2 January 2018
Goal setting is the single most important thing you can do when you return from any break. For most of us, today is the first day back in the office after the festive period and, if social media is to be believed, many of us have overindulged and need another break just to recover! With that in mind, it is all too easy to fall into the January blues and become demotivated.
Despite the assumption of January being a low month, in fact, this is one of the most exciting times of the year! It’s a new start, a fresh opportunity and a chance to look at what you really want to achieve rather than becoming bogged down in the day-to-day to-do lists that we find quickly growing as time progresses. When did you last have chance to look up from a mountain of emails or that never-ending task list?
I have always found that Tony Robbins’ method of goal setting works but there are many different methods and approaches. The key is simply writing it down.
Write them down
Committing to a goal starts with writing it down. There is something magical that happens when you put pen to paper to write down what you want to achieve. I’ve often come back to a goal list years later and seen that I’ve hit the majority of them, without realising! There’s a real sense satisfaction when you tick off that goal from a list too. Suddenly the intangible becomes tangible.
I have also found that for your main goals, the key lies in making them specific. What do you want to achieve? How can you make it quantifiable? And when do you want to do it by? It’s incredible how you’re spurred into action once there is a deadline in place!
Break goal setting down
How can you achieve your goal? What are the actions you need to take? Tony Robbins advises creating a ‘Massive Action Plan’ – a list of every action that you could possibly take to achieve your goal. Literally, every single thing that you could do to edge closer to achieving your aim. It’s not a to-do list, it’s more of an options list to lay out all potential routes to ticking off the goal from your list – like having a satnav with options for your journey.
Schedule them in
Once you’ve established your MAP and know which route you’re planning to take to reach your goal, you need to schedule it in. How likely are you to actually get your haircut if you just said that you’re going to go to the hairdressers? How about if you booked an appointment for the hairdressers? The likelihood greatly increases when you schedule that appointment into your diary. You make time to complete the task that you need to complete. The same applies for goal setting. No excuses. Scheduling like this has certainly helped me to manage my time and productivity over the years.
Start with Why
My final piece of goal-setting advice is by far the most important. As Simon Sinek says, start with why. Starting with the reason you’re doing something rather than what you’re doing is a lesson that I have learned both professionally and personally over the years. Finding that reason is what will keep you motivated when you’re having a low day, or things aren’t going to plan. That ‘why’ will get you back on course if you hit a stumbling block or one of your actions doesn’t pan out as you hoped. Every goal must have a strong motivation behind it.
With these tips, I find that if I set a goal it is extremely likely that I will hit it. These are commitments to achieving an aim, rather than a dream that crosses your mind now and again. If you want to achieve something this year, go out and do it. Now is your time.