How to set clear goals and remain on track

Setting goals always reminds me of school, I don’t know about you but every time I hear the SMART acronym I shudder. The idea of setting goals takes me back to bumbling around in class wondering what the hell I wanted to do with my life. When you read that you probably think its ok for me because I have figured it out, well let me assure you I haven’t but what I have done is taken some time to have a long hard think about what it is I actually want. Setting yourself personal goals helps you to move towards something bigger that you want for your life.

If you are feeling a bit stuck or bored with your groundhog days, I would highly recommend taking time out to reconnect with yourself. The hardest thing about setting clear goals is having an understanding of what you want to achieve in the first place. So first up has to be to figure out what you want to do, if you are clueless at this point then don’t make any goals. It’s key that your goals align with where you want to be otherwise you are just killing time. There is little point in creating a ‘to do’ list without direction – life is hard enough, don’t do it to yourself. Additionally there will be zero motivation to actually commit to goals unless they are taking you somewhere.

Once you have an idea of the direction of travel you want to go in, setting up your game plan becomes the fun part. However, goals are simply the steps you need to take to reach the destination, once you get there you will need to maintain that position or further develop (depending upon where you’re going). So really the art of goal setting is best seen through the lens of progressive thinking. This is why companies have aims and objectives, it helps them to maintain the vision for the company and evolve in line with their general direction of travel. This is a great way to look at your own progress with your personal aims.

This is why setting clear, achievable goals are going to helping you on your way. Depending on your personal preference, you can set goals to be smaller and easier to achieve or you can chunk them into larger more difficult ones. My personal preference is to do smaller chunks as I feel like I am getting closer to what I want faster, it also makes me feel more in control of how things are going (it’s a psychological thing).  I won’t argue either way, you do you. Essentially though you are looking for your goals to be achievable, don’t set yourself something you know isn’t going to happen. They need to challenge you but also excite you. Sure there will be difficult ones in there but that’s the point. Be clear about what you are going to do and how it is going to take you closer to the end game.

There will be days when you don’t want to work on it and that’s fine, we are only human. When these days turn into weeks this is where accountability comes in.  Accountability is a massive one here for staying on target, it’s easy enough to set some goals but you need to remain focused and actually achieve them if you want to get anywhere.  It’s important to remember that nobody has set these goals for you and nobody cares if you don’t meet them. Essentially, if you really want the end result, it’s on you to want it enough to crack on with it because it’s personal. If you can’t hold yourself to account then you probably will struggle to maintain your focus.

Remember people aren’t motivated by design, they are motivated by choice and motivation by choice usually starts with discipline and commitment to the bigger picture. It is only when you begin to see results that the motivation kicks in, up until that point in time, its pure discipline and commitment.

Z x

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