Goal Setting for the New Year

Goals are very powerful. Most importantly, they provide us with a target. What’s the likelihood of accidentally accomplishing something that makes your life much better? Great accomplishments require intention and systems. Having intention keeps your mind sharp and searching for solutions.

Of all the things we learn in school, most of us were never taught how to set an effective goal. 

Beware of These Mistakes When Setting Goals

For best results, avoid these 9 goal-setting mistakes:

  1. Setting too many goals. Instead of having a multitude of goals, try setting one highly meaningful goal. When you have a history of success, increase the number of goals you’re simultaneously pursuing.
    • Too many goals can be overwhelming and spread your resources too thin.
  2. Choosing goals that aren’t highly meaningful to you. If you’re going to limit yourself to a single goal, it’s especially important to choose one that’s highly desirable to you and will have a great impact on your life.
    • The more you want it, the more likely you are to aggressively pursue it.
  3. Expecting things to go smoothly. A highly desirable and meaningful goal is unlikely to be reached quickly and easily. Expect a few bumps along the way.
    • Keep a positive attitude and simply assess the situation when things don’t go the way you had hoped. Change your approach and try again.
    • Using this process to move closer and closer to your goal, regardless of the circumstances, how could you not be successful?
  4. Not recognizing signs from your subconscious. If you’ve set a desirable goal, it’s only natural that you’d pursue it aggressively and enthusiastically. If you find yourself procrastinating, losing your enthusiasm, or failing to take action for any reason, your subconscious is trying to tell you that something is amiss.
  5. Setting an unreasonable timeline. Things always seem to take longer than we expected. Try to be realistic and set a deadline that’s reasonable and takes into account a few challenges along the way.
    • By not giving yourself enough time, you’re risking the possibility that you’ll feel discouraged when you don’t complete your goal on time.
  6. Failing to measure your progress. Imagine having a weight loss or financial goal but never weighing yourself or measuring your income. You’d never know where you stood relative to your goal. Review your progress on a regular basis.
  7. Setting goals that aren’t realistic. There are many goals that appear unrealistic, yet are realistic with an adequate deadline. However, there are also goals that are highly unlikely to be reached. For example, if you’re 55 years old and 5’ 5”, you’re not going to play in the NBA.
    • You can accomplish great things, but some things simply aren’t an option, regardless of the timeline. Seek wisdom in telling the difference.
  8. Setting goals that take too long. It’s much easier to stay focused on goals that are limited to around 12 weeks.
    • If you have a goal that will take longer than three months, determine where you would expect to be in three months and make that your goal. Big goals are likely to require several smaller goals that ultimately lead to its completion.
  9. Not having a clear endpoint. An effective goal is measurable and has a clear endpoint. For example, “making more money” isn’t an effective goal. A penny is more money. Would you be satisfied with that? Be as concise as possible. Ensure you can measure your goal.

A goal is a gateway to a happier life. But setting effective goals takes practice, and it’s important to avoid making these common goal-setting mistakes. Avoid these mistakes and you greatly increase the odds of realizing success!

For Greater Success, Focus on Systems Instead of Goals

You might understand the power of setting a goal, but that’s just the beginning. A goal is where you want to end up, but it doesn’t tell you how to get there. Creating systems that move you toward success is the real path to success.

For example, a successful business always has a system for generating sales. There are sales goals, but the system is what moves the company toward that sales goal.

You already have a lot of systems. You have a system for mowing and trimming your grass. You have a system for making sure you have clean clothes on Monday morning. 

When you set a new goal, it’s important to create new systems.

Follow this process to create effective systems that lead to your success:

  1. Know your goal but focus on how to get there. Let’s imagine that your goal is to run a marathon in nine months. How exciting! But, let’s focus on how you might get there. Let’s also imagine that you haven’t run in years, and you have 20 pounds to lose if you want to increase your odds of success.
    • With research, you discover that you need to ultimately have a long run of 20 miles every other week to have a good chance of finishing a marathon. You also know that you need to work up to a weekly mileage of at least 40 miles per week. Armed with this knowledge, you can create a plan.
    • You know that you need to lose 20 pounds, so a diet of some sort might be in order.
    • You also believe that you need to learn more about running.
  2. Formulate a support goal. You know that you need to ultimately have a long run of 20 miles every other week, work up to 40 miles per week, and lose 20 pounds. You also need to learn more about running. These are support goals.
    • Your “systems” will be the way you choose to accomplish these support goals.
    • One way to develop your systems is to work backwards.
  3. Work backwards. Obviously, you can’t just go out and run 20 miles if you haven’t run in years. You’re also not going to lose 20 pounds in a day. Trying to run 40 miles the first week will lead to injury and a loss of motivation.
    • If you need to have a 20-mile run every other week, the week or two prior to running 20 miles, you need to run 19. Before that, 18. Keep working back until have a number you can do your first week. Build a schedule.
    • Over the next 9 months, you need to work up from just a few miles to 40 miles. Again, build a schedule.
    • Perhaps on Sunday, you will create a menu for the week and do your shopping as a way of helping to lose those 20 pounds.
    • You might also decide to read for an hour each week about running.
    • Now, your goal each week is to follow your plan. Monitor how well you’re sticking to your plan. The end goal is just the destination. The key is to focus on your systems in order to get there.

Each goal will require different systems. For example, if you’re a real estate agent and want to sell $10 million worth of real estate this year, your systems might be to:

  • Call 25 expired listings each week.
  • Send out 100 postcards each month looking for new buyers and sellers.
  • Go to three networking events each month.
  • Ask everyone you know if they’re interested in buying or selling a home.

Effective systems are doable and will guarantee success. Create systems that make it impossible to fail.Poor systems or poor compliance lead to poor results.

Set your goals and then focus on developing effective systems. If you create good systems and follow them, you’ll achieve success.

This concludes our training for today. We invite you to advance your personal development and financial literacy education by subscribing to Holy City’s Battlefield Academy. Get access to resources that will help you elevate your financial IQ, enhance internal / external communication skills, and create a prosperous outlook.

Until next time: God bless, stay positive, and be true to you.

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