I recently read a post from Fitness on Toast about how to organising goals and stay on track with fitness. It was quite an honest perspective on goal setting and being accountable. It made me think about why some people find it easy to set and achieve goals yet others struggle. I found that there are some key elements that those who are good at goal setting have. Whilst not a complete list, here are some of the consistent things I’ve noticed…
Goals: Commitment 🔒
Those who tend to achieve the goals they set are not shy in committing to them. Andrea Lambert has a great post on this. They tend to set goals and not stray from them. It is fairly easy to say we have a goal but actually committing to it regardless of the outcome is rare.
Regardless of the outcome is key. Those who consistently achieve aren’t afraid of falling short of a goal. This means that a lot of goals are achieved out of pure persistence and not giving up. When it looks like a goal may be missed the work doesn’t stop or change and all of a sudden the goal is achieved. Even if they don’t achieve their goal, they re-evaluate. They review what went wrong and set new goals.
Therefore, by doing this it allows for a lot of learning both about you personally and how you set goals. The old saying, “You learn from your mistakes” is true. Ironically, by failing with some goals you learn how to set realistic, achievable goals but also that you’re not fragile. It helps to prove that failing at something won’t break you, this builds resilience which is a common trait in good goal setters.
Goals: Planning 📝
The people who always seem to have a goal and achieve more always seem to plan well. This comes in two ways. Firstly, they seem to be good at planning goals for each area of their life. They have a clear and often multiple outcomes that they can work towards. Each goal is planned out and a good idea of how to achieve them is known. Basically, they have smaller goals to achieve a larger goal.
Secondly, the way in which they plan their day to day lives is good. There tends to be very little ad hoc decisions or a lack of knowing where they need to be and when. Structure is a strong point which allows for the required amount of time to be spent on each goal. This allows for progress to be made on multiple focuses at once.
In addition, there is hardly ever unwanted last minute decisions or confusion. This reduces stress and panic about getting things done. It also helps thinking, quality of decision making and progress.
Goals: Honesty 🙋♂️
Arguably this is just as important as commitment. Good goal setters and those who achieve goals are honest with themselves.
They will be honest in assessing their situation when setting each goal. This means they can set realistic, achievable goals that can lead to faster progress. If you aren’t honest from the outset the target you set will likely be either too easy or too hard and not really achieve their purpose.
Furthermore, they are honest in assessing their progress and outcomes. If something hasn’t gone to plan or could be better they won’t ignore it. If you are constantly pretending certain things didn’t happen then it’s impossible to really understand how far you have come or how close you are to achieving your aim.
Being honest allows for clarity in decisions and choices to achieve a goal. It also builds confidence and belief in yourself by seeing real progress. Honesty is the best policy.
Goals: Priorities 📝
Getting priorities right is a key trait within good goal setters. First and foremost it means unnecessary distractions won’t get in the way. Having clear priorities means that doing whatever is needed to achieve a goal will come first. It may sound quite extreme or obsessive but generally that’s what it takes. Goals come first and once the work is done to achieve those they enjoy other areas of their life.
Prioritising specific goals within their overall plan is also a strong point. Those areas that need more work than others are put first or worked on a bit harder. This means that a balance is found and focus is not wasted in the wrong areas. Not every goal requires the same amount of work as some things will come easier than others.
Being able to prioritise goals within your lifestyle is really important, as is being able to prioritise each goal within themselves.
Goals: Obsessive 😠
Finally, one of the most common appearances of those who achieve goal after goal is that they seem obsessed in doing so.
You often hear the above quote being used. It’s pretty cheesy but also true. It may seem that people are obsessed with hitting their goals but that’s pretty much what it takes.
They will pretty much block out anything that stops them progressing whilst working on them. That doesn’t mean living like a nun. It just means that the time set aside to work on a goal is only for that. They will also plan and think about a goal they have some downtime. Your goals don’t have to overtake your life but need to have a certain level of obsession to achieve them. Think of it as being driven!
So, they’re just my observations. If you have any thought or tips please add them to the comments below! 🙂