How to Set Goals You're Excited About
Goal setting is one of those topics that sounds pretty boring, right? But having a goals over a vague intention, to redesign your website one day or to launch that new income stream, is often the difference between making it happen and not.
Having a goal is your stake in the ground to say this begins now and ends on x-date. It clarifies exactly what you’re going to achieve and gives you clear boundaries around what a redesigned website needs to look like once it’s live or exactly what new income stream you’re going to introduce. This is important because believe me, redesigning a website doesn’t seem to have a natural end point, you can go on tweaking it for, well, forever!
Its a lot easier to work towards your goals and achieve them if you're excited about them. When you're struggling through the tough bits or pushing outside of your comfort zone, it helps to really, really want to achieve those goals. So, I've pulled together my top goal setting tips to help you create goals you'll want to achieve.
Make it a little bit scary
There’s a balance between making your goal feel like a challenge and feeling like you can’t achieve it. But if your goal gets you feeling a little bit scared or nervous and it’s got something in there which will push you to do something outside your comfort zone that’s a good thing! Because, achieving this goal will also help to build your courage muscle and grow your business.
[side note] – what people don’t tell you about doing scary things is the elated feeling you get when you’ve done that scary thing and nothing bad happened! When I was launching my podcast I had to find a bunch of people who'd be happy to be interviewed on my podcast, as I had nothing to show for the first set of people that I contacted this felt quite scary and vulnerable. BUT, everyone I contacted was lovely and they all said YES - which has really helped me grow my courage for reaching out and connecting with people.
Set specific goals
Some people call this setting a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based). Now, that might sound a bit corporate, BUT you need your goal to have all of the above things covered so that you know what you’re working towards and when you need to achieve it by.
Start by writing your goal out and then checking it ticks off all of the SMART points above, if it doesn't add those bits in until you've got something like:
I will launch a new product line of 3 pieces on the 1st September.
Set yourself a reward that you really want
It could be to go on a course you’ve been wanting to go on, take a spa day, buy that floaty linen dress you’ve wanted for ages or to take a few days off to explore somewhere new and feed your creativity. Use your reward to drive you forward when you're working on the tough bits.
Put it on the wall
Write it out on a big sheet of paper or print it out and stick it on the wall. Make sure it's somewhere where you’ll see it and take notice of it every day.
Break it down
Breaking down your goal into appetising chunks is possibly the most important thing! This is where you can start to feel like your goal is achievable and you can see your route map to how you’re going to achieve it.
Make sure you’re excited about it
If you’re excited about working on your goal and getting to that end point, it’s more likely to become a reality. Are you feeling excited about your goal right now? If not, have a think about how you could make it more exciting. Even if your goal is to complete your tax return, think about what the result of completing that goal will be. Perhaps in this case it’ll be to get that load off your mind and go on that spa day you’ve promised yourself as a reward.
Check in with how achieving your goal affects the bigger picture, how does it get you closer to the lifestyle and business you long to have? To get clear on this, it’s helpful to define why you’re focussing on your goal. Eg: Achieving this will develop my product eco-system and help to deliver more revenue in the run up to Christmas - growing my business and making it more sustainable.
This is part of the SMART goal thing but it's super important to I'm pulling it out as a key consideration. Once you've broken your goal down into chunks, look at how your action plan for the following few weeks - get honest with yourself, is it looking achievable? If not, move some things around or cut your goal back a little. Under acheiving against a goal you've set can be really disheartening. So, avoid setting over-ambitious goals to avoid that sinking feeling you get when you realise time is passing by and you're not managing to keep up with the goal you've set.
Again, this ties back to what motivates you. If you're someone who is good at getting things done with no external expectation then promising yourself a juicy reward might be enough. If you're someone who is more likely to get things done if you've promised people you're going to deliver something by a certain date - then perhaps tell your social media followers what your goal is or share it with a close friend or business bud who will hold yourself accountable.
If your goal covers all of those areas off, you’ve got one solid, awesome goal. All you’ve got to do now is take that intention and put it into action. This is where the work comes in, but fear not, you can make this bit easier on yourself too by making a 12-week action plan.