If you are anything like me, you are a goal setter. You write down an extensive set of goals at the beginning of each year and have all the expectations of getting each goal accomplished. Then midway through the year your priorities have shifted and your goals are irrelevant. You may ask yourself, “Do I even remember my goals from the beginning of the year?”
If that is the case, then this is a great post for you. For goals to be important, they must be up-to-date and relevant. So how do you make sure they are relevant goals? The following five steps will help you to keep your goals on track.
1. Write Out Your Goals
One of my favorite quotes about goals is by Steve Maraboli. He said, ““If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal – you have a wish.” When you set goals, it is important to write them down. Writing them down does two things for you. First, the act of writing or typing them out helps to cement them in your own mind. Second, when you write down your goals, they are recorded for you on paper so you can refer back to them in the future.
2. Keep Your Goals Visible
Once you write out your goals, put them in a place where they are easily visible to you on a regular basis. Don’t save them into a file that is buried on your hard drive where you will never find them again. To keep your goals visible, you can do any of the following:
- Post them on your refrigerator
- Pin them up next to your computer
- Make them into a task on your task list
- Pin them next to your bathroom mirror
- Put them some other place that you will regularly see them
It doesn’t really matter where you put them, what really matters is that they are in a place where you can see them regularly.
3. Visit Your Goals Regularly
Just posting your goals in a place where you can see them is not enough. You must take the time to look at your goals. When you look at your goals regularly, it helps them to stay fresh in your mind so that you are always working towards accomplishing them. I heard one person say that whatever you really want to accomplish, you need to look at every single day. By doing that, it becomes a part of your routine and it sticks inside you so you don’t forget about it and it is always on the forefront of your mind.
4. Track Your Progress
When you create your goals, they should be SMART goals. The “M” in SMART stands for measurable. When you set goals that are measurable, it is important to track your progress to ensure you are working towards completing them. If you set the goal to create 15 new leadership policies by the end of the year and you have not created one yet, you probably won’t hit your goal. However, if you have already created 13, it may be very possible to complete by the end of the year. If you don’t track your progress, you will not know where you are at.
5. Revise the Goals As Necessary
Just because you set a goal, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change them throughout the year. Sometimes when we set a goal we do it based on what our end goal is at the time we set it, however, circumstances change. What seemed like a great goal earlier this year may be completely irrelevant now. If, however, a goal is still a relevant goal but the timeline is not feasible, change the time frame. You can adapt your goals as you work through them. There is no rule that every goal you set needs to be perfect until it is completed. Goals can be changed, adapted, and revised as you work to accomplish them.
Are you using the five steps outlined above for goals? How does this approach help you? What changes have happened to you as you have used this goal setting approach? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!