Did you know that only 8% of people achieve their goals?

Are you in this 8%? 

Look at the goals that have remained on the pages of your diary. How do they make you feel? The biggest impact of not meeting goals is that it downgrades your image in your eyes. You lose confidence in yourself, especially if this happens more than once.

What stands out about the goals that you have achieved already? Author Michael Bungay Stanier defines a worthy goal as one that is important to you and is thrilling and daunting for you. This outcome is a priority in your life and aligns with your values. The thought of achieving it excites you. This goal challenges and inspires you to take action. 

To choose a goal that matters to you, figure out why is this particular goal important. Is it about the prospect of the change it will bring to your life, how it will change your identity, or how it will serve others? You want to spend your time and energy on creating the life you want. When you connect with your ‘why’, your commitment is high and more likely to be sustained. On the other hand, if the goal is a shiny object that everyone is running after or something that someone expects you to do, you do not connect with the goal emotionally. This is when you depend on the bursts of motivation that come and go to achieve your goals. 

Your goal also needs to optimize the tension between being too easy or too difficult for you. If it is not challenging enough, you will find it boring, and if it is too challenging it will dishearten you. 

Once you have set a worthy goal for yourself, here are some tips to help achieve it – 

  1. Prioritize your goal – Your goal requires consistent time and effort. Plan the steps you will take each week to keep moving towards it. When you do not prioritize the actions towards your goal, they become residual activities to be done after all other responsibilities of the day are taken care of. Life keeps getting in the way, and you never build enough momentum.
  2. Understand the trade-off – Commitment to a goal almost always requires sacrifices in your current lifestyle. It might mean lesser leisure, more grind, and more discipline. You can not wish for the results but not want the change that the process of achieving them brings to your life. That is a surefire recipe for failure. Developing a taste for the process of getting to your goals increases the likelihood of you achieving them. 
  3. Create alternatives – Think about as many potential ways of achieving your goals as you can and evaluate them. Thinking through alternate paths will give you confidence and make you resilient.
  4. Identify the resources you will need – Identify and plan for the resources you will need to achieve your goals. How and when will you obtain them? Think about who you will want to brainstorm your ideas with. Who might you need to cheer you on or challenge you?
  5. Plan to overcome obstacles – Think about the barriers that might get in your way and how you may work through them. Considering challenges and potential solutions in advance gives you an internal locus of control and primes you for success. But everything may not go as planned. Lionel Messi said – it took me 17 years and 114 days to be an overnight success. Be curious, learn from setbacks, and keep moving forward.
  6. Manage your energy – Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Ensure that you have the stamina to pursue your goals.

 Setting goals is the first step to achieving your goals. So set goals that are important to you and excite you. Prioritize your goals and take consistent action. Plan for resources, alternate courses of action, and obstacles that might get in your way. Learn from your journey and manage your energy to meet your goals. 

PS – What is your experience of setting and achieving goals? What works for you? Share in the comments below. If you need help setting your goals, get in touch to explore coaching as a solution.

This article was first published on LinkedIn as a part of Your Career Matters series.