Can you imagine yourself five or ten years from now? Do you think about something you want to do six months from now? Or maybe you are worried about the tasks you need to complete tomorrow? To make this happen, from the smallest to the biggest commitments, you need to know how to set goals.
Every day, we need to set goals at different levels and then start working to achieve them. The simple fact of completing a task in your workday is achieving success in a certain goal, for example, increasing your daily sales.
The point is that, depending on how this definition is made, it becomes practically impossible to transform what has been planned into reality. This is where many qualified people get frustrated.
So how do you set goals that will actually take you further and allow your objectives to be conquered? Fortunately, there is a lot that can be done in this regard, and in this post, we will show you several practical tips. Check it out now:
What are goals?
Goals are specific quantifications of something we want to achieve. In general, they are part of an objective, but they are more precise and can be related to anything.
From personal to professional life, goals help people to achieve what they want. That is why defining them is important so that you know exactly what you have to do to achieve them.
The difference for objectives
A very common doubt is the difference between goals and objectives. As much as they may sound like the same thing, they are not. Some factors link one concept to the other, and they are usually related. However, they are different ways of achieving some accomplishment, to a greater or lesser extent.
A good example of a goal is to achieve a greater professional qualification. Of course, this is a very subjective and broad idea, since this can be achieved in different ways. Still, it is a concrete and tangible goal that can be achieved.
What will take the objective from this more subjective idea and transform it into something concrete is, precisely, the goal. Using the example given, we can define that the first goal within the objective of gaining a professional qualification is to take a specific course.
In this way, completing this course will be a person’s goal. Consequently, it is part of a larger and more complete objective, which is professional development. In this case, both concepts are related and integrated, but the goal is always more focused and is part of a path of efforts to reach an objective.
The specifics of the goals
Before knowing how to set goals, it is fundamental to know that it is a much more concise and even rigorous idea. This happens because, when we talk about them, the proposal is always to work with a very clear accomplishment, which should happen in a specific period of time. In addition, the resources needed to achieve this goal must also be well defined.
For example, if you want to go on an exchange and it costs $15,000, you need to decide how soon this goal should be reached. Otherwise, you will leave the margin of achievement wide open, which doesn’t make sense, since the timing to achieve this goal will be lost.
So if you want to go on an exchange in a year and a half, define your goal as $15,000 in a year and three months, for example. Likewise, you need to understand what efforts will be necessary to reach this goal.
In the above example, the main application will be to save money. Then you need to set small monthly goals that will help you reach the $15,000. This means that your determination must be realistic, which allows you to reach the big goal. So if you earn $3,000, it may be that $1,000 a month is exactly what you need to save.
Therefore, to know how to set goals, it is important to understand that they must be well defined, with an achievement plan, and especially realistic. Otherwise, all this effort can generate frustration, and, in the end, the goal will not be achieved.
Why is it important to set goals?
Setting goals is important for anyone who needs to achieve a great accomplishment. In the following, understand in a few points how this organization to reach the objectives can be decisive!
Keeping the focus
Goals help people stay focused. If you have to achieve something, all your dedication has to be directed toward it.
Often, due to fatigue, too many commitments, and other factors, it is common not to stay focused on that achievement. However, when you set goals, your desire is quantified, and this helps to better direct all your efforts, besides requiring planning.
Develop a strategic work
Goals are small achievements within a larger objective. Of course, they can themselves be larger than normal. Regardless, they are part of a larger plan, that is, a strategy. When linked to something bigger, goals are essential for guiding efforts and measuring achievements along the way.
Promote a gradual development
Goals can also be a way to make larger objectives possible. This is because, in general, they are achievement points that form the path to success.
In this way, you can impose on yourself a gradual development, respecting your time, but generating positive results. This helps to keep you motivated and on track!
How do you set goals that help you achieve your objectives?
For many people, this is the billion-dollar question! After all, the freedom we have in setting an objective is simply enormous.
For example, you can set a goal of walking on the moon five years from now. Nobody is going to stop you from making all the plans for this. But what are the real chances of this happening?
It is an exaggerated example, but it illustrates well the problem at hand: setting a goal does not guarantee that it will be achieved. And this can be very frustrating. To ensure that your goals are realistic and can actually be achieved, here are 14 tips that you can put into practice right away.
1. Choose goals that are important to you
No one can deny that one of the essential ingredients for achieving a goal is motivation, especially if the objective in question is challenging. It is true that it is not a matter of acting on emotion, and that it is important to follow a process based on practical and rational actions to complete what has been set.
But all of this falls apart when we don’t care enough about the goal being sought. So nip it in the bud, and don’t waste time setting goals that are not essential for you or your business.
For example, if you don’t yet feel confident in the value of investing in Digital Marketing, it’s best to set out to find out more about the subject before setting it as a goal. Don’t set a goal just because the topic is “hot”.
2. Follow the SMART method
The SMART method is a very useful way of determining achievable targets that bring real results for a person or company. How to set goals using this method? It is very simple, just make sure they are:
- specific: instead of thinking in vague and abstract ideas, have certain and clear objectives in mind. This will make your work much easier;
- measurable: you can’t achieve a goal without tracking it closely, so make sure you can measure your progress as you pursue the goal;
- achievable: remember we talked about walking on the moon? It is important that you are realistic and know what you will be able to accomplish;
- relevant: how will your goal influence your life or the lives of others, i.e. how relevant is it? Thinking about your company: how relevant is the goal set for your business?
- timeframe: what is the deadline for completing your goal? Without this, it is easier to “bellyache” and leave the more complicated tasks for later.
3. Establish priorities
We can try, but we can’t do everything at the same time. So don’t insist on thinking that all your goals are equally important and should be pursued at the same time.
Since the time frame is limited, so does the focus. So define what is most important and deserves your attention at the moment.
This does not mean that you should become obsessed with only one objective and not think about anything else until you have accomplished it. It is possible to work on completely different goals in parallel, but common sense must prevail. Instead of ten goals together, how about concentrating on two or three?
4. Break the objectives into smaller tasks
Big objectives may seem impossible to achieve. In such cases, what usually happens is a vicious circle that prevents the person from getting out of inertia.
In this cycle, the challenge seems immense, which can result in a lack of motivation: what is the point of acting without seeing results? Because of the lack of results, everything keeps looking impossible, and so the objectives are never fulfilled!
The solution is to break big goals into smaller, simpler tasks. Before you know it, you will be much closer to your final destination.
5. Learn from the example of others
The objectives of each person vary greatly, but you should not think that you have nothing to learn from the example of others. And we are not only talking about learning from success stories, but also from the goals that someone else failed to achieve. What was done right or wrong? How to imitate or do it differently?
Whatever the example, from a famous entrepreneur or a relative of yours, look at how their obstacles can serve as a lesson for you. So when you encounter challenges in the middle of a goal, it will be easier to know what to do, rather than simply giving up or deluding yourself into thinking that dedicating yourself to another one of your goals is the answer.
6. Choose goals you can work on now
It is all very well to think about the future, but the idea is to be practical. Set goals that you can start to pursue right away. A goal that you can only start with a long time from now has another name: dream.
But, then, does this mean that it is not worth making long-term plans? Quite the contrary! Even in a plan for the future, there are actions that you need to take now.
The warning, here, is not to get too caught up in ideals that you cannot commit to at the moment and would rob your attention of possibilities that are within your grasp.
7. Put together an action plan
Do you want to achieve your goals? Then you need an action plan, that is, a clear idea of how you are going to achieve them.
For example, let’s say you have the objective of doubling the number of customers in your company. It is a great goal, no doubt, but with this goal alone, you have no idea how to do it.
Putting together a plan of action involves deciding what marketing strategies you will use, how you intend to improve sales processes, service, product, and other aspects of the business to ensure that the customer base doubles.
8. Evaluate the goals you have already achieved
You may not realize it, but you have probably already achieved many goals. For a moment, take the focus off what went wrong, and look back at all the positive things you have accomplished.
Learn from goals already achieved! What good did you do that allowed you to complete what you had planned? Did you make any mistakes along the way that delayed your goal?
Write down even the details involved in the goals you have completed, as well as the results they produced. This will give you more confidence and strength to continue pursuing current targets.
9. Don’t forget your values
Sometimes it may seem that the only way to achieve a goal, perhaps even a dream, is by doing something that goes against your principles and values. If this happens, know that something is wrong. Maybe your goal is wrong, or the choices you made while pursuing it were wrong.
Never abandon your values just to get the job done. The negative consequences of doing so can be far more lasting than the positive result you seek. Remember the reasons for cherishing your values and understand how they can be positive for your business. This will help you reevaluate what is most important.
10. Don’t be afraid to dream big
Great achievements are only conquered by those who dared to dream big and work to make it stop being just an idea. So don’t stop thinking big. If your desire is to make a difference, just make sure that the other tips presented here are followed.
Always remember that even if you have a lofty goal at the moment, it is important to chart a coherent path to achieve it, with time and dedication. This way you won’t ignore important values, but rather divide your objectives into smaller tasks and have the necessary focus to fulfill each one of them until you see the final result.
11. Focus on realistic goals
Your goals need to be in accordance with your current reality. This is related to the time you can dedicate, the efforts you are willing to make, the money you need to invest, among other important factors.
It’s not about limiting your goals, but making them realistic. This will make the path much more feasible, even if it is difficult at times. After all, if you have the necessary resources and feel ready, it only depends on your dedication to that goal.
The big risk in setting goals that are too difficult to achieve is frustration. This can be a damaging factor to your confidence and self-esteem. Failure is often the consequence of unrealistic goals, and has nothing to do with your ability.
12. Establish a schedule of actions
Knowing how to set goals goes a long way in understanding the time in which they are to be achieved. For example, if you want to achieve a goal in three months, you need to define an action plan that is totally adequate and achievable in approximately 90 days.
The schedule is what will help you distribute your efforts over this time, by determining the progress you need to have made each week, or month, for example. Thus, besides distributing the efforts in a balanced way, it is easier to visualize the progression until the goal is reached.
13. Keep your goals simple
The more complex your goals, the harder it is to understand how to achieve them. This is, again, about focus. Therefore, your desire should be very simple, focused on only one accomplishment at a time. This helps you to direct your efforts without creating burnout or abandonment because you don’t know how to handle the situation.
For example, learning SEO, learning more about linkbuilding, understanding how Google’s SERP works: each of these goals demands effort that, if done individually, will have an effect. So try to approach each of the subjects one at a time, and then when you realize, you will have learned everything about Digital Marketing. Use this example for any other kind of objectives and goals, and you will see how successful you will be!
14. Track your progress
Finally, it should be noted that goals need to be tracked. Only then will you know how close you are to achieving them, whether you need to make adjustments, or reassess your plans. There are many ways to track your progress, especially when it comes to business objectives, which have dedicated metrics to evaluate every aspect of a company.
Basically, what you need is balance to keep your mind on the stars without taking your feet off the ground, i.e., set realistic targets to achieve great results. Now that you know how to set goals, waste no time in planning your future and pursue it successfully!