I think that setting goals are vital to getting where you want to go in life and to feel like you are working towards something bigger than just yourself. There have been a few times in my life where I have just felt like I was floating through life. I realise now that it was during those periods that I didn’t have any goals and therefore I was not working towards anything. I had no meaning to my life and would pretty much wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to the gym and sleep. At that point in my life I had achieved all of my goals: finish university, get a teaching contract, buy a house and buy a nice car. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t set any new goals to work towards.
Your brain is programmed to achieve goals, whether you realise it or not. There are different statistics on the probability of writing down your goals and achieving them, which range from 40-80%. Whatever the actual percentage is, the point is still the same: writing down your goals will help you in actually achieving them.
I want to break down my favourite techniques to achieving goals. There are two main ones: SMART and chunking.
You need to break down your goal and ensure that the sections of SMART are met.
S- specific (you need to be very specific as to what you want to achieve. Eg: saving $20,000 for a house down payment.)
M- measurable (you need to know exactly what it looks like to achieve your goal.)
A- attainable (you need to be able to actually be able to achieve your goal. In saying this, I am a strong believer in setting BIG/stretch goals. If they align with what you truly want in life you’ll do what it takes to achieve them.)
R- relevant (your goal needs to be relevant to you. Not your mom, sister, friend etc. You set the goal because it means something to you.)
T- time based (when will you achieve your goal by? Set a date and stick to it.)
Once you know what your goal is specifically, know what it looks like to actually achieve and have a set date for when you want to achieve it you can then begin the chunking process.
The chunking process is taking the whole length of when you want to achieve your goal, for example save for a house in one year, and then breaking down that goal into smaller achievable chunks so that the overall goal does not seem overwhelming.
For example, If you want to achieve the goal of saving $20,000 for a down payment on a house in 1 year (12 months) I would break it down like this:
** I am going to round my numbers to make it easier.
Week: Save $400 (each week I would need to save this amount. In order to so this I may have to create a budget, stop spending money on things I don’t need and prioritise what’s important.)
Month: Save $1600(each month I would need to save this amount.)
3 months: Save $4800
6 months: Save $9600
9 Months: Save $14, 400
12 Months: $19, 200
** This 12 month total not being $20,000 is due to the fact that there are sometimes more than 4 weeks per month but you get the idea. You can change your goal amounts, maybe add more money one month etc. as you see fit. The point is that you’re working towards a goal.
I like to break my goal down so that I know what I need to do each week in order to achieve it. Using money as an example is really easy to break down into chunks but you can do this for any goal. For example, if you wanted to be promoted to acting manager at your job, break down the things that you would need to do to achieve it. Maybe that is taking on two new projects a week, figuring out 3 ways in the next month to help your company save money etc. I would also suggest talking to your superior about your goal, showing them what you want to accomplish by when and that way it makes you much more accountable.
Telling someone about your goal, that you know is supportive, is an important step in achieving your goals. It makes you much more accountable and the goals often become more real.
Lastly, before you set your goals you should have an idea of what your values are. If your values align with your goals then your probability of achieving them is much higher. If your personal values don’t align then you probably won’t have the motivation and passion to do what you need to in order to achieve the goal.
I hope that you found this information useful. If you have any questions in regards to this please do not hesitate to contact me.
By: Cortnie Bornyk