The art of goal setting – My secret sauce

The amount of people that I speak with, who struggle with goal setting, really does astound me. But, you know what….I get it. Unless you are actively searching the internet for goal setting structures, it’s not typically something that just comes up in passing with friends or colleagues. I never really entertained it until about four years ago, when I found a simple method of documenting and tracking it. Well, today I am giving away my secrets. In fact, if you would like a copy of the spreadsheet I use, just contact me.

Goal setting One-O-One! Note, this is specific to your medium-term goals. 3 months – 12 months in duration.

  1. Categorise your goal – Give it a home. I have six categories that I use with clients. They include: Education – Financial – Career/Business. Categorising the goals ensures you are not overloading one area and neglecting areas of importance. The most common thing I see from business owners and professionals, is a big focus on career or business growth goals. Often lacking personal goals.
  2. What is the goal? – SMMART: Yep…..and extra M. The goal should be Specific – Measurable – Meaningful – Achievable – Realistic – Timely. Be as detailed as you can.
  3. Give it a ‘why’? – Just writing something you want to achieve is great but unpack it further. WHY is this goal important and meaningful to you. If you cannot answer it, then perhaps it’s not the right goal. This is the same approach we take to daily gratitude. Just saying what you are grateful for is awesome. But….unpack it further. WHY are you grateful? What does it mean or represent.
  4. What are the steps to achieving it? – Now break this goal down into actionable steps. Small step that can be ticked off (not crossed out). We don’t want 4 steps, but what are the 5, 10, maybe 15 things you need to do. E.g. If your goal is around running a marathon, one of the first things you may need to do it buy a new pair of running shoes. Simple!
  5. Celebrate your win – This is crucial. Once you have ticked off all the small steps, that lead you to achieving the bigger goal, celebrate the win. Celebrate the fact that you have completed the goal and be proud of what you have achieved. You earnt it!

NOTE: Do not set more than three goals at any one time. It will become over whelming, and you are unlikely to action anything!

Using your calendar to help with achieving a goal:

Set a calendar reminder for once a month e.g. the first of every month, to hop into your goals spreadsheet and review your goals. Do you need to tick anything off. Do you need to adjust anything? Has a goal changed? It is ok to change goals… never sits still and it evolves.

Every Monday morning set a calendar reminder to do this one simple thing. Write down two personal and two professional goals that you want to achieve that week. These mini goals or tasks do not always need to be aligned back to your bigger goals, but I would suggest that more often than not, they will be aligned. However, sometimes a personal goal may be something as simple as, “put the bins out as I forgot to do it last week”. Here we are building up the routine of setting and achieving smaller weekly goals. Not all goals need to big, bold and audacious. In fact, I do not believe they should be. Again, if they are all big and bold, you rarely feel the satisfaction of a small win. Do you know what the first win of the day should be each day? Contact me to learn.

Now go and set some goals and you know what else is really important…….tell someone close to you what your goals are. Have them hold you accountable.


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