GOAL SETTING & GETTING GUIDEBOOK
approx 12 minute read
Don’t lose sight of your goals
Joanne always had a passion for writing, ever since she was a little girl.
She spent her free time scribbling down stories and imagining new worlds.
When she was around 5 or 6 years old, she wrote a story about a rabbit who caught measles.
Since then, she had always dreamed of becoming an author.
However, life wasn’t easy for Joanne. She lost her mother to a long illness and struggled to make ends meet as a single mother.
Despite these difficulties, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a writer.
With a clear vision and an abundance of belief, Joanne set her sights set on her goal.
She was very disciplined, creating a schedule for when she would write, and committing to it.
She shared her stories and her dreams with her daughter, who adored her work.
It took 6 years but upon finally finishing her first book, she was delighted.
However, her manuscript was rejected by every publisher she reached out to.
Anxious, but undeterred, Joanne persevered.
Until one day, her book was accepted by a small literary agent, who worked on a deal to print 500 copies.
Two years later, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was published.
Joanne, who you will no doubt know better as J.K. Rowling, has a reported net worth of 1 billion dollars.
Can money buy you happiness?
Not necessarily. Although we’d give it a shot with $1 billion, right? However, being able to achieve your dream in life, or multiple dreams, often does.
In fact, there’s a well-documented connection between happiness or well-being and achieving goals. Even small, incremental ones.
You don’t have to sell 500 million books. Although if that’s your goal, have at it. (And keep reading!).
Why do we need goals?
200,000 years ago, life was simpler. Harder no doubt, but simpler.
Prehistoric man probably had goals. Build shelter. Light fire. Find food. Escape leopard.
Probably not concerned about his or her 5 year plan.
Today is a little different. We all still face challenges of course. Goal setting can help!
Setting and working towards something gives you a daily sense of direction and purpose.
It also helps your brain stay active. Like mental gymnastics.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be too challenging. You should design your goals, and how much energy you grant them, to be personal to you.
A handspring double salto forward tucked vault or just your best cartwheel across the mat. Your choice.
A win feels the same whatever league you’re in.
A much-needed boost
When you achieve your goals, even incremental goals, it gives you a boost.
You give your brain a little hit of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, which makes you feel even happier.
So healthy, legal, complimentary, tax-free highs. What’s not to love?
Well, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? There’s still a cost to pay.
Often priced at a large amount of hard work, a dash of discipline, and a generous serving of belief.
But in the end, and even on the way, it seems to be worth every penny.
10 Tips to help you achieve your goals
Eager to take your business or personal life to the next level? Great, let’s start right here.
These 10 tips help you get started, stay on track, measure progress, and keep motivated.
Just think of us when you sign that 7-figure book deal 😉
- Set SMART Goals
- Clear Vision
- Write it Down
- Sharing is Daring
- Break it Down
- Upskill Productivity
- Keep Track
- Rely on the ‘Why’
- Reward Yourself
- Enjoy the Journey
#1 Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are a memorable way of saying “make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
SMART goals help ensure that your objectives are clear and actionable. And that you have a deadline for completion.
For example, instead of just saying “I want to lose weight”, make it a SMART goal by saying “I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months by cycling to the gym 3 times a week and eating lettuce instead of bread”.
This simple starting point greatly increases your chance of success.
Check out our Goal Setting & Cheatsheet for the perfect spot to commit to your goal.
#2 Clear Vision
Your vision is a clear picture of where you want to be in life.
Your goals create a roadmap to your vision.
If you can’t clearly define that end goal then it’s impossible to build a roadmap to it.
Close your eyes. Can you imagine it? How does it feel? Why do you want this?
Never forget the ‘Why’. We’ll come back to that later.
Visualisation isn’t restricted to your imagination of course.
Print pictures. Postcards.
Display them in prominent places like the fridge door or screen on your device.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
The law of attraction is a thing. Go manifest.
#3 Write it Down
According to someone who sells pens, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down.
Only kidding. About the pen part, not the 42%, that’s legit.
Another study shows that people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals.
Ties in nicely with tip number 2 above, doesn’t it?
Once written down you can pop the prompt in highly visual places, just like that fridge door again. Or the laptop. Or the biscuit tin.
Daily reminders of your goals help guide your habits. Which in turn drives your chances of success.
But that’s not the only reason you should write them down. Something more magical is at work.
Humans retain information better when it’s something they have created themselves.
The act of writing down your goals triggers your brain to encode the information differently.
Almost subconsciously, you are hardcoding the goals directly into the place you do your decision-making.
#5 Break it Down
Like MC hammer once said, “Ring the bell, school’s back in. Break it down!”
Now, we can’t be sure if he was specifically referring to goal-setting at the time, but with all the school-bell-ringing it certainly sounds like he’s trying to educate.
Sometimes goals can feel overwhelming. And possibly like you’ll never get there. But often, that’s because you do not know where to start.
Well, as the saying goes, ‘There is only one way to eat an elephant: A bite at a time”.
Breaking your goals down into smaller steps will make it feel less daunting.
Also, you will be able to track your progress and celebrate small wins along the way.
If you find yourself paralysed by the magnitude of the project ahead, just take the first step.
That could be putting on your running shoes. Or getting your running clothes out the night before.
What obstacles are in your way? How can you best prepare for success?
#6 Upskill Productivity
There are LOTS of productivity tips out there. If you want to get stuff done, it’s worth sharpening the saw in this skill set.
Be sure to get some rest though. Gary Vaynerchuk recently posted about productivity.
He told us productivity should not be linked to getting the least amount of sleep.
But rather it should be about feeling happy, energetic, and productive when you are awake. (He aims for 7–8 hours. And he’s Gary V.)
Productivity Mini Tips
Here are 5 more productivity tip takeaways to get your teeth into:
- Schedule a ‘Power Hour’ to dedicate an hour per day to the tasks most important to your growth.
- Plan the next day the night before so that you don’t waste time within your Power Hour.
- Our decision-making ability dwindles throughout the day. Don’t waste it on menial tasks. That’s why Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit.
- Use deadlines. The most important minute is often the last minute. Without the last minute, not as much would get done.
- Power napping can be useful for increasing productivity. However counter-intuitive, taking naps can help to improve mood, reduce fatigue, and boost alertness and mental performance.
#7 Keep Track
Documenting your progress is imperative to stay on track and keep motivated.
This can be as simple as keeping a record of your checked-off achievements.
Ideally, you’ll be able to tie this back in with your SMART goals. (Measurable) and come up with a number.
Tracking weight loss, pages written, number of signups, books read, money saved, weights lifted, or miles travelled. You get the picture.
Maybe your goal is to become a world champion. That’s not a number. Well, it’s №1, but it’s not a number in the same way as the accumulating ones above.
In this case, you’ll have to break it down into smaller achievements. Local, regional, and national accomplishments.
Even before that, you can measure stuff like tournaments entered, or even training for one at the end of the year.
Recording progress helps you stay motivated and celebrate smaller wins along the way.
Plus, with regular review milestones, you can identify any obstacles or challenges that may be impeding your progress.
This allows you to make any necessary adjustments to your approach.
#8 Rely on the ‘Why’
Most goals fail because people eventually give up. J.K Rowling didn’t give up.
Persistence is as important as any other aspect of success. But persistence is fuelled by motivation.
We’ve already shared a few tips that help you stay motivated along the way.
But the main one by far is to focus on the ‘Why’.
Polyglots agree, one of the best ways to learn a new language is to practice every day but that takes a lot of effort.
And so it’s important to laser in on the reason you are learning.
It might be because you want to move to the country, or for your career. You might have friends, or a partner, who are native speakers.
Keeping this reason close to your thoughts helps you find the discipline and motivation each day to keep grinding.
If you’re running a marathon or hitting the gym, again, regularly remind yourself ‘Why’.
Charity? Wedding? Or maybe just because sky-diving is on your bucket list.
Financial goal? Why? Is it so you can have the time and resources to travel or do more of the things you like?
Pursuing your dreams can obviously be challenging at times, with ups and downs.
So whatever YOUR reason, keep your ‘Why’ close at hand.
#9 Reward Yourself
Treats don’t only work on dogs. We’re also programmed to enjoy a little reward along the way.
Not only does a treat provide another extra hit of feel-good brain chemicals, but it also provides a little respite.
It’s very typical for a healthy-eating plan to have a Cheat Day.
Or a Home Budget Planner to consistently put cash aside to splurge later on a family treat, as a reward for frugal living.
The reward can be as simple as eating ice cream, or even taking a walk. But only after you’ve finished re-writing those product listings, or mailed those proposals.
In addition to the perks, it’s simply important for motivation to recognise and celebrate small wins along the way.
This creates a positive feedback loop. The satisfaction of achieving a goal and receiving a reward leads to increased motivation to set and achieve the next goal.
The process fuels a self-perpetuating goal-getting machine.
Additionally, rewards can serve as a reminder of past achievements, tying in with the ‘Keep Track‘ tip above.
This in itself can act as a reminder of your accomplishments, which helps reaffirm the actions and choices you’re making.
#10 Enjoy the Journey
In 2011, Ben Hunt-Davis published Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?
The best-selling book covers the athlete’s Olympic Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, with the strategies, habits, and mindset that made it all possible.
The main principle is a focus on the objective. And making all their life decisions based on whether or not they would assist this outcome.
In this case, would their actions away from the water impact the performance of the team?
Would it, either directly or indirectly, make the boat go faster? Or would it be detrimental? That’s some serious focus and noble commitment to the cause.
Now, we are not all in pursuit of gold medals. World Championship success in any walk of life requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice.
At Nettl, we are fans of balance. Work-life harmony. The pursuit of goals can be all-encompassing. It’s easy to become rather obsessed.
So while it’s important to work towards your goals, always keep some perspective.
Your goal is a means to an end. As mentioned in the above point, the end goal is often the pursuit of happiness.
Don’t make yourself miserable in the pursuit. Don’t burn out. This will bring an abrupt end to your goal-seeking adventures.
Don’t be the Grand Designer with the dream of building their own house, only to end up broke, divorced, and hating your new home.
Be kind to yourself. Step back from your plan at regular intervals and evaluate the bigger picture.
People that achieve their wildest dreams are often left with a feeling of anticlimax.
Self-made millionaires. World champion athletes. Often heard quoted “I thought I would feel happier…’
There is no final destination. Even when you get there, life continues. Enjoy the journey.
What are your business goals?
What goals have you set for your business this year?
Go ahead, write them down and share them with us.
We can help you create a MAP (Massive Action Plan) and work together to check off some of those important milestones to success.