influencing other people. So I think about how I can put energy forward, using my strengths, to create achievable goals for myself and for my business.
A good example of how this works on a personal level is that I want to use my relationship-building strength to maintain and nurture my relationships with my siblings. In order to make this happen, I set goals each year. This year, I set a goal of taking a trip with each of my siblings (separately), to allow us time and space to reconnect.
Setting achievable goals
When you create goals with your strengths in mind, you give yourself a head start in accomplishing those goals. In addition, there are 4 other components I believe are essential to setting goals that you can consistently achieve.
1. Choose BIG goals. One of the worst things you can do is to choose small goals that don’t stretch the boundaries of what you think you can accomplish. For example, people commonly set fitness goals: they plan to run x times per week or hit a certain body weight. While there’s nothing wrong with those types of goals per se, everyone should have goals that aren’t body-focused. Think about goals you could set for your mind, heart, spirit, profession, and having fun, for example. These types of goals are important because they’re focused on a long-term vision of who you want to be and where you want to go with your life.
2. Categorize. When you segment your goals by breaking them down into different categories, it makes it easier to focus on what you want to accomplish in each area. You can create whatever categories are important to you; if you like alliteration, you can have themes like faith, family, and friends. Whatever works!
3. Print and display them. Print them out. I’m not talking about a screenshot or a saved file. I mean print them on a piece of paper. Then display them somewhere were you can see them every day—on your desk, on your mirror, next to your bed, wherever. (Mine are taped to the wall in my bathroom, next to my mirror.)
4. Read them every day. You want the printed copy in sight not because it looks cool but because it’s effective. When you read your goals every single day it helps secure them in your subconscious, which helps you move forward towards completion. Yes, you still have to plan. Yes, you still have to take action. But the key to taking that next step is seeing the daily reminder that you’ve set these goals.
Why does goal setting matter at work?
Goal setting provides focus and motivation for individuals to achieve things that are important to them. Setting and achieving goals can provide positive energy and help people both articulate priorities and realize personal growth.
It works in similar way for businesses. When you set and achieve big-picture goals for your business, based on the strengths of your company and its employees, it’s a win for everyone. Achieving those goals generally means you’re serving clients well and are more profitable, which is good for your employees and their families when the profitability is reflected in their paychecks.
How can Millennial Guru help?
At Millennial Guru, we use CliftonStrengths assessments to help your business recognize the strengths each individual brings to the table and how, in turn, those strengths can benefit your business.
With respect to goal setting, we love to empower companies to reach their goals! Schedule an informational meeting with Millennial Guru today to learn more about how we can help you identify specific, big-picture, strength-based goals that can improve productivity as well as profitability.