Effective Goal Setting
Effective Goal Setting
Today’s article is all about the key skill to success, goal setting. Now some people may say, “oh I don’t ever set goals,” and that’s a load of crap.
We’re goal-orientated creatures, it’s in our nature. And so whether you realise it or not your subconscious mind is setting goals for you each and every day.
Going to get the shopping, that’s a goal. Going to work and earning money, another goal. Nice house, nice car and potentially a family… more goals!
Long have the most fortunate of us evolved from our daily goals simply being to find food, shelter and to survive.
Now we want letters after our names, nice cars, loving relationships, certain body types, happiness and contentment and so much more.
The key to getting what you want out of life is to harness your subconscious superpowers, nurture your objective orientated nature and set powerful goals.
And that’s exactly what this article is going to help you to do!
Before you say, “well, I just set all my goals in my head.” A study completed by the Dominican University in California showed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you have them written down.
So, if you want to achieve the results and success you desire in life, grab yourself a pen and paper, commence your creativity and let’s get goal setting.
All you have to do is follow along step by step and answer all the questions in bold.
Knowing what you want
The first step to setting any form of goal is knowing what you want. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for how do you expect to hit it?
So your first step in goal setting is simply to state in the positive what it is you want.
Now, “I don’t want to be overweight, broke, anxious, nervous etc. anymore,” is not stated in the positive. It’s focused on what you don’t want, the negative.
This is a key distinction because your subconscious doesn’t process “negatives” like “don’t, won’t or no longer” very well.
So if for example, you say “I don’t want to be overweight.” What your subconscious mind hears is a “positive” command, “I want to be overweight.”
Just like if someone says to you, “now don’t worry” or “don’t take this personally,” chances are you’re going to worry or you’re now prepared to take something personally.
So, stated in the positive, what is it that you want?
Now that you know what you want, it’s time to get specific. I want to lose weight or I want to make more money won’t cut it. Your subconscious mind loves specifics, especially when goal setting.
Think about it, you could end up horribly sick for a week. Spewing your guts up and eating not very much at all. By the end of the week will you have lost weight? You bet!
And for earning more, well you could get one more sale than last year, get a 1% across the board raise or win £1 on a scratchcard. Have you made “more money?” Yes, indeed you have!
Where either the result that you wanted, probably not. “I want to be at 78.5KG” or “I want to make £10,000,” that’s specific. Your subconscious mind hears that loud and clear!
Stated in the positive, what specifically do you want?
Making it clearer
Now that you know specifically what you want in the positive, let’s make your goal even clearer.
Thinking about the end outcome or achievement and how close or how far away it is…
Where are you now in relation to the end outcome?
Be completely honest about this and also objective. This isn’t a judgement process where you make yourself feel bad or put yourself off of your goal.
It’s an awareness process, designed to create clarity, help you and inspire you forward. So allow it to be that.
This next bit is exciting. After reading this sentence, I want you to close your eyes for a moment, have your end goal in mind and enjoy imagining the answers to the following question…
What will you see, hear and feel when you have it?
(Imagine it’s right now, you’ve already got it, you can see it through your own eyes, hear through your own ears and feel it through your own senses. Make it as compelling as possible!)
Once you’ve done this and allowed yourself to see, hear and feel it, note down your answers.
Then, close your eyes again and this time see yourself in the image as if you’re viewing your future self having achieved your goal.
After you’ve enjoyed that for a few moments, come back to now and open your eyes again, leaving the image so you can see your future self in it.
Now you have a clear idea of your end goal…
How will you know when you have it?
Write down any evidence that comes to mind. Whether that’s physical things, thoughts, feelings, emotions, sights, smells etc. Anything that will let you know you’ve achieved your goal.
When it comes to taking action, which is key to achieving your goals, emotion is generally more powerful than logic.
So the next step in your goal setting is to work out why it is you really want it. Because knowing why will bring up the true, deep reasons and powerful emotions as to why you want your goal.
It’s these deep reasons and powerful emotions, your why, that will inspire action each day and will act as your rod and staff to empower you to keep moving over, under and straight through challenges and difficulties.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Why do you really want …?
What will … get for you or allow you to do?
Give yourself some time to consider and ask the questions over and over until you’re sure you’ve gone deep enough. You’ll know, trust me.
For example. “I want to be at 78KGs.”
Why do I really want it? “Because that will mean I will be a certain size.”
Why is that important? “Because I’ll feel much more comfortable and confident being that size and because I’ve always wanted to do it and I know I can.”
So, this goal is to do with comfort, confidence and fulfilling both their desires and potential. That’s much more powerful! And you could keep going even deeper if you like, I’m sure you get the idea.
What will being at 78 KGs get for me or allow me to do? “It will allow me to wear the clothes I want, to climb stairs, walk the dog, play with kids and run without feeling like I’m dying.”
What do all of these things get me or allow me to do? “They give me freedom and allow me to be the parent/partner/dog owner/ person I want to be.”
Boom! Now that’s an inspiring reason that’s going to get almost anyone results – Freedom and being who it is you really want to be. Along with all that comfort, confidence and fulfilled desires and potential.
Now it’s your turn…
Your powers to achieve
This one is nice and simple.
Is the process of achieving your goal started by you?
Is the process of achieving your goal maintained and continued by you?
Is achieving your goal only for you or will others benefit?
If you answered yes to the first two questions, excellent! Achieving your goal is completely within your control and under your influence.
If you answered no to either of these then ask yourself “why not?” Because your goals are completely your responsibility.
Getting help along the way is absolutely fine, maybe even necessary, but passing the responsibility to someone else to start the process and/or keep it going that’s a non-starter.
You’re giving away all your power to achieve it, giving the wrong message to the goal granting powers that be and how do you expect to sustain an achievement that you didn’t really achieve?
Ask yourself, how can you take responsibility and how can you maintain it?
Anyway, you’ve answered yes to the first two and you have the power to achieve, brilliant. Did you answer yes to the third?
If so Woohoo! Your goals just got bigger than yourself, congratulations. How does it feel to realise that other people will be positively impacted by your achievements?
If not, then that’s absolutely fine. Doing things for you is the most important thing of all! But just before you move on…
Are you 100% sure not one single person apart from yourself will benefit from you achieving your goal and potentially being healthier, happier and wealthier etc? If you think deep enough you might just find they may…
Now you know that achieving your goal is within your power, the next step in your goal setting is listing your resources.
When I say resources, I don’t just mean external things like “a gym, money, time, other people who can help etc.“
I also want you to think about your personal qualities, learned skills and tools as well as external resources.
For example. “Self-discipline, determination, good people skills, my friends, the internet, books, my coach, money, patience etc.”
What resources do you have now that can help you to achieve your goal?
(Make your list.)
What resources do you need to help you achieve your goal?
(Make a list if necessary.)
Have you ever had or done something like this before?
Do you know anyone who has?
Given that you could picture in your mind earlier what it would be like to have it now and also picture yourself in the future with it, can you act as if you have it?
Now you’ll have a clear idea of all the amazing things about you that are going to help you achieve your goal and any resources you may want to develop or acquire.
If you answered yes to any of the last 3 questions, great! If you’ve had or done something like this before, your past experience can help you now.
If you know someone else who has what you want to achieve then you can use them as a role model, learn from them and maybe even ask for advice.
And if you can act as if you have it already, fantastic! Once you can see something in your mind/ act as if you already have it, it’s now an option for you to have it.
If you answered no to all 3, it’s all good, they’re simply a bonus and you’ve still got this!
Taking a Meta-View
Taking a meta-view simply means taking a step back and assessing all the things that may be affected by you achieving your goal and it’s an important part of effective goal setting.
It allows you to decide if your goal is 100% ecological and in alignment with your greater goals and values. It also allows you to get complete buy-in from your subconscious mind.
When answering the middle four questions, think both positive and negative. For example. If you earn £10,000 more this year…
You will gain more money, maybe more freedom and some of the nice things you wanted. You may also gain entering a higher tax bracket and more responsibilities in your role to justify the extra money.
When it comes to losing, you might lose the comfort of having mastered your previous role and you might lose friends who liked to worry and moan about money with you.
But you will also lose your financial worries, lose some debt and lose your unplanned overdraft fee’s.
So think about the whole picture…
For what purpose do you want to achieve this goal?
What will you gain if you achieve it?
What will you lose if you achieve it?
What are the short and long term consequences?
Who else does this affect?
Now that you’ve taken the time to fully consider and answer these questions on paper, it’s time for the key question…
Is it worth it?
Yes?! Fantastic! Well done you.
Looking over all your answers so far…
You and your subconscious mind now have a crystal clear, specific, 360 idea of:
- Exactly what you want
- Where you are in relation to it now
- What it will look, sound and feel like once you’ve got it
- How you’ll know you have it
- That it’s completely within your power to achieve it
- What resources you have and want to acquire
- And how it aligns perfectly with your greater goals and values
How good does that feel?
I know, right! Well, it was you who created that clarity and those positive feelings so congratulate yourself.
Creating tangible action steps
Action steps are an essential part of your goal setting. For action is what brings your goals to life!
For some goals, the actions steps are all clear cut and obvious. And for other goals, not all, and sometimes not any, of the actions steps are that clear cut.
Either way, here are four questions to consider to help you to create some tangible actions. In relation to achieving the goal you want…
What do you want more of?
What do you want less of?
What do you need to start doing?
And what do you need to stop doing?
The answers to these questions will give you some clear actions steps, markers and standards to set for yourself. Things that when honoured and stuck to, will bring about the achievement of your desires.
Setting your goal
Now you know your goal inside and out and you have a better idea of your action steps, it’s time to bring it all together and officially set your goal.
Just before you do I want you to consider the next two questions.
What if anything is stopping you from achieving your goal?
What can you do about it with regard to your resources to overcome it?
Excellent, that’s any obstacles taken care of right away, good job.
Now with everything you have created and clarified so far, it’s time to decide these three things…
What is your strategy for achieving your goal?
What are you going to do?
When specifically are you going to do it?
Decide how long you would like to complete these steps and a date for when you will have achieved your goal.
Write down a specific date. Remember, your subconscious loves specifics and having an achievement date will help drive you forward.
A huge congratulations! With that date now written down and out the world your goal is officially set, alive and ready to be achieved.
Keep your strategy somewhere where you can easily access and refer to it. Diarise your action steps and when specifically you’re going to do them.
Plan ahead for any obstacles and challenges that may come up along the way and how you are going to overcome them.
Take MASSIVE action on your plan. And review along the way making any required adjustments.
Goal setting all wrapped up
First of all, I just want to say a huge congratulations to you for daring to dream and deciding that you want something for yourself.
And secondly, for following these steps and setting a clear, specific and exciting goal to get you what you want.
If you stick to what you have committed to here and take consistent action, I am almost certain you will get what you set out to achieve.
Remember, any goal you set, if you want it to be effective, should be specific, measurable, achievable and timed.
Even if it’s not achievable within your current capabilities you can set milestones or mini-goals and develop into the person who can achieve it.
So when you’re setting goals again in the future, as well as referring back to this process, think of your goals like this…
- What do I want?
- When do I want it by?
- What if anything is stopping me?
- What can I do about it using my resources to overcome it?
- What’s my strategy? What am I going to do and when specifically am I going to do it?
Then simply put it in your diary, take massive action and review along the way.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be releasing a video and an article on achieving your goals: “11 key elements to consistently achieving your goals.” So make sure and subscribe via the opt-in box below and you’ll get them first.
If you would like to make your goal-setting even more powerful…
I have some bonus questions that will help you in achieving your goals and also make sure that you can sustain your results and keep moving forward to even greater things!
If you have any questions at all or you would like to optimise your goal setting and accelerate achieving your goals then get in touch by clicking here, I’m always more than happy to help.
Thank you very much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this and got plenty of value from it.
Be disciplined, stay consistent and keep taking action on what you have committed to today and you will achieve the results you both deserve and desire.
Happy Goal Getting!