So, here we are again. New Year's Day. You've got goals. What you need need are key tips for achieving goals. I know this because it’s the start of a new year and you are wide-eyed with new hope as 2018 looms. As well you should be. The new year brings all sorts of possibilities. The question is, how best to take advantage of the renewed energy and focus.
Well, here are some key Tips For Achiving Goals in 2018 that you can use to totally crush it (and achieve your dreams) in the coming months.
Goal Tip #1: Have a clear vision of where you are headed
You can’t figure out how tp get where you are going if you don’t know where you are headed. And I mean exactly where you are headed. “Lose some weight” is a weak goal. “Weigh 200 pounds on Thanskgiving Day and celebrate with my entire family” is another, better, more specific goal.
The Thanksgiving weight goal has some key features (it’s a SMART goal):
It is Specific — weigh 200 pounds. That’s pretty specific.
It is Measurable — daily. On a scale. Progress pound by pound.
It is Achievable — presumably you can safely lose that much weight by Thanksgiving.
It is Relevant — hopefully, you care about your long-term health
It is Time-based — Thanksgiving. Clear and simple.
I also like the fact that the goal as written contains an image of the “win”. You show up at Thanksgiving dinner and everyone is amazed at how great you look. It’s a huge celebration. All because you put in the work today, and tomorrow, and the next day….
Simply jotting down something vague like “do better at my job” likely won't cut it. Instead, focus on goals that give you clarity and direction.
– via CNBC
My recommendation: Write a clear concise goal that makes it easy to measure your progress and visualize your success. Write it out on a 3×5 notecard and pin it up on your bulletin board.
If your goals are internet business related (which is certainly possible since you are reading this post on an internet marketing blog), consider moving away from revenue targets and focus on value goals instead. “Create a new course by April 1st and enroll 100 eager students by June 1st” is a much better goal than “Make $20,000 by June 1st.
Goal Tip #2: Make sure you know why you are headed there
Having a goal is one thing. Owning a goal is something else. Why is that goal your goal? Are you losing weight because your doctor wants you to? Or is it because your wife is nagging you? You need to know why you are setting a goal, and it needs to be a powerful reason if you hope to success.
As Michael Hyatt often says…
People lose their way when they lose their why.
You will have trouble finding the motivation that you need to survive the coming struggles if you don’t have a clear reason for pushing through.
German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’ Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!).
– via Forbes
My recommendation: List out all the reasons you want your goal, all the benefits of achieving it, all the bad things that might happen if you give up, and how you plan to reward yourself when you done.
And a special note: there are two kinds of motivations — things we are running away from and things you are running towards. Make sure you are exploring both motivations. In the case of weight loss, you might be runnign away from the bad healt impact or the shame you feel on the beach. You might be running toward the new wardrobe or the time you’ll get to spend with your grandkids. Either way, make an accounting all the motivations that power your goal.
Again, if your goals is internet business related, consider moving away from specific revenue here to specific outcomes of that revenue. The people you will help as a result of the revenue (even if that is yourself) is a great place to look. Maybe you will change people’s lives with your goal — maybe you will change your own. Either way, it pays to make it about more than just the money.
Goal Tip #3: Shut Down The Negative Input
Even the best-laid plans of mice and men go awry. Sometimes, they go awry simply because of the negative thoughts in our head. On January 1, we are all aglow with anticipation, hope and possibilities. But by Feburary (or even sooner), the negative self-talk starts and we begin to doubt our abilities.
These negative thoughts often come from self-limiting beliefs. These “beliefs” are things that we think are true about ourselves — either conciously or sub-conciously. “I’m not smart enough” or “I don’t deserve that success” or “Who would want to listen to what I have to say”.
How about a real example — a limiting belief that might keep me from publishing this blog post would sound like this: “No one is going to read this because I am not all that successful myself.” That kind of thinking can really hold you back (even if you don’t realize it). Fear is another common limiting belief — “What if people don’t like this article”.
So, if you are feeling resistance or procrastinating for some unknown reason, consider your limiting beliefs. Are they holding you back? Getting rid of limiting beliefs can be the key to moving your goals forward.
When you replace negative limits in your beliefs about yourself with positive images that focus on your potential, “your success increases exponentially,”
– via SUCCESS
For internet business related goals, I think this is especually critical. Usually, internet business involves “putting yourself or your products out there”. People can worry that their products will flop, or worse, people will criticize their work. Worse still, maybe no one will care.
If you suffer from a lack of confidence and insecurity, you should consider unpacking that and figuring out why you feel that way. You might be suffering from what my friend Cliff Ravenscraft calls “Imposter Syndrome”. If that sounds like you, he has the cure for imposter syndrome (and it’s free).
Goal Tip #4: Break It Down. Then Break It Down Again
One problem with goals we set in the beginning of the year can be that they are so massive. A year is a long time, so huge goals are attailable in that time frame. That’s exciting. But, the same thing that makes these goal exciting can make them seem unattainable. What’s a hightly motivated goal seeker to do?
To get around this problem, it’s smart to plan in smaller chunks. There are a couple of ways to tackle this. First, it can be smart to set milestones. For example, in the weight loss case, let’s say we weigh about 250 pounds and want to get to 200 by Thanksgiving (this sounds strangely familiar).
Take a look at your big goal, find where you can insert milestones throughout the year, and then you can create actionable to-do list items.
– via Lifehacker
We know that the first 20 pounds will be easy and the last 10 will be really tough. So, we can plan to lose 20 pounds by the end of March (about 7 pounds per month), then 5 pounds per month in April, May and June. That will get us to 35 pounds lost by summer. Then we can set our mind to losing 3 pounds per month through Turkey Day.
Losing 50 pounds sounds like a lot — but losing 7 in January doesn’t sound so bad. We can even break it down further since 7 pounds a month is just under 2 pounds per week, and that initial weight should come off fast.
It’s important to make sure that you get your goal broken down into bit-sized chunks that your mind can find a way to tackle — that will help you stay focus on what you need to do TODAY to achieve a goal that is not due until much later this year.
Two pro tips: Write your milestones down on a calendar, celebrate your victories and check in on yourself periodically (accountability — more about this in the bonus tip below).
If your goals are internet marketing related, then look at the steps that you need to accomplish. For example, if you want to create and sell a course, you might need to outline the course, create the material, record the course, publish it, create a sales page, market the course, set up a lead magnet, etc. You get the idea.
Don’t let it overwhem you. If outline the course it daunting, then outline the first module. Break it down until you get to something that you can do.
Goal Tip #5: Focus on what you can do today. Repeat.
One of the things that always seems to happen when we set big goals is that we “forget about them” or “procrastinate” and then time files by. Before you know it, it’s April and you’ve made no progress on that goal you set way back in January.
Most dreams aren’t shattered by a conscious moment of surrender. Rather, they’re quietly consumed by years of inactivity.
– via Medium
To combat this, I recommend that you check in daily on your goals. Make a little progress every day. In the case of goals like weight loss, this probably means daily weigh-ins and daily accountabilty for eating the right food. There are great apps for the latter, and for the former, I recommend the Nokia WiFI scale.
Bottom line here is to try and make a little progress every day. If you stumble today, make progress tomorrow. You’ll be amazed how those little gains can add up over the course of a year.
There are about 3500 calories in a pound. If you want to lose 50 pounds, you need to “miss out” on about 175,000 calories. (It’s actually more complicated than that because it matters where those calories come from, but bear with me here). That’s the bad news. Almost 200 thousand calories to skip. Wow!
But the good news is that there are about 325 days between January 1st and Thanksgiving in 2018. That means you really only have to cut 600 calories per day. That could be as simple as a short walk and skipping that muffin every day.
If internet marketing is your focus, it usually means that you need do a little work instead of messing around on Facebook or checking out the next bright, shiny object (or in my case, watching NCIS).
Bonus Tip: Go For Accountability (one of my favorite key tips for achieving goals)
One of the best tips I can offer you is to find a buddy that shares your goals (or at least enthusistically supports and understands them). Plan a weekly (or daily) check in with that person. There are professional people you can hire for this (the guys at CommitAction.com come to mind) and there are some great apps. My mastermind group uses the HabitShare App for IOS.
Conclusion: Use These Key Tips For Achiving Goals Today
Of course, just reading this article is the easy part. The hard part is actually doing the work. But if you do something every day to meet your goals, you’ll be surprised by the progress you can make in 2018. Good luck and let me know how it goes.