Did you achieve all that you wanted in 2016?
If not, make sure your 2017 is as successful as possible.
Last year was longer than usual, with an extra day in February being a leap year. Although, it probably seems for most that it flew by faster than a speeding bullet. But did you achieve all of what you set out to achieve? And did you live a year full of doing the things you loved?
We want to make sure that, like us, you will have every chance of achieving your goals in 2017, both for yourself and / or your business. So, in no specific order, here are our 7 Ways to Easily Achieve Your Goals in 2017.
Ensure Your Goals Are SMART
Everyone says they have goals, but seldom do we achieve what we set out to achieve, without proper planning and focus of course. Setting goals is the easy part, but setting goals that you are more likely to achieve is where the challenge lies.
The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham.
Since the 80’s, the principles surrounding creating goals the SMART way have been introduced into personal goals for individuals too, as well as company goals. You will be able to apply and use this format of setting goals both for yourself personally, and perhaps share this with family, friends and those close to you so they can come on the journey too. And if you’re a business owner, it’s important to have company goals too that you set as the owner and share with your team so they know what they need to achieve.
Here’s what SMART goals are and how to set goals for yourself and your business for 2017 so you can be successful in reaching these goals, and know when you achieve them.
S – Specific – Your goal should be as specific as you can get in as much detail as you can provide. You want to make sure that you know (and celebrate) when you achieve a goal. For example, instead of just stating that you want to lose weight, rephrase this to ‘lose 10 kilos of fat and decrease body fat by 1%.”
M – Measurable – With goals, it’s important that you have a measure in place to know that you achieved this goal. Whether it’s a financial goal and stating the specific amount of money that you want to have saved or profited, or if you are setting a fitness goal as in the above example, be sure to use kilograms, body fat percentage, kilometres or time for training etc so you know that you are hitting this target.
A – Achievable – Is this something that you will personally be able to take action on and achieve with all other elements taken into account? Can you or your team action this within the time frames and achieve it? And do all stakeholders agree that this is achievable?
About the Author
Dale Beaumont founded Business Blueprint. Over the 5 years since Business Blueprint® began, they have met tens of thousands of business owners across all types of industries. Among this, we see a large proportion who struggle every day with significant challenges.
Many are exhausted and completely spent by the relentless demands of running their business. It becomes difficult to escape and do what’s important to them – like spending time with family and friends, or on their fitness and health.
Others feel overwhelmed by the pace of change that’s sweeping the business world – and confused about what they need to do to respond. And many feel quite lonely and isolated in their business, with the worries and responsibilities falling solely on their weary shoulders.
It’s a troubling cocktail. And if it sounds familiar – and you’re in the thick of it – it’s incredibly hard to see a way forward. But there is an answer. And it’s called Business Blueprint.
Business Blueprint is a revolutionary program for business owners that gives you renewed energy, greater clarity and better rewards – plus a community who’ll cheer your wins.
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R – Realistic – Are the goals that you’ve set for yourself or your business realistic within the availability of resources, knowledge and time? Can you achieve these goals within the time frames? Do you have the team or resources available to achieve your goals? Do you have the funds available to achieve these goals?
T – Timed – And finally, put a time limit on when you intend to achieve your goals. Add a due date, a few milestones, state the time, day, date or month that you are setting yourself to achieve this goal. And of course, make sure it meets all of the above criteria.
Forget Resolutions – Make Reservations
In the spur of the moment on NYE, someone usually raises the question “what are your new year resolutions” and we answer with the usual goals of eat less, drink less, work out more and spend more time on yourself. Yet, few will probably even achieve those goals.
Setting and achieving goals shouldn’t just be about health and fitness, or financial goals or business targets, although that’s a good place to start. It’s important to also have plans to look forward to and work towards, to reward yourself for achieving your goals.
Get out your diary or your phone, and lock in 3-4 dates throughout the year where you are going to plan to go away on a holiday. It might be a long weekend, or it might be a 7-10 day away interstate or overseas. But just make the first step of locking in the dates.
You should sit down and plan out your calendar around now if you haven’t already, plotting out important dates such as financial / business important dates like when your tax is due or major events for your business, add in your family, friends and colleagues birthdays, any weddings or special events that you have been invited to attend, anniversaries with your partner, your parents, and even your staff. And once you have all the important dates, then around this you can book in your holidays.
Having holidays scattered through the year not only gives us something to look forward to, it allows us to set a budget and save for the trip, as well as treat ourselves for our hard work and achieving our goals. Little celebrations of milestones ticked off throughout the year.
Focus on All Areas of Your Life
When setting goals, it’s a bad habit to focus on too few areas of our lives. The usual will get on the list, such as health, fitness and maybe financial. But reality is that there are other key areas of your life which require our focus too.
According to Human Behaviour Expert, Dr John Demartini, there are 7 areas of life that we need to master. And these 7 areas can be incorporated into our goals too, giving us a wholistic approach to mastering our life.
The 7 areas are:
- Mental (Education / Personal Development)
- Vocational (Career / Business)
When setting goals, try to set 2-3 small goals, and 1 major goal for each of these 7 areas of your life. The small goals should be easier to achieve than the major goal, and something that you can achieve in a shorter amount of time. The major goal should be something huge, a goal that might almost seem unachievable, and will most likely take you longer to achieve.
This way you are setting yourself up with little wins for your smaller goals and then something larger to work towards over a longer period too.
Stop Wasting Time
Have you ever noticed the zombie like state that people are in when on their commute to work with their heads down engrossed in their social media news feed? Or have you done this yourself? Or perhaps you have someone in your family or friends that watches a lot of TV or plays video games? In other words, they are time wasters.
One of the simplest and fastest way to achieve your goals, no matter what they are, is doing the work. Not wasting time, but being productive with your time. If you are someone who is addicted to social media and watching the lives of others, or sometimes even living through the lives of others on social media, STOP! This is unhealthy, and in fact, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recently conducted a study about the effects of social media habits on the moods of users which showed links to depression from heavy Facebook and Social Media Usage.
Be productive with your time. You chose this life as an entrepreneur, and you should own that and do it justice. Be thankful for the opportunity and the fact that you don’t have to just do the 9-5 grind and can work when and where you want. But don’t take this for granted. For most successful entrepreneurs, business doesn’t sleep and the hustle mentality is what will keep you moving forward in the right direction, maintaining momentum and achieving your goals.
It will come as no surprise that one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Along with a balanced diet, exercise can help you achieve personal fitness goals, whether you want to lose those extra kilos or get the six-pack abs you’ve always wanted, but there is also strong links to exercise being a key ingredient to success. Exercise also provides psychological benefits such as improved mood, higher self-esteem, enhanced brain function, reduced mental fatigue and diminished anxiety.
This is all the more reason to stop spending so much time working or sitting on the couch, or just sitting in general, and start getting outdoors, breathing in fresh air and even just walking or going to the gym. Start off by doing something. Walk up the supermarket instead of driving, leave the office earlier and ride your bike or walk to a bus stop or train station further away than you would normally. Leave the office earlier and walk home during the summer months while there is more sunlight until 7pm or 8pm.
Share Your Dreams
Too often, we are afraid to share our dreams with those close to us. Probably mostly because we are scared of failure and then in turn, people knowing that we didn’t succeed at achieving our goals. When in fact, sharing your dreams with those close to you does the complete opposite.
When you share your goals with others around you, two things happen. The first being that you have now said this out loud, and subconsciously you now feel that people know and you are being held accountable to achieve your goals. And secondly, you will be held accountable by those who you have told meaning that you are more likely to succeed in achieving your goals.
Have you ever told someone, perhaps around this time of year, that you need to stop eating or drinking so much and get back in shape? And then have that same person remind you of this in the following months when you pick up that piece of chocolate or have that extra beverage on a Friday?
The same thing will happen with all of your goals. Believe it or not, other people actually want to see you succeed in achieving your goals, and they even get a kick out of seeing you achieve the goals that you have shared with them. After sharing your goals, you now have buy in from another person and they are along for the ride with you. You will be reminded by them checking in and asking you “how are you going with saving for that investment property” or “did you achieve the increased targets that you set for your sales team last month”?
It’s no question that for most of us, education (or lack thereof) got us to where we are today. Although it may not have been education which you received whilst at primary or high school, or maybe not even at University, education is a virtue to self-development and personal growth.
At some point, be it through paid education or self-learning online, you have been receiving education since birth, and those of us who make the decision to continue educating ourselves through personal development and continued professional development will reap the rewards of our studious efforts.
In some industries, it is now compulsory to earn Continued Professional Development (CPD) points to ensure we stay up-to-date with all aspects of our roles and industry. So if larger industries and corporations are making education compulsory for their staff to secure their future, why aren’t we as individuals and business owners?
There is a tonne of free information out there online for all industries and types of business, but there is also a lot on offer for face to face education too. Whether it’s a specialist short course on an area of business that you need to develop your skills in at that time, or a generalist course such as a diploma or degree.
And then there is also business education programs, such as our Business Blueprint program, which is a 12-month education program incorporating conferences, online videos, business systems and templates, a business adviser and an incredible network within our community of business owners.
Celebrate Small Wins
We all love a good win, and like to set large goals for ourselves to accomplish. But how often do we celebrate the small wins that we achieve? Not as often as celebrating the larger wins in most cases.
Setting ourselves small goals, as well as larger goals, gives us little tasks to work on and achieve along our goal journey. And having small wins more often motivates us to work harder to achieve the next small goal, and of course the larger goals too.
Big goals are important and you should definitely set yourself one big goal in each area of your life as a minimum. And then try to also set 4-5 smaller goals to keep you motivated and achieving all year round. And of course, celebrate these wins along the way with a little treat of your choosing.
There are so many different elements when it comes to setting and achieving goals. Anyone can set a goal of course, but only a certain type of person can achieve their goals. It’s someone who is clear on their specific goal, clear on their ‘why’ for achieving that goal, knows their purpose in life, and is focused daily on working towards their goals. If you follow this guide, you will more likely achieve your goals than someone who doesn’t follow this guide. It is only a guide though, and will require a lot of hard work, commitment, drive and dedication in order for you to achieve what you set out to. Go forth and conquer your dreams this year and make it one to remember.