The 8 smart tips that put a spin on goal setting as you know it
GOALS – I love goals and goal setting as they provide a great route map for your business and your life.
It's the one common thing I talk to all my Business Owner clients about - getting clear on their goals.
I usually go by the normal ‘rules of goal setting in a tried and tested format, but doing some reading recently got me thinking.
Here I share some of the alternative tips to goal setting.
1. Being SMART isn’t everything
Yes I love a SMART goal ( those that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable/Achievable, Realistic and Timebound) but if it doesn’t inspire you .. you aren’t going to be that interested deep down in achieving it.
Some great questions to ask yourself about your goals when you have written them (yes actually write them down so you can see them )
• Why am I bothering to do this?
• What are the benefits to me ? To those I care about?
• How will it impact on my life when I’ve achieved it? How will it be different?
• What will be the best outcome once this goal is complete?
You could describe these questions as leading to YOUR WHY! Why are you doing this? When it gets tough, remembering YOUR WHY is so powerful.
2. See procrastination as a good thing
I, like many other coaches and consultants, talk about procrastination as a thing to watch out for, to be wary of. It certainly is if it stops you from doing something important or a task with a defined deadline.
What though, if you saw it as a good thing, a GIFT even?
Sometimes we procrastinate for a good reason. We are unsure of the next step and may need to learn the information to move forward, we may be tired or feeling unwell. It might be frustration that is causing it (taking longer, more obstacles than you expected) it might be taking you way outside your comfort zone.
So rather than sitting in judgment of yourself for procrastinating, you pause and look for the gift. What is it that is actually the cause of your procrastination?
You might need to let go of your own expectations of you, you might need to take some time off or do something different, you might see who can help you with the task and reach out to them. Once you take stock and take a different action, you may find you can see a clear way forward without procrastinating any further.
3. Start acting like a Snail
You’ve heard the phrase ‘More haste, less speed’? Well, it is true. We are in a lifestyle of ‘GO GO GO, RUSH SUSH RUSH, DO IT NOW’
The things is rushing, reacting and never taking time to stop causes us to get tired, lose our focus and motivation, we miss new ideas that struggle to gain recognition and we are so much more likely to make mistakes.
Slowing down actually allows us to achieve more!
Rushing around has a huge negative impact on us.
It feels unpleasant and increases our stress levels. Not great for our minds or our bodies. It leads to greater tiredness and eventually to burnout.
It leads to more mistakes and impacts negatively on our work. We don’t double check things, we miss spelling mistakes, we click the wrong button and find we’ve not saved that piece of work! Even more stress!!
It impacts our creativity. It’s really hard to be creative when we rushing abut. Creativity needs space to allow ideas to percolate or to bubble up from our subconscious.
It makes things we once saw as pleasurable as chores. When we have to ‘hurry up and get this done’ it takes the pleasure out of doing things.
So rushing about is stressful, leads to less productivity and is quite frankly exhausting. Taking a slower, (not quite) snail’s pace means we enjoy the journey and we have more energy. We are more relaxed, more creative, and actually can keep going for longer and get more stuff done.
4. Just believe in YOU!
Here’s the thing – setbacks, stuff getting in the way, events upsetting our plans. It happens. Sometimes set backs are unavoidable. What happens next though is up to you and you alone really.
You have to believe in YOU! You have to believe your goals are achievable and that you can absolutely smash them.
When stuff happens, we have to re-group and persevere. If you have the determination succeed – you absolutely will.
You also need to know when to LET GO too. Whether that’s for a while or for ever. Sometimes those challenges mean we have to change our direction, stop for a while or do something different. That’s OK. You can always come back to it, when and if it is the right thing.
It’s also Ok to STOP when you feel you’re banging your head against the proverbial wall or going round in circles not getting anywhere. Check in first of all that the goal is still relevant to you and you do still want to achieve it? Do you need to change something? The timescales, who is helping you. What outcome you want?
Trust in you – trust that you know when stopping or re-evaluating is the right thing to do for you.
5. Self care is paramount
This is more than just popping off to the Spa though – this is about managing your time effectively.
We all know that time is limited resource. Once it is gone – it is gone forever. The thing is we are all busy people. The busier we are the more we seem to agree to do. I reckoning this comes from the ‘want something doing , ask a busy person’ philosophy.
I’m going to invite you to do this – from now on think of great time management as great self care. If we don’t manage our time well, we end up rushing about (see point 3) leaving ourselves no time for the important stuff – our goals.
So when you take the time to invest in managing your time and what strategies work for you – you are quite literally taking care of YOU!
Give these tips a go –
Plan and allow enough time to do what you need to do at a comfortable pace.
Take breaks. Step away from the desk for lunch. Go for a walk during meetings and activities
Take time to prioritise your important stuff so you don’t run out of time.
Know what and who are you time sappers and avoid them.
Put your important stuff in your diary first and fit other stuff around it – managing your time is not all about the business!
6. Be honest with YOU!
Here’s the thing – there is really no such thing as a quick win or an overnight success. Success (whatever that looks like) takes time. It takes mistakes, doing the wrong thing, tweaking stuff and trying again and again.
When we have a goal that is HUGE (at least to us) - which to be fair is what a goal should be.. something we know we need to push ourselves to achieve, it will be a challenge.
It will take us out of our comfort zone. All good but we may need to be truthful here.
Do you need to ask for help?
Do you need to learn something, develop a new skill or get to grips with a new tool/app/process?
Are you being realistic with your own expectations in terms of timescale, hours in the day you can devote to it, your lifestyle and balancing what is important?
What is getting in the way? What can I do to unblock it?
We always need to be on the lookout for challenges and acknowledge our own limitations. That way we can source solutions and move forward. Once we face our own truth we can find a way to success.
7. Learning is the key to a lot!
Do you have a learning attitude?
If not, may I suggest starting to cultivate one. (that was a rhetorical question really) To be successful in business, whatever that looks like, we have to keep learning.
We learn new things, keep up to date with our own profession, learn from the stuff that will absolutely go wrong. This way we keep growing as a person and a business owner.
In order to achieve our goals, we inevitable go on a journey. Maybe, just maybe it will the process of achieving the goal that will be more valuable in terms of your own self development, knowledge and new skills, than actually achieving the goal itself.
I love this quote -
“The real value of setting and achieving goals lies not in the rewards you receive, but in the person you become as a result of reaching your goals.” Robin Sharma
So whether progress is going well or you are struggling a little, keep checking in with yourself to find out what you have learnt.
8. To be INSPIRED! WARNING - This is a BIGGIE!!
The purpose of your goals is to inspire you. It is that simple.
They are things to work towards, to feel a sense of achievement about, to help you create the business and life you want and will love.
So next time you start that proverbial beating yourself upas you haven’t achieved that thing, that action, that goal .. please STOP IT!!
Your goals are not there as a tool to beat you up with .. in fact that is abuse of your goals.!!!
I repeat .. they are there to INSPIRE you.
So here’s what I suggest instead. Next time you recognise things have not gone to plan ask yourself
Am I on the right track?
Am I still moving forwards?
Am I heading toward my goal?
If YES then fantastic .. just keep going.
If NO .. then what do you need to do to teak your progress. Check in with yourself and revisit the 7 tips above!
if your goals really do not inspire you then I invite to grab a cuppa, and take some time to ask yourself what you really want.
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