To succeed in goal setting is an important part of life and studies show that it can increase your happiness. When you are successful in your goal setting, it will benefit you professionally, personally and help to improve your health.
There are plenty of tools out there to use to be successful, each has its pro’s and con’s. Clearly any extra help that you can get will benefit you in achieving your goals.
We will be walking through a secret ingredient to achieving goals later in the piece.
To start with, let us explore getting your mind focused to start you off the right way.
Before a goal can be motivating, you must accept the goal. This does sound strange, but sometimes we are pressed into planning for goals that we do not fully buy into.
“What is in it for me?” Answer that question clearly and you will be on your way to accepting the goal and achieving a successful outcome.
Obviously if the goal was originally set by you and you are having to ask this question, you need to take a good hard look at yourself and how you got to this stage in the first place!
Accepting a goal is the first step in creating motivation (Locke & Latham, 2002). Having the belief that you can achieve the goal will drive you to a greater chance of success which will increase your chances of achieving your goals.
What are the Benefits when you succeed in goal setting?
When you succeed in goal setting it has spillover effects into other areas of your life. Increased well-being and better life satisfaction in unrelated areas. That means that going to the gym more often could make us happier in your relationships – not bad as far as side effects go.
Other benefits (direct and indirect) include, an increase in self esteem, an overall mental health and well-being improvement. However if you do not achieve your goals, then the opposite can be true.
Just make sure that you do it right.
What tools to adopt to succeed in goal setting
To give yourself a better chance of success and for added belief to drive motivation, you need to adopt a goal setting framework. To succeed in goal setting this framework should be easy to use, repeatable and be transferable to large or small goals.
The SMART way of goal setting is an old favorite and it certainly works. It was launched in the 1980’s and is still as relevant now as it was then. To achieve that goal, remember you must follow the steps in the framework.
However, sometimes this is just not enough to get you over the line and you need more motivation and encouragement to succeed in your goal setting and we will discuss this extra technique will be discussed later.
For now, let us focus on the SMART framework.
Ask yourself the following; How are you at setting goals and how are you at achieving them?
You want that new job? Moving to a new suburb, state or country? Going for a promotion? Whatever it is, the SMART way is a perfect, let us walk through the basics;
The SMART framework;
Goals that are too vague are difficult to achieve. Focus on the ‘who’, the ‘what’, the ‘why’.
Make this easy to understand so that you know when you have achieved the goal.
Set your goals so that you give yourself a chance. When you succeed in goal setting for a challenging goal, nothing can be more exhilarating and satisfying. Be careful as if you do not reach your challenging goal, discouragement can strike and the temptation is giving up all together. Conversely, if you set your goal too easy then to be blunt, you are not going to learn or develop at all.
If this doesn’t rock your boat then stop now. Ask yourself “what is in this for me?”. If this is difficult to understand then reassess your goal.
You will set clearly defined start and end dates. Broken down to times if necessary. A sense of urgency (without overdue stress!) will result in success in your goal setting.
To achieve that goal, remember you must follow the SMART framework.
Sometimes this is just not enough to get you over the line and you need more motivation and encouragement to succeed in your goal setting.
The secret ingredient – Visualization!
Yes Visualization! Visualizing your goals can be a powerful and extremely productive motivator. Imagining yourself in that new job, driving that new car, winning that writers competition provides the extra belief and drive to get you over the line.
Clearly if you can picture that you have succeeded in your goal setting before you have even started, then is very influential motivator to driving you to succeed.
The Cottesloe Beach Real Life Example
For years I have been using visualization in conjunction with the SMART framework to achieve my goals. My success strike rate of achieving goals is very high and using these tools I have been fortunate to have experienced exciting and challenging roles across several industries.
This whole strategy was severely tested to the max during a challenging and difficult period of my life.
I was about to embark on the biggest and most daring case of trying to Succeed in Goal Setting that you can imagine.
The setting is 2011. My young family and I lived in the United Kingdom. I had taken voluntary redundancy from a top level role in a large Government organisation and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was in full swing. The immediate future was looking both daunting and exciting. Clearly an opportunity existed to make a dramatic and life changing leap.
It was agreed that the time was right for a daring move of drastic proportions.
– Helpful tip, get as many supporters as you can to help you succeed in goal setting. Having a cheer squad providing support and advice when things get tough is invaluable. It is also great to celebrate when you achieve your goal with someone who know can appreciate what you have been through! – My Wife was my greatest supporter and celebrator!
The goal was to relocate our young family and to secure a new role with a company in Perth, Western Australia. Perth is over 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) from London. I had never been to Perth, so had zero family or friends to call. There was no easy network waiting for me.
In fact I had never traveled to Australia in my life. I felt a completely overwhelmed.
Clearly the first question was “Do I accept this goal?”, “What’s in it for me/my family?”. These questions were answered after a lot of soul searching and research.
The SMART framework was adopted, with challenging timelines and the game was afoot!
The Beach and the Operations room
Having identified the goal and the framework to help me win. I needed something more. Something to give me the edge, make those dark winter English nights full of promise and belief.
During my due diligence on identifying Perth as a destination of choice to bring up our young family, several amazing facts shone out. One of them was the outdoor lifestyle that people in Western Australia (WA) enjoy. The great outdoors. The wide open spaces. The clean and unspoiled beaches.
One such beach was Cottesloe Beach, this is one of the most famous beaches in WA. In my office (which was now my Operations room) I printed off an A3 size picture of Cottesloe Beach. This I hung up next to a large map of WA.
To make it even more real, I researched the specific beach and I even found out the name of the restaurant in the picture. (Indiana Restaurant) Which I was determined to try out the food in!
Obviously identifying a small subset of a larger goal (a particular beach in a large target city) made the goal easier to believe and I began to think of myself as a West Australian looking for a way to get home. It provided clarity and belief.
For me this was a force majeure, an irresistible compulsion to keep going when the chips were down.
I vowed that I would take my young family to Cottesloe Beach, not on a holiday, but as residents of WA.
This was such a powerful motivator for my mission to succeed in goal setting to get to Perth. It gave me the drive and the passion to deliver my family the way of life that we had believed that they deserved.
Now don’t get me wrong, this was not simply a case of sticking a picture on the wall and everything was fine and dandy. Regular positive reinforcement by spending a few minutes each morning during my reflection time focusing on the goal, planning my day helped.
Try it, I guarantee that it will work
Most importantly, remind yourself why you are embarking on this goal. Clearly being able to remind yourself by visualizing the end result gives you that positive kicker.
Not all plain sailing
It was not all plain sailing and we had massive challenges to overcome, however by following the SMART framework and using visualization, really gave me the strength and passion to succeed.
When I had my first and second interviews (via Skype), I used the visualisation technique to add to my passion and strong belief that my goal was within reach. I was buzzing!
And yes. Within 3 months of starting my journey, I had secured a new and exciting role. We had identified our suburb, first house and school for our young children. All in Perth, Western Australia.
Passion, positive reinforcement, belief and motivation will help you succeed in goal setting.
Consequently and only six months after starting my SMART goal objective, I asked a local to take this picture of my family after finally achieving the most fantastic life goal.
Understanding what drives you and utilising tools and lessons learnt to succeed in goal setting gives you extra drive and passion when chasing your dreams.
How have you Succeed in Goal Setting and have you used visualization?