Have you seen the latest stats regarding goal setting?
I’ve been noticing them all over the place: People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals, Only 3% of adults write down their goals on paper, and on and on like that.
But you’re not here for stats. You already know that goal setting is critical. What you want to know is how to be more successful in your goal setting.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have five quick tips for achieving your goals that you can try today.
1. Set Micro Goals by Chunking your Big Goals
This tip is my favorite because it’s so simple: don’t start with a huge goal such as reading 10, 20, or even 60 books in a year.
Instead, if your goal is to read ten new books this year, try reading one book every month and set a micro goal to read every day. Then divide your current book’s pages by 30 and read that amount each day.
If you want to take it a step further, take a reading speed test to find out how many words per minute you can read and use that to calculate how long you have to read each day.
I did this with Richard Branson’s book, Losing My Virginity, and I found that I would have to read at least 60 minutes per day to read the correct number of pages to complete the book in a month. It was accurate, and it helped me stay on target.
Related: The Domino Effect: The Ultimate Way to Achieve Your Goals
If your goal is to lose weight, set a goal for getting to the gym each day for a fixed amount of time, hitting a specific calorie target, or both. And don’t just focus on the scale every day because you may not notice real progress.
Additionally, you have to watch out for muscle/fat displacement, where you could be burning fat and building muscle while the number on the scale remains the same. It happens! Trust me; I’ve seen it first hand.
Break your big goals down into the tiniest pieces you can while making them challenging enough that you’re still excited about achieving them.
2. Ask “How Will I Succeed”
Sometimes it’s easy to set a goal on paper, but before you commit, ask yourself this simple question: “What has to happen for me to be successful with this goal?”
Again, we can use the goal of losing weight. What has to happen to lose 30 pounds? Maybe you can only consume 1200 calories per day for a total of 60 days. Perhaps you have to perform 60 minutes of cardio three days a week with an average heart rate of 170.
You can use online tools such as this one on Precision Nutrition to dial in your plan.
Asking yourself “What has to happen for me to be successful with this goal?” should result in a bulletproof action plan for achieving your goals. Give it a try and see where it takes you.
Take one of your goals, big or small, and log the answers to “What has to happen for me to be successful with this goal?”
3. Craft Goals that Support One Another
This tip is one that, admittedly, I struggled with for a long time.
In 2016 I had a goal of getting into the 1250-pound lifting club at my gym. I hit the gym early, drank my pre-workout, drank my post-workout protein shakes, got plenty of sleep, and followed a program. However, I often drank 2-3 beers each night after work.
This poor habit was working against my goal, not supporting it. Alcohol slows down muscle recovery, degrades the quality of sleep, and makes it more difficult to wake up in the mornings.
Now I have a goal not to drink alcohol on lifting nights. It’s healthier, I get better sleep, and my muscles recover better when I don’t drink alcohol. Both goals are working with each other in harmony.
Related: Create Habits that Stick: Optional vs. Non-negotiable Choices
Another excellent example of this is my goal to read or write each morning before work. I’ve found that this supports my gym goals because if I choose to sleep in, I lose my exercise and my reading or writing time. I’ve realized that I’m much more likely to wake up early more often knowing that I’ll miss out on two goals instead of just one.
Review your goals and ensure that they are not in conflict with one another and then see how you might combine your goals for greater success.
4. Chart and Track Milestones for Larger Goals
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a goal that I can’t see progress early and often.
At my office, our teams have annual revenue goals. Some teams check in on their numbers monthly, while some look at their numbers quarterly. Me, on the other hand – I like to review our numbers multiple times per week to track our bi-weekly milestones.
We took our annual goal and broke it down into 26 micro goals. This helps to see if we’re falling short much earlier which allows us more time to make up the difference. If the numbers are $2,000 low in a 2-week period, we can shoot to make that up in the next period.
This bi-weekly review also allows us to celebrate victories much more often. Looking at the numbers quarterly or even annually reduces the amount of time for correction and reduces the number of times you get to celebrate success. More celebration leads to more fuel in the tank as you seak to conquer more goals.
Turn your micro goals into scheduled milestones and establish a way to track your progress.
5. Define Your “Why”
I go into this in much more detail in my post, “The Power of Finding Your Why,” but to summarize, before starting any goal, be sure you know why you’re trying to achieve it.
Knowing why you want to achieve a goal is far more important than knowing what you want to achieve or even how you’re going to achieve it.
The ‘why’ will be the fuel that keeps you marching towards whatever end you have in mind.
Read “The Power of Finding Your Why” and document the ‘whys’ to all of your goals.
That’s it! The five quick tips for achieving your goals that you can start applying to all your goals right now.
Did I miss any useful tips here? Have you succeeded in using any of these tips? Please let me know in the comments below!