How to see your goals through!
It is suggested that 70% of people that set goals for themselves fail to achieve them. Many just give up!
In this article, we’ll explore the purpose of goals, and look at ways to ensure we see our goals through.
What is a goal?
Why do we have goals?
The purpose of a goal is to stretch your capability - to achieve something that you don’t currently have.
There are many types of goals;
- a typical business goal could be to hit a revenue or profit target or to expand the business into a new market
- a career goal could be to further your career perhaps by gaining a new job, promotion, or qualification
- a personal goal could be to lose weight, to improve your well-being, or to spend more quality time with your family or friends
These goals could be really important, so why is it that sometimes we give up on our goals?
Some of my coaching clients have commented that, in the past, they just seemed to stop working on their goal. Some gave up without even noticing; some comment that other things just got in the way. Some say "I always seem to just give up after a few weeks - it’s just something I do - I don’t know why?!". For many, giving up on their goal can be a habit.
So, how can we stop giving up on our goals?
Earlier, I mentioned the word 'important'. This is a critical part of goal-setting. The more important your goal is to you, the higher the chances are that you will work towards achieving it and not give up if the going gets tough.
How can you make your goal more important?
By asking yourself 'why' you want to achieve the goal in the first place. What will achieving the goal give you? I don’t mean just the actual result; for example: hitting the revenue target, getting the promotion at work, or losing the weight. I mean - how will you feel?
What is the emotion that you’ll experience achieving the goal? What will achieving the goal enable you to do next? What will you be able to do for other people when you achieve the goal?
To experience the 'feeling' of achieving your goal right now, why not try the following exercise?
- stand-up, back straight
- shake your arms and legs for a few moments
- take a few deep breaths (breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth)
- put your hands on your hips (I know this sounds silly but do it anyway!)
- close your eyes (assuming you’re in a safe place to do so)
- now think about your goal
- think of the future - imagine or visualise your future-self achieving the goal;
- visualise your face - are you smiling?
- what else are you doing?
- where are you?
- what are you saying to yourself having achieved the goal?
- what are other people saying to you?
- what have you learnt achieving the goal?
- what emotion/s do you feel?
Now open your eyes, grab a pen and paper, and write down what you just experienced. Also, write down the answers to the questions that you just asked yourself.
This simple exercise can help you to experience the achievement of completing your goal, which can help to give you a bigger 'why' for your goal. The bigger the 'why', the more important the goal will be to you. The more deep-level importance you attach to the outcome of your goal, the more motivation you’ll have to achieve it.
Now of course, when we commit to a goal, life can show up for us and things can get in our way of achieving the goal. The action you take towards achieving your goal may not work as expected. If this happens - don’t despair! Tap into the 'energy' of your 'why' by repeating the exercise we just did and think of a new action that you can try - something different.
If that action doesn’t work-out, repeat the exercise above and try again. This is the magic formula for not giving up on your goals.
Working towards your goals is as important as achieving the goal because when you work on your actions, you’re learning and growing. You expand your comfort zone and increase your resourcefulness - especially when the action doesn’t work as expected. Just keep going!
I hope you found this helpful.