How to Guarantee That You Crush Your Goals This Year!
21 min read
When you’re setting goals for the new year, you’re wondering if this year will be the same as all the other years: goals that weren’t completed and another disappointed you, wishing you could set goals and actually accomplish them for once. At least, that’s how I felt sometimes.
In this post, we’re going to explain why you haven’t accomplished goals in the past, and how to set effective goals to smash them this year!
It’s January, and that means you’re bombarded several times a day about resolutions, fitness programs, gym memberships, healthy eating, and goal setting.
In this post, I’ll explain my stance on SMART goals, and I’ll talk about why I don’t believe you need motivation to succeed in achieving your goals.
It’s funny to me that goal setting at the beginning of the year is kind of held to the same degree as celebrating Christmas day. That is to say, we’re conditioned that it’s kind of a must do each year!
But the thing is – in the same way that not everyone celebrates Christmas, not everyone wants to set goals at the beginning of the year.
I’m not a big fan of setting resolutions and goals in January. My thinking is that if you want to change something, why wait to set yourself up for failure in January – start in July! Or whatever month it happens to be when you realize you want to make a change (or read this post).
And while we’re on the page of going against the societal grain of ‘goal setting’, I might as well come out and tell you right now that I don’t believe in SMART goals.
For most of the letters in the “SMART” acronym, they can stay on the team – but R – that dangnabit ‘realistic’ word – should be thrown out.
So I guess I believe in SMAT goals instead (weird, lol).
Most posts about goal setting will talk about (you guessed it), setting SMART goals and staying motivated.
However, I don’t think that lowering your dreams to be ‘realistic’ is a great way to start off, because that means you’re not being true to yourself and what you really want.
Ready to learn how to crush your goals this year?
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| Identify and write down your goals
First, you need to figure out where you’re going. This is classic, I know, but don’t scroll past just yet!
Just the simple act of writing your goals down means you’re miles ahead of most Americans. There’s a Harvard Study out there that explained that those in their study who wrote down their goals ended up making ten times MORE money in the next ten years compared to the remaining 97% of their peers.
Put in another way – those who write down their goals make TEN TIMES MORE MONEY than 97% of those who don’t write down their goals.
(Here, Forbes did an article about this).
If your mouth isn’t wide open in a bit of shock – well I’m afraid that it just takes a lot to excite you, then.
So you get it – t’s really important. So just do it. But keep them in front of you, don’t just shove them in a notebook somewhere.
But first, we have to know what to write, right?
When figuring out your goals – determine what you want to do. Where would you like to go? What would you like to do, see, or become?
These may be long-term goals, short-term goals – whatever it is, just identify it and get it out of your brain and into the physical world. Take some time with this and have fun – imagine it like you’re picking things out of a big Sears catalog (is Sears still in business when you’re reading this? Maybe I’m showing my age…)
Why I will never tell you to choose ‘realistic’ goals
I also want to explain that when you’re writing down your goals, don’t be ‘realistic’ for the love of God! Just write down what the heck you want to do. Don’t worry about if you’re “stretching too much” or if it’s “too far away to be obtained”.
I promise you – it’s most assuredly not too far fetched. Just look at Jim Carrey. He had a goal to make $10 million dollars, and he wrote out his goal on a check. He did date the check, and pretty much gave himself five years to get to it. He would sit at the top of Mulholland Drive in LA (I don’t know where that is, but I’m assuming it’s somewhere fancy) and he would daydream about his future.
If a dead-ass broke Jim Carrey can write a check for $10 mil’s – you can dream of whatever it is you’re dreaming of.
This is what I want you to do.
You should dream, play, have fun with this! There’s no reason to have any ‘unrealistic’ talks to yourself either!
Now we need to talk about what I said in the intro – why I don’t like SMART goals.
What are SMART goals and why do I think they are total hogwash?
SMART goals are the whole “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound” thing. Everyone’s heard of them. They used to pass out little worksheets in school with a box next to each letter. You know the one.
Here’s my thing:
You can be specific, that’s fantastic.
Being able to measure your goals is also a great thing (because how will you know if you’ve achieved it? Black and white is sometimes a good thing).
But – attainable? Most things are attainable. Most people would tell me that it wasn’t attainable for me to get a helicopter pilots license, especially as a girl. Also, most people would tell me it’s not possible to pay off the over 6 figures I owe in student loans to get that license and degree. Does that mean it’s not ‘attainable’? What do they know? Who’s to say it’s not attainable?
Realistic – ahhh this word. This word, to me, feels the same as attainable. How does anyone know whether something is realistic or not? Would you say it was realistic that Jim Carrey wrote himself a check, with mere dollars in his bank account and five short years later received a $10 million dollar check? Not by most peoples standards!
To accomplish BIG goals, you have to DREAM BIG.
Time-bound – now this one I have mixed feelings on. You want to give yourself a time limit so that you actually go after and take action on your goals. But as Rachel Holland in Girl, Wash Your Face says, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your goal by that time. Because as long as you are at least ONE step forward from the place you started, you’re still working it. Why beat yourself up if you made $9,000,000 this year instead of $10,000,000? That’s just cruel to yourself, and you’re letting yourself down. You got 9/10th’s of the way there, didn’t you? If you hadn’t started at all, you could then kick yourself for it. But not if you made real progress.
It’s time to change our thinking.
All you need to do is come up with a goal. Then, simply keep reading and move on to the next step!
Get the BestSelf Co journal, called The SELF Journal, to plan 2019 with a simple approach with this daily planner – designed to cultivate happiness and 10x your output!
| The golden rule for goal setting: break it down
This. Is. Key.
Like most kids, I had this horrible habit when I was a very young babe. Like, I had 30 stuffed animals and toys strewn all over the room and you could barely walk in it. I also had one of those cool hammocks on the wall to put them in. But when it came time to clean up my giant mess of a room, I would look into it and get frustrated immediately. I’d get angry, too (as kids do) because – what a mess! Who made this mess?! Certainly not me. It must have been the stuffed bears. Damn them.
So I would cry to my mom because I wouldn’t know what to do. It’s all so much!
She would tell me: You’re just overwhelmed, it’s okay Tiffy, just start with one tiiiiny corner.
So little Tiffy would. And little Tiffy learned over time that starting with one tiiiiiny bite helps most everything in the adult-world, too.
The moral, of course, is that to eat an elephant, you must take tiny bites. And to clean your room as a kid, you must start with a tiny step. And to accomplish a very big, years-long goal, you must take tiny steps every day.
Stop focusing on the big picture – because it’s hard to see where you’re going. Your GPS doesn’t show you the entire journey unless you ask it. We can learn from those GPS’s! Just pay attention to where you currently are, and start where you are with what you have.
Only focus on the small things for now. You can look at the bigger picture later.
How do you break goals down?
Start with a book that breaks it down, or a blog post, or a Youtube video. Find out how others have done the same thing. Success leaves clues. Trust me, you aren’t the first to do the thing you want to do.
You can also break it down by starting with the end in mind. You’ve got your goal, now what’s the prerequisite to that goal? And the prerequisite to that one? And so on. Create smaller goals that you can meet along the way!
Ask someone who you know has experience and success. Multiple someones. They won’t mind. Buy them a coffee.
Create a Mind Map [Read this post on the best free software to do this].
Start figuring out things like:
– Resources you’ll need
– Steps you’ll need to take
– Problems you expect to run into (yes, expect them!)
– New habits or things you’ll need to adjust in your life to get there
– Place you’ll need to go
– or things you’ll need to learn moving forward
How to create the workflow for your goals
Now that you have a list of things to accomplish or do, start to create a system that will work around your current schedule so that you are constantly taking action on your goal. These smaller tasks will relate directly to your bigger goals.
This is the most important part of the process!
Well, I guess I could argue that taking action every single day is the most important because without action there is literally NO progress on your goal.
But, I would argue that breaking down my goal into quarterly, monthly and weekly tasks was the thing that changed goal setting for me for life.
Instead of writing down a vague “I want to make $1,000,000 this year with my business!” and leaving it at that, with no way or direction of how to get to that number, I actually write out, at the beginning of the year, how I am going to get there. Working backward is one of the keys to figuring out how to get to where you want to be.
So first, you want to write down the very next step you would need to take to get there.
To get to an income goal, you would need to sell how many of your products?
If you don’t have a product yet, you would need to create one.
To create a product, you’d need to know what your audience wants.
To figure out what your audience wants, you have to ask them.
To ask them what they want, you’ll need quite a few people to ask.
In one of my online courses, they recommend about 1000 people to ask.
If you don’t have 1,000 people to ask, you’ll need to focus on building your audience.
To build your audience, you’ll need more content or traffic.
To do that, you should put out blog posts, and repurpose your social media content.
To get traffic, you’ll need to use social media.
Traffic. This is the ONE thing.
It took a while to break it down, but that’s a fantastic way to see the stepping stones from where you are now.
Or as Gary Kelly would say, the ONE thing that would move your business forward. (Click here to read The ONE Thing. It’s amazing).
After writing down your ‘very next step’, you will break it down into Quarterly goals.
Third, to monthly goals.
Fourth, to weekly goals.
And finally, set a time each week for you to sit down and go over what needs to happen next week to move you closer to that (yes, amidst all of the invariable things that will need to be done over the year).
Allison from Wanderlass put out this video on how to break down your goals to manageable steps here:
| The secret to achieving your goals: turn it into a habit
Because creating habits around your goals is what successful people do.
And they are successful because they found a way to discipline themselves enough with habits and routines that they are working on their larger goals every single damn day.
And maybe their daily habits like eating well and meditating aren’t directly related to their bigger goals – but having a healthy body and a healthy mind is key to being able to do those amazing things that they do: write books, meet with people, be quippy on podcasts, think on their feet, help others one-on-one.
You can’t do these when you’re tired and feel like crap, well, you can’t do them well.
So their health habits are still within their bigger goals. This is why so many successful people talk about these habits. Healthiness is vital to your success. -Ahem- anyways…
So the point is – start making your scheduling a habit. Once a week sit down and break down the tasks you’ll do for each day this week. At the end of the month write out the next steps for the new month, or write out your plans to learn more information about your current goal. Whatever it is, get it out into the physical world, and keep. it. going.
The secret in how to achieve your goals is to turn your goal actions into habits. Why? Because you will essentially end up ‘automating’ the actions you are taking to achieve them. And the way to achieve goals is to continually take action.
| Accountability is king – create accountability for yourself
Lots of people set ‘rewards’ for themselves if they complete a goal, but it’s not often that people talk about setting ‘negative consequences’ for themselves if they fail to reach a goal.
I first learned about this when I saw a video by Kerwin Rae, who told of a story about creating accountability. His idea was that if you really want to get yourself to do something – you can post something on social media, to all of your friends and family, that if you don’t complete this goal by this time, you will eat a can of dog food live on Facebook.
Ew, right? But – you’ve got to imagine that it would work!
If you make your ‘negative consequence’ incredibly embarrassing, you’re putting the kick in your own pants – no excuses not to do it, unless you want to eat the dog food!
Although that story is a bit extreme – it just shows how powerful accountability can be. So get yourself a coach, a family member who will hound you, or a horribly gross-tasting bet between you and a friend. I bet you’ll get more done this way!
| Expect roadblocks, setbacks & fear
Brian Tracy says, in his book Bullseye, that you should write down the roadblocks that you expect to get when you are moving forward with your goal.
Because they are inevitable, and they will happen. There is no “what if they happen”. They WILL happen.
So the best way to go about things is to expect them. Come up with solutions beforehand. Don’t overreact. Analyze the situation and come up with the solutions. Try to predict future problems before they become a problem.
Don’t overreact with emotions.
Don’t get angry.
Don’t give up because you had a setback.
And don’t be afraid of fear!
| Motivation is a lie
Now I promised at the beginning of the post that I would explain why motivation is a lie.
No one can do this better than Mel Robbins herself, who I first heard this from.
Mel Robbins explains that for some reason, our society and mentality is that we have to wait to be ready. That we have to wait to feel energized. Or that we have to wait until the motivation comes.
We also have trained ourselves that feeling uncomfortable, scared, or doing difficult things is bad.
It’s all a lie!
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. You NEED to feel uncomfortable, or scared of something, or have that annoying “ugh I don’t want to do this” part of your brain. And you need to push past it.
It’s the part of your brain that is telling you that you’re going the right way when you’re working on your goals, despite it feeling the opposite. We’re talking subjectively about goals and achievements, of course.
The difficult or scary parts are simply our brains creating a fight-or-flight response in order to protect us from the unknown.
“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” – I don’t remember who said this. But yeah, they’re a genius.
Mel says, “you only feel motivated to do the things that are easy”. Do you think she’s right?
If you’re intrigued by any of this, I encourage you to watch this 4 minute video – her invigorating take on motivation. She can explain it much better than I can.
| Take repetitive action
When I wanted to start a healthy diet, embark on a fitness regime, start reading more books, or start a super intense studying habit (helloooo flight school), I would write out a system with my whiteboard and come up with some elaborate way to get it all done.
It was a bad habit of mine (and probably most type-A planning enthusiasts) to come up with a battle plan for how to accomplish XY and Z.
The problem is – sometimes we get stuck in the planning stage.
They call this Analysis Paralysis. And it’s where we can get so involved and into the planning that we forget that done is better than perfect, and we forget to start taking action.
So, I encourage you to do the above steps – change your mindset a bit, plan out your goals, but then – just go for it and do the damn thing!
If you had a bank account, and you only made a deposit ‘when you felt like it,’ and say that was only once every few months when you got a bonus because you “need the money”, would your money compound as much as if you were depositing every single month?
Of course not!
So are your goals going to get as much traction on them if you have them on the back burner?
Or stuck in planning mode coming up with elaborate systems, only taking action on those goals once every couple of months when you remember?
Of course not!
By putting your goals and dreams on the back burner, or letting analysis paralysis take over, you’re selling yourself short, and probably coming up with reasons why you can’t do the task to move them forward.
You’re not living up to your full potential, and you’re selling yourself short by not staying true to yourself.
And you’re not living your best life, girl!
You aren’t even giving yourself the chance to see if you can do it, therefore making yourself feel like a failure each time your own expectations aren’t met.
Honor yourself, and your dreams – don’t let yourself down! There’s enough of that in the world already!
So – are you getting the right amount of action in there to compound the bank account of life?
If not – it’s time to get really honest with yourself.
Mel Robbins in the video above, explained more about why it’s so hard to do the little things.
Our habit is hesitation.
Mel says you can trace every single problem in your life back to silence and hesitation.
Remember, motivation is garbage. You’ll never ‘feel like’ doing the thing. Just do the thing!
And also remember, you are only ONE decision away from changing your life, your business, your income, your relationships – everything.
Get the BestSelf Co journal – The SELF Journal – plan 2019 with a simple approach with this daily planner – designed to cultivate happiness and 10x your output!
“Success is not the goal. Success is the process. The journey. It’s the way you feel and the energy that is created on your way to whatever your goal may be.”
– Ellis, editor in chief of Success Magazine
Here were the simple strategies we covered to help you get closer to your goals – and to absolutely crush any goal you make in life from this point forward:
– Writing down your goals
– Why SMART goals are full of crap
– Eating elephants will help you get closer, and how it helps you clean your room
– Why habits are the key to achieving your goals
– Why accountability is king and eating a can of dog food is a good thing
– Setting expectations for roadblocks, setbacks and fears
– Why I believe motivation is a lie
-What analysis paralysis is and why taking action is better
So, if you’re ready to actually achieve the goals you set for yourself, I guarantee you will have much better results than previously. Unless you were the king of goal-setting. In that case, I don’t know if my post helped you at all – but I hope so!
It’s time to take those actions, despite:
- Not having enough time (make time – we only focus on what we prioritize. Make it a priority)
- Not having enough money (get that side hustle!)
- Too much to do (hire out or come up with new methods to get it all done. Get creative and resourceful!)
You. Can. Do. This.
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