For most people, they believe that inspiration is enough, or that willpower is all they need. But what about your process? What about the systems to achieve your goals?
According to a study by Reliable Plant, only 30% of people who create goals actually achieve them. That’s only 1 in 3 people. So what makes the difference between people who succeed and people who don’t?
To achieve your goals, you need to have a goal setting plan. And to create this plan, you need to know the simplest and most effective techniques to fulfill your goals.
In this guide, we’ll show you 7 effective techniques you can print out and include in your vision board, to remind you every day that to achieve goals, you must have a plan.
7 EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES FOR GOAL SETTING
Here are 7 effective techniques for goal setting:
DETERMINE YOUR WHY
Before you start cutting up pictures in a magazine for your goal setting vision board, ask yourself one important question: “Why do you want the things you want?”
If you want a car, do you want it for prestige? If you want to buy a house, do you want it for peace and security?
Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why,” is one of the most successful and popular books on leadership and business. Sinek talks about finding the very reason why you do the things you do. When you determine your “why,” it must become the very foundation of every action that comes after.
For example, your “why” is freedom. You want to be able to buy anything you want, travel anywhere you want to go, and not have to work a single day of your life.
When you know this reason, every goal that you create from this moment on will be geared towards your “why.”
USE THE SMART GOALS TECHNIQUE
The SMART Goals technique was developed by a group of consultants, namely Arthur Miller, James Cunningham, and George Doran, in a 1981 article. They introduced it as a “smart” management tool to achieve objectives.
SMART is an acronym for their 5-step process of achieving goals:
S FOR SPECIFIC
One of the rules of the law of attraction is making your dreams and goals specific. The S in SMART stands for Specific, which means you need to create clear and detailed goals.
If you want to post a picture of your dream house on your vision board, look for an image of a house with the color, style, and features you want. The more specific you are, the better it is for the Universe to give you exactly what you want.
M FOR MEASURABLE
Make sure your goals can be measured. For example, you want to have an increase of $100,000 in sales by the end of the first quarter.
Once the end of March comes along, you should be able to see that your sales have reached at least $100,000 to measure if you achieved your goals or not.
A FOR ACHIEVABLE
Your goals must be achievable. If you’re the only one running your business, you might not be able to achieve that $100,000 increase in sales if you do everything on your own. If you do production, operations, sales, marketing, and distribution all by yourself, you may have a problem achieving your target goal.
By making your goals achievable, it helps to protect you from disappointment and from quitting early on.
R IS FOR REALISTIC
If you want to achieve an increase of $100,000, you must have products that, when sold out, can reach sales of $100,000 or more. You can’t increase your sales if you only have at least $2000 worth of products.
Create a graph or table for goals you can achieve using the resources you have now, and post this on your goal setting vision board.
T FOR TIME-BOUND
When making a goal, you need to give yourself a deadline.
For example, you may want to achieve $1M in sales in 1 year. Or you want to buy a new car in 6 months. By making your goals time-bound, you can pressure yourself to make an effort now. Goals that don’t have a deadline can make you complacent because you believe you can always do it tomorrow.
Write down the deadline for your goals, and paste it in the middle of your goal setting vision board so you are reminded that each passing day is one step closer to your deadline.
Goals that are too easy to accomplish are not inspiring. For example, if you can buy an extra car with your money, buying a new one will not be a challenge for you.
Goals that take a little bit of extra effort are the ones that motivate and inspire us to take action. However, don’t make the challenge too hard, as one failed attempt can also make you want to quit.
An example of a challenging but not impossible goal is becoming a business owner. You may only be an employee now, but when you start learning the ropes of starting and operating a business, you can make your dream come true.
On your vision board, print out the necessary steps you need to take to achieve your challenging goals.
The technique of micro goals is creating step-by-step tasks on your road to achieving a big goal.
For example, you want to lose 30 pounds. If your eyes are always set on losing 30 pounds, you’ll get frustrated when you only lose 5 pounds after 2 weeks in the gym.
Break down your big goal into smaller goals to see your progress. You can break down the 30 pounds to lose 5 pounds every 2 weeks until you reach 12 weeks, for a total of 30 pounds lost.
Breaking down your goal into micro goals helps you become motivated to keep going and moving forward. Celebrating small wins allows you to stay inspired because you’re seeing how much progress you’ve made.
Try taking a picture of yourself from day one and posting it on your vision board so you can visually see yourself getting smaller every 2 weeks.
WRITE DAILY LISTS
If you need to accomplish goals every day, writing them can help make your intentions clear, as well as give you a roadmap on what you finish and accomplish first.
It’s similar to creating micro goals out of big goals but it’s more specific to day-to-day tasks. Every morning, before you head to work or open your business, write the things you want to accomplish.
By the end of the day, you must make sure everything on your list is crossed out. Writing your daily tasks will help you organize your thoughts and tasks, so you have a guide on what to accomplish first, and what things need to be done.
Do this every day and you’ll begin to see you’re able to accomplish more every day.
CELEBRATE SMALL WINS
In Learning Psychology, positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to learn a skill or create a new habit. When you associate a reward with a certain behavior, you are more likely to repeat it.
If you have a managerial position, celebrating small wins via incentives can make your team achieve its targets more effectively. Incentives can include bonuses, gift cards, extended vacation leaves, raises, or promotions.
By celebrating their success with incentives, they are more likely to want to hit their target again, increasing the likelihood of their goals being achieved.
REASSESS YOUR SYSTEMS
When you’ve made your goals, when you’ve created a system or process, and you’re on your way to reaching your goals, you need to reassess the trajectory of your actions.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing now is leading the way to your goal. You must look at the trajectory of your present action to evaluate if these acts will lead to your goal.
For example, you want to lose weight. What are you doing now to achieve it? How many times are you going to the gym? Are you eating more fruits and vegetables? If you’re going to the gym but you’re constantly eating junk food and fast food, your present trajectory isn’t heading to your goal. You may be going to the gym, but your other actions are taking you away from losing weight.
By reassessing your systems, you can make the necessary changes that need to be done so you can achieve your goals faster.
Each time you make a change to your goal setting plans, post a new image or picture on your vision board so your focus changes as well.
Setting goals can be hard if you don’t know what to do. Try these goal setting techniques and watch as you accomplish one goal after another.
But these techniques aren’t easy to remember. You may learn one of them, but you may also forget about it later.
By including these techniques on your vision board, you will be reminded each day of what you need to do to achieve your goals.
In the theory called Pictorial Superiority Effect, it is believed that concepts are better understood if they are presented in pictures rather than mere words.
Print out copies of these techniques and include them on your vision board. Or better yet, dedicate an entire vision board with pictures of these techniques.
A great vision board kit that you can use to create a goal setting vision board is The Vision Cloud’s Vision Board Magazine Kit. It’s a vision board designed to be a magazine with 80 pages you can turn into whatever theme or concept you want.
The visualization tool includes 500 pictures, inspirational words, and adhesives that feature everything you need to create your vision board on the spot. You can assign one of the pages of the magazine kit for your goal-setting vision board, helping to remind you that there are simple ways to achieve your goals without having to jump through hoops.
When you’re ready to give up, and when you can’t find inspiration, use these goal setting techniques to help turn your dreams into reality.