Sounds easy doesn’t it? but goal setting is actually something a lot of people struggle with when it really comes down to it, and sticking to goals? Thats even more difficult!
So why is it so difficult to set and stick to goals? I mean surely you just write a list of things that you want to do and work your way though the list until you can tick everything off, don’t you?
Well in principle, yes. Setting goals is about writing a list of things you want to achieve then go about achieving them. But say you have a goal to become a millionaire, right now you are up to the edge of your overdraft but you have a goal so one day you are going to be a millionaire, after all you wrote it down on a piece of paper.
Now I am not saying that becoming a millionaire is a bad goal per say, but it isn’t a good goal from where you are now if you are up to your eyeballs in debt. Your goals need to be achievable or that bit of paper will just lie there being a list of things you may or may not do.
Have you heard of SMART goals? That’s not to say you only have clever goals. It’s a common formula for goal setting.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed. So in our above millionaire example: It is certainly measurable, and it is specific in a sense but it is not realistic or achievable from where you are now and we did not put a time frame in our example either.
So if our overall goal is to be a millionaire someday, we must first start with a goal that is SMART then move on to the next SMART goal and so on. Using our example, a good goal might be to pay off our overdraft.
We could work out that if we paid £20 a month to our overdraft it would take ten months to pay off. Or if £20 seemed too much we could do £10 over twenty months etc etc. That goal is SMART – we know exactly what we are going to do – pay £20 a month to the overdraft to clear it, we know how long it will take – ten months, it is achievable to us in our current circumstances and it is realistic that we will be overdraft free at the end of the ten month period.
Then we could look at ways to increase our income. Could we pick up a new client each month which would bring in a certain amount of extra money? could we sell a certain amount of extra product? What will it take for us to earn an extra, say £1000? Seems much more realistic than a million!
It’s not all about money
In fact my favourite money coach, Denise Duffield-Thomas, says it is actually way better to focus on why you want the money than the money itself. What is it about being a millionaire that excites you? In my experience the things that excite people about being a millionaire are actually all things they could do without actually being a millionaire. Things like nice holidays come up a lot – there is no reason you can’t go on amazing holidays without being a millionaire.
You need to be connected to your goal in a way that means you can focus on the outcome. If you want to travel – where do you want to go? What will the resort be like? How long for? You can focus on all these things rather than focusing on the money it costs. A fantastic example in Denise’s first book ‘Lucky Bitch’ is when she is so focused on her goal of having an amazing travel experience that she ends up winning a competition to travel round the world testing out five star honeymoon destinations! She didn’t need to become a millionaire to do that, but she did achieve her goal! And if you read the book, which I highly recommend you do (you can get it from Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2NpmZCY ) you will see how achieving that goal did actually go on to make her a millionaire because she was able to start her amazing business, write her books and help other women take control of their own money.
What do you really want?
Goal setting really boils down to figuring out what you really want. It needs to be about you, something that fits your lifestyle and who you are. You might not want to be a millionaire or go on fancy holidays, that might not be your thing and that is totally ok! What I will say is that if your goal isn’t true to you, then you aren’t going to be able to work hard enough to get it simply because you don’t actually want it badly enough. There is very little point in me setting a goal for a fancy holiday, because travel just isn’t my thing. Figure out what your thing is then work backwords to set the goals you need to achieve to get this and always look at the why. Why do you want more money? What would you do with it? Why do you want to have more time to spend with the kids? Would you take them to the park more often? Days out? where would you go? This is the depth you need to go to. Simply saying you wish you had more time isn’t going to happen, we all have the same 24 hours in a day – what you want isn’t more time, it is the ability to spend the time doing the things you love to do instead of the things you have to do.
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