Did you know… 14% of those who set goals are 10% more successful than those who don’t use goal setting?
Since I can remember I would often try to set goals for myself to achieve each year in many ways. From setting new years resolutions to writing down my goals it’s safe to say that I have tried it all. However, It wasn’t until this year that I have started to see progress from my goals. But Kirby… Why didn’t you see progress before now? Well, let me get into that question in today’s post. But first, let’s get into the questions what is goal setting & why should we do it?
Before starting today’s post I decided to take some time to do some research to give you all accurate information. I started my research by looking into what goal setting actually was. As well as the theory behind it and came across this article.
What is the theory behind setting goals?
Setting goals is a process and theory that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve. But ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. There are some very well-defined stages that go beyond the specifics of each goal that is set. And knowing these steps allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish in time. Think about what you’d like to achieve in the next five years. For some, the expectations of society influence choices and that’s one thing that I have covered in a previous post. However, within your own life, it’s up to you where you want to be and to work towards achieving that.
In the past, I used to attempt to write down what I wanted to achieve but usually didn’t stick. Thinking about the reasons why I wasn’t progressing I noticed that the goals I’d set weren’t specific enough. I would just write things down such as I want to lose weight. I mean there was nothing wrong with that goal it was just the way I had written it. Now I make them more specific with a deadline for when I want to achieve these goals. So instead of it being, I want to lose weight it will be I want to lose 3 pounds by September 4th. But I will get into why I make my goals this way more clear later on.
How I changed my goal progression
Since becoming a University student I have learned many techniques to help improve my life on a daily basis. However, in the beginning, I used to do things completely different from what I do now. As mentioned briefly I used to broadly set goals and found for me personally it didn’t work. I love to be able to reflect on the progress that I am making to improve my life and by using this method I was unable to reflect. Whether it was because of the type of goals set or how broad they were, I really don’t know. And so around two years ago, I began to research more successful ways to set goals.
Spending a week or so during the summer researching I would come across countless articles online that all mentioned the same theory. This theory was known as SMART goal setting. And so looking into this theory more and moreover the summer, I decided to enrol in an online class to learn about it. The class that I decided to take was called the 12 fundamentals of a successful life and it was really where my passion began. For you see, when I graduate from university I truly want to become a life coach specialising in self-improvement and development. But that is a talk for another post, however, what is SMART Goal Setting?
What are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym that is used to help guide goal setting. It actually stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Goals are a part of every aspect of life from personal and professional lives to business plans. They help provide a sense of direction, motivation, focus, and important clarity. So by setting goals you’re providing yourself with a target to aim for. And by using SMART goals you incorporate all the criteria to help you focus your efforts. It also helps to increase the chances of you actually achieving those goals that you’ve set. So let’s go over what each section of this theory means…
Specific: Clear & Well Defined.
Measurable: Includes a specific measurement of your progress towards achievement.
Achievable: Are you actually able to achieve the goal in question?
Realistic: Is it within reach and realistic to the purpose in life you hold?
Timely: You set a deadline you want to achieve this goal.
An example of a SMART Goal
Ever wanted to lose weight? Well instead of setting a goal such as I would like to lose weight this year, use the SMART technique to be more successful. Instead, the goal may look like the following:
On September 3rd, 2021, I will obtain a gym membership at GYM NAME HERE. In order to get healthier, I will work out 5 days a week. Whilst aiming to lose 2 pounds of body fat each week. I will then review how many pounds I have lost during the first month by the beginning of October.
But why is it important to set SMART goals?
Both individuals and businesses will often set themselves up for failure by setting generalized unrealistic goals. Generalized and unrealistic goals are far too vague and hold no sense of direction, unfortunately. Whereas SMART goals will set you up for success in achieving what you desire from your life. They do this by setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals. And the theory of SMART Goals helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you to organize and reach your goals.
Now that you all know about SMART Goals and how I discovered this method of Goal setting, let me get into how I now set my goals. Much like yourself and others around the world I usually set my goals twice a year. I will start by setting goals I want to achieve in my personal life in December as the current year comes to a close ready for a brand new year. And the second part will take place in August when I will start to set my goals for the upcoming school year for University. So as you can tell I take the time to set the goals that I want to achieve in my personal life as well as what I want to achieve in my professional life.
Deciding what I want to achieve in my personal life & professional life
Each year just before the year ends I will take a seat at my desk and start to work on what I want to achieve the following year. This usually happens just before Christmas as you will all know how busy the festive period can be. And so I write down a list of things I want to achieve on a piece of paper before looking over what’s written and deciding what my priorities are. This is where the fun part comes in…
Taking those goals that I find a priority I will then flesh them out to be more specific. Which is what I also do for my university goals at the beginning of August each year. I’ve found that taking the time to do this really helps me to achieve what I truly want to achieve even if its a little bit of time to do. For me even though I have been doing this method for around two years now it takes me around 2 hours or so to flesh out my goals.
How I use goal setting to achieve what I desire
As mentioned previously how I start setting my goals I will usually take a notebook. Then list what I want to achieve before numbering them to decide what I wish to focus on before really working on the details. But how do I work those finer details out? Well, I have a checklist for helping me set my goals that I will release as a freebie in the near future. I want to release this to help my readers who may want to get more out of their goals through an easy to use template. I will release more details about the release when the template is created in a digital format so stay tuned for that!
The checklist that I use is rather simple to use for each goal that I plan to achieve that year. It asks a series of questions using the SMART goal setting theory. This ensures that I cover everything that is needed and so one step at a time. I use these questions to expand the goal before I place them on the wall ahead of my desk to use as a constant reminder. I have found that placing my goals in plain sight helps to keep me motivated in achieving those goals compared to storing them on my computer. But what exactly are my goals for this year? If you’re interested keep on reading as we get ready to discuss what plans I have for 2021 and my final year of University.
Setting the scene for setting my goals
For the purpose of todays post I will not be listing the goals that were set in their finished form out of simplicity. However, What I will go over is the whole process with how I decided what I wanted to achieve and how I went on to prioritise. And so let me take you back to the end of December 2020… I was a little late to goal setting last year due to working almost constantly at my previous job. At the time I was feeling extremely low and exhausted as not only was I working all of the time but I was dealing with issues in my real life too. And because of this I would need to revise my plans due to significant changes that I made.
I had chosen the date December 30th, 2020 so the goals would be fresh in my head. So I took out my supplies (An A5 Notepad and a selection of pens) and headed to my study desk. Setting up my desk and organising things I began to set the atmosphere to relax. I prefer a relaxing environment whenever I need to focus as I find it makes me more productive. But how do I set this environment before getting into things?
Getting things done
Most of my studying or important tasks that I do to help me to improve in life occurs during the evenings. I find that if I work during the evenings I am more likely to work productively. And to do this I go through a little routine that I have developed over the years that helps me to get focused. I start my routine around an hour before I want to get started on the tasks to complete. I will begin by choosing the scent I want to use for my wax melt burner. For me I have no real favourite smell that I go to as it entirely depends on the day. But lighting my wax melt I take out my bullet journal to start preparing for the tasks at hand putting on music.
Check out one of my favourite Lo-fi beats!
My goal setting strategy
As mentioned earlier I usually start by setting up my notebook into different areas relating to the areas of my life. The areas that I mainly focus on are personal, university, work and travel. I focus on these four areas as they are the most important in my life at present. And so I prefer to have individual areas to be more organised and focused with my time. So listing the titles on the appropriate pages I tend to start with what I want to achieve in my personal life as that is most important to me. Even though my professional life obviously brings me income to me happiness is far more important.
But instead of getting into everything I wrote on every list I will just give a general view of the most important goals I’ve set this year to achieve. I will do this through a simple list from my top priority first.
Goals set for 2021
Let’s start off at the beginning when it comes to the goals that I wanted to set this year to achieve. For me, the thing I wanted to achieve was personal happiness. After everything that I have been through over the past few years I decided it was time to get up, make that change and be present. And that is exactly what I did.. but what did I focus on? This is what we will get into next.
- I want to lose a stone (13 pounds) by August 31st 2021.
- Pass my 5th year of University by June 30th 2021.
- Enrol into my final year of University by July 31st 2021.
- Start to develop a healthier mindset.
- Become more social (Being an introvert this was extremely difficult).
- Care less about what other people say and think about me.
And so those are the goals that I have set to achieve this year. I know that it probably seems like I don’t want to achieve a lot. But the things I want to achieve are big things for me. For the longest time I have been an introvert at heart. So I struggle being around new people and sharing my voice. To overcome this I have pushed my comfort zone by starting this blog and originally by starting the podcast. There is one goal that was set this year that I am behind on which is to have a healthier mindset. But that is a story for another day if I feel confident enough to share what has been happening. But overall I have definitely achieved more that I set out to achieve which brings this post to its close.
In todays post we reviewed what Goal setting is and the best way that I believe we can achieve. How I go about setting my own goals each year. How to set a relaxing and focusing atmosphere. And finally what my goals were for this year. So, comment down below what goals you wanted to achieve this year and how you set goals. Also don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends if you think they’ll benefit from SMART goal setting. If you would like to know more about what goes into making these kinds of goals then check out the video below it only takes a few minutes!
Until next time, Bye Guys!