I’m writing this blog on the 5th January.
The time of year where people are talking about New Year’s Resolutions, goal setting and making the most of the next 12 months ahead.
If you believe in yourself, then I have faith in you.
And if you’ve clicked this far, I truly believe you want to make a better life or a better business.
If you look at that photo above – I used to weigh nearly 20 stone and goal setting helped me get down to 12 stone.
Read on for Goal Setting: Everything You Need to Know
1. Is goal setting for everyone?
Honestly – no.
If you’re happy with your lot and don’t want to change a single thing in your life then goal setting might not be for you.
Out of my inner circle the split is fairly even between A) Those who take goal setting seriously B) Those who look at it from time to time when something’s important enough and C) Those who really couldn’t give a damn.
Whilst it isn’t for everyone, I’ve always found the ones in category A tend to achieve more with their life and push the boundaries of what is possible.
Tip: Write down how happy you are with your life or business / career – if it’s not 9/10 or above there are probably areas you can improve on
2. The act of thinking, writing it down and telling your inner circle makes it a priority
It’s obvious isn’t it.
If you think deeply about what you want to achieve.
You then prioritise and write down what you want to achieve.
And then you print out those goals in a place you look at every day.
The very act of thinking, writing it down and telling others makes it a priority – it’s always at the forefront of your mind and what you do day to day pushes your closer to achieving your goals.
Tip: Write down the one place you look at every day – it could be a wall, wallpaper on laptop / PC, mobile phone etc. That’s where your goals are being placed.
3. Which areas should you focus on?
That’s entirely up to you.
Personally I like to take a holistic all-round approach and look at 3 core areas
– Fitness / Health
Each of those areas gives me balance and although in certain years some may be more important than others, they always balance out.
If you think about your life right now, what would make your life so much better.
How could you be happier and have direction and purpose?
Tip: Rate yourself out of 10 for each of the areas above (or areas of your choosing) – set the ones you score lowest on as your priority
4. What timescale should you set your goals for?
Traditionally I always set Yearly Goals.
And then the pandemic happened and nobody knew what would happen from week to week.
For the past 2 years I’ve set monthly goals that I felt were more fitting of the world we live in.
But as we move forward I’m breaking down a year to Quarterly Goals – Approx. 90 Day Goals
Long enough to aim big, short enough to remain relevant.
Tip: Once you have your goal make it a Smart Goal, by putting a specific measurement and date by it
5. How big do your goals have to be?
There is no set answer.
You can aim for supermassive huge goals.
You can aim for smaller micro-goals that help the bigger picture.
We’ve all faced upheaval during the pandemic, so if your goal right now is to simply leave the house and see 1 new person a week then that is just as important as the holiday home you’ve always wanted.
Tip: Remember – they are your goals, they don’t have to be supermassive huge goals. Most of my goals over the years have been gradual.
6. How many goals do you need to set?
Personally, I set 12 goals for each of the areas above.
– 12 goals for Business
– 12 goals for Fitness / Health
– 12 personal goals
It seems a lot, but in reality it’s
– One over-arching goal
– 11 micro goals that help me achieve the bigger goal
Those bitesize steps allow me to keep growing as a person.
Here’s an example.
Main Business Goal – Earn £XXX per month
Sub Goals – Blog Once Per Week, Attend 2 networking meetings per month, 4 New Reviews per month etc
Tip: Start with just 3 goals (and break it down to 3 or 4 action points for each goal to make it achievable)
7. How do you ensure you achieve your goals?
How I achieve my goals is a 2-step process
1. Print Out The Goals and place somewhere I look at every day
2. Do something every day to achieve those goals
I keep it simple.
Work each day towards those goals and in 90 days you will be close to them.
The biggest mistake people make is they love the process of setting goals, but don’t work on them each day.
Tip: Write down what you have to do daily / weekly / monthly to achieve it
8. What should you do if you don’t achieve your goals?
If you don’t achieve your goals, sit down and reassess with these 3 questions
– What did I do to achieve it?
– Why did I fall short?
– Is that goal still important?
If it’s still important you place it on the next 90-day plan.
You didn’t fail, you simply learnt something along the way.
Tip: Understand that failure is only temporary and everybody fails at some point
9. Should you tell others about your goals?
I always enjoyed chatting to my best friend about dreams, goals and aspirations.
He sadly passed away last year.
I’ll miss chatting to him about life and him inspiring me to be a better person.
If you can find someone close to you that has your back then tell them about it, ask them for help and support and give that support back.
Outside of your inner circle I generally keep my goals to myself.
Sadly, as with many aspects of modern society, the moment you mention your goals and improving yourself there will be doubters, critics and negative comments.
Often, it’s better to work on yourself and let the results be the evidence.
Tip: Work harder than you speak – action everything
10. Does goal setting work?
Even though before Altrincham HQ I’d been a successful journalist and ran 15,000 capacity arts and music events, everything that happened, happened by chance.
I worked hard & things happened, but I didn’t set goals.
The 1st year I set goals was 2012.
I look back at the last 9 years and think “wow, none of that would have happened without annual goal setting”.
A few personal / business that I’ve done as a result of goal setting
– Dropped weight from 20 stone to 12 stone
– Not drank alcohol for over 3 years
– Been vegan for 4 years
– Ran from Altrincham to Liverpool – a 50km+ ultra marathon
– Reached over 1 million screens in one month
– Worked with international businesses
– Hit 500+ testimonials
– Organised charity events that have raised over £25,000
None of those would have happened without goal setting
Tip: Write down everything you achieved in the past decade – and importantly why they happened (I guarantee they were all consciously or subconsciously goals)
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 500+ LinkedIn testimonials and is Ranked Number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.
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