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My call for thoughtfulness and action today is about goal setting and achieving them. How to set your goals impactfully in a way that you can achieve them automagically.
University of Scranton research suggests, that only 8% of people achieve their goals. Why? There are a number of reasons, but most common are the following three:
1. Creating vague goals
I often say – “what gets measured, gets done”. If you set goals that are too general, like “I want to lose weight”, then it is difficult for you to achieve them. How much do you want to lose? By which time frame? How are you going to achieve this? How will you reward yourself for success?
There is a recent example of a friend who set a vague goal which resulted in an unexpected outcome. She was in a dating relationship with her boyfriend and wanted to have a family. She wrote down in her goals: “By next year in September, there will be 3 of us together.” What she meant was – her partner, herself and their child. What happened next year by September was something different- her partner introduced her to his gay friend…
2. Lacking higher purpose, which leads to lack of focus
You can set goals in any area, but if you do not have a higher purpose as to why achieving this goal is important to you, it is easy to give up when it becomes a bit more difficult.
It happened with me when I first started to write my book two years ago. I did not have this sense of purpose that I have now and I had not unlocked clearly my passion. Since I have completed it last year, my book is in print now!
3. Not knowing what you really want
Mark Twain once said that he could teach anyone how to achieve what they want, but his challenge was – he could not find anyone who would know what they want. In my coaching experience I see that there are many people who do not know what they want to achieve. They often know what they do not want and that is where their focus and energy goes.
I usually set my goals every year and mostly achieve them. There came a period of time a few years ago when I felt a bit confused. I had achieved everything I planned for and I did not have any more goals to set. Nothing came to mind. Nothing felt like – yes, I want to achieve that! As I am a high achiever by nature, I started to feel really low, as I need targets to achieve constantly.
What is the solution?
I spoke with one of my friends about this issue, and she laughed – “Relax, I never set goals and I don’t achieve much. There are many people who do not know what they want. Be chilled about it!”
“It’s not helpful, is it?”, I thought.
I asked my coach: “What should I do?” My coach helped me by asking really good questions, such as: “What is your passion?”, “What is your overall purpose in life, what do you want to achieve?”, “What have you already achieved and what talents did you apply to achieve them?”, “What’s missing?”
I travelled a journey of unlocking my passion and my purpose. My passion is helping people to succeed. I accomplish this via coaching, inspirational speaking, and leading by example by being an empowering and inspirational leader.
I have expanded my goals more since having more clarity of my passion and purpose, and I am achieving them automagically. As an example – I had said that I will give at least two inspirational speeches in big international conferences this year. And by setting these goals in the right way, the opportunities presented themselves, magically. As a result, I have done two speeches already and was recently invited as a speaker in the upcoming world congress in Paris.
Paul Meyer has said: “If you are not achieving the success you desire, it’s because your objectives are not clearly defined.” He guides to the SMART principle of setting your goals. It is setting your goals, to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
There are plenty of approaches for goal setting, but most common or popular are the following three:
- New Year’s Resolutions– you set them at the beginning of a new year and mostly don’t achieve them, as they are too vague. You keep setting and not achieving them year after year.
- The Wheel of Life– you set your goals in 8 areas of your life to be complete. Sometimes it is too much for people – they achieve some and do not achieve others. This is not very motivational, is it?
- SMART principle– it is most popular in organizations. But people do not always achieve all of these goals as they do not feel passionate about all of them.
Having reviewed what works and what does not, I have developed The Success Planner™ goal setting approach, which integrates Passion & Purpose with SMART principle. In a nutshell it is this: focus on your strength and passion, define your purpose, be SMART and watch out for success!
I developed this principle after I have gone through some low moments in my life and that has helped me to get back on the track of success. That has also been useful for many of my coaching clients.
In conclusion: there are a number of reasons why people do not set or achieve their goals. Having travelled my own journey of resolving challenges with goal setting has led me to develop the “How to set your goals impactfully to achieve them automagically” approach. To help more people achieve their goals, I have written a book called “The Success Planner ™”. This book contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you to unlock your passion, achieve your goals and reach ultimate success.