You need goals to get things done. However, not every goal is effective. Some goals are nothing but a rod for your back, making you feel frustrated and de-motivated. I know first-hand how constant striving can lead to feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and disconnected. When writing goals, the old adage that the carrot is better than the stick rings true! That’s why I’m so happy to be sharing this strategy with you, so you can set goals that focus your efforts in a positive way, and deliver real results for you.
The way that you word your goals will have a big impact on whether or not you reach them. In this article, you’ll learn how to set goals you’ll actually achieve, ones that will keep you energised and motivated long-term. You’ll do this using the Four P’s of goal setting – they need to be positive, personal, possible, and prioritised. When done correctly, these goals are the golden carrots of motivation! You'll naturally want to work towards achieving them every single day.
They Need to Be Positive
When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. For example, you would write, “I will achieve a promotion.” rather than “I will no longer work at this horrible job.” Staying focused on the positive will help improve your outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your chances for success. Reaching your goals will automatically help you avoid your present circumstances. When creating positive goals, remember to be as specific as possible.
They Need to Be Personal
When creating goals, they need to reflect your dreams and desires. Goals that are not personal are ineffective. Your goals should be about you and only you. For example, “My boss will appreciate me.” is an ineffective goal because it is not about you. It is possible to be a wonderful employee and still be unappreciated. A better goal would be, “I will find a supervisory position where I am appreciated for my talent.” If your goals are not personal, you will never achieve them. Making goals personal places the burden of responsibility on you, but it also means that other people do not determine when you reach your goals.
They Need to Be Possible
When creating goals, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you be honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. For example, it is not possible for someone to become a famous singer without any talent whatsoever. You need to assess your talents and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for you to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for you to achieve, success will be within reach.
They Need to Be Prioritised
Writing goals can become overwhelming. You will probably have more goals than you can handle. This is the time to prioritise your goals. Begin by numerically ranking your goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important to you. Choose these goals based on your passions, and make sure that they cover all areas of your life: professional, health, personal growth, finances, etc. All of your time and energy should be spent working towards these goals.
You should place your other goals on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. In fact, you should avoid the other goals at all cost. You risk becoming side tracked with less important goals if you continue to entertain them. Don’t fall into the trap of saying YES too often! Remember those strategies for Saying a Positive No? Saying NO to some ideas enables you to have time and energy to focus on achieving the things that matter to you the most.
You will need to reprioritise your goals periodically. For example, you can reprioritise after you achieve one of your top five goals.
And don’t forget…
The carrot is better than the stick! You won’t achieve success by doing more or working longer hours. Success comes from setting goals that matter to YOU and prioritising them consistently every day.
If you’d like to dive into this a bit deeper, I recommend joining us to be coached through our program on Goal Setting and Productivity. Reach out for a totally free, no obligation strategy session to learn if it's the right fit for you!
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