Goal setting was something I did not put a lot of thought into just a few years ago. I would set goals at the beginning of the new year, and forget what goals I set by May. For so long I struggled with goal setting. I would set goals, and could not figure out for the life of me why I was not accomplishing them!
As time passed, I began to put more thought into my goals. I also began to research and test out suggestions that I found. It was not easy at first, but I began to learn and understand the science of goal setting. I FINALLY learned how to create achievable goals. This wasn’t an overnight thing for me, but with trial and error I finally figured out what worked for me.
I have put together five steps to creating achievable goals. Each step also starts with the letter “P,” so maybe we can call these “The 5 P’s.”
Here are the five steps to creating achievable goals.
First you have to prioritize. Start by writing your goals out, and prioritizing them in a list. Consider which one you want to accomplish first, and which one is most important to you. No matter what, you have to prioritize. If you have a goal that you would like to accomplish, but it’s not that important to you, then don’t put that goal at the top of your list. This goal belongs somewhere in the middle if not towards the bottom. Reason being, we often focus too much energy on things that can wait when we have more important things we can put our energy towards.
Step two, focus on the positive. Change your thoughts from “I wish I could,” or “One day I want to..” to thoughts like “I will…,” and “I will have…” This alone will make a huge different. We have to wire our brain so that nothing seems impossible. It is all about your mindset, and to accomplish anything you need to have the right mindset. Lift yourself up, and believe in yourself. It’s true, you can literally do anything you put your mind to. You just first have to believe it.
Step three, be precise. You goals need to be clearly defined. Specific goals are more likely to be reached than vague ones. They give you a sense of direction, and you will know exactly what to do to achieve it. This is a great time to define, who, what, when, where, why, and how. The more specific you are the better. Make your goals as clear as possible.
Step four, measure your performance. Set a time for starting and completing your goal. Even set up checkpoints so that you can measure whether or not you are on track to accomplish your goals. That way if you are not on track you can figure out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. If you aren’t on track, that’s ok. Life happens, so it’s important to be flexible. Just because you may not accomplish a goal when you want doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Maybe you set the finish date too soon, or maybe the goal isn’t a true representation of something you really want. Having deadlines and checkpoints will be a great time for you to evaluate your goals. If along the journey you realize that a goal isn’t something you want, then simply take the goal off of your list and move on to the next thing.
Step five, make sure your goals are personal. You can do this by asking yourself a question like “is this goal a personal goal or someone else’s desire for me?” This question is very important, because we often find ourselves wanting to accomplish things because it is someone else’s vision for us. I am here to tell you that, your vision for yourself DOES matter. It may not line up with what someone important to you wants and that’s ok. You have to remember that you are living this life for you and no one else. Do what makes you happy, and go after what you see fit for yourself.
When writing your goals for the week, month, and/or year always remember the five “P’s,” prioritize, be positive, be precise, measure your performance, and make sure your goals are personal. If you implement these five steps I promise that accomplishing your goals won’t seem as hard. Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to. As my mom always says, anything worth having is worth working hard for. After all, the hardest part is getting started.