When was the last time you set a goal for yourself? If the last goal you thought about started with ringing in the new year, it’s time to rethink the value of setting goals all year long.
Experts estimate that about 60 percent of us set goals every year, but only about 8 percent of Americans achieve them. For those who do set goals, some studies show that up to 14 percent of them experience ten times more success.
“We all know that setting goals is important, but we often don’t realize how important they are as we continue to move through life,” says Leslie Riopel, MSc. “Goals also help align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve upon something that you don’t properly manage. Setting goals can help you do all of that and more.”
These three simple tips for setting goals will help you stay focused and motivated.
Keep it simple.
If you have an entire page of goals you hope to accomplish, you may want to scale it back a bit.
“When your goals are so spread out into different areas of your life, you simply do not have enough time or energy to reach them all,” says Brianna Wiest, senior contributor for ForbesWomen. “You halfheartedly accomplish a few, but the momentum doesn’t pick up because you’re not making real progress.” To stay focused on your goals, Brianna suggests limiting your goal setting to only three goals at a time.
Identify the impact the goal will have on your life.
If you hope to stay motivated, your goal needs to make a measurable difference in your life. Ask yourself, “What will be better when I achieve my goal? Will I be healthier? More financially stable? Will I enjoy a better relationship with those around me?” These questions will help you find the drive to achieve your goals.
Ask how long it will take to achieve it.
It’s helpful to set lifetime goals, but it’s the success of short-term goals that keep the motivation going strong for larger, more challenging goals. “Your goals must have a deadline,” say the experts at mindtools.com. “When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.”
Setting a timeline also exposes realistic deadlines based on our capabilities. For example, if you have a goal to compete in a triathlon in the summer, and you’ve only begun running in late spring, you’ll discover that in order to achieve true success, you will need to allow yourself more time to train.
To help us improve various parts of our lives, experts say goal-setting should be daily practice. By using these tips to keep your goal-setting simple, well-defined, and on a schedule, you will enjoy the rewards of setting goals and achieving them all year.