7 Steps to Setting and Accomplishing Goals
Research shows these are the most common reasons people don't stick to their goals:
Goals lack clarity and specificity
Not understanding why the goal is important
No plan of action
Lack of patience and forgiveness
This is why we designed the Building Power Collectively™ planner and the following guide to help you eliminate these excuses and set you up for success.
1. Identify what it is that you really want.
The clearer you are about the result you want, the easier it is to find a way to make it happen. Think of your annual goals as a marathon not a sprint. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up when your goals are not clear. Be ultra-specific and realistic. It's important to have a bold life plan and vision, but its the daily activity and small steps that will get you there. Focus on goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound (achievable in one year).
Say your goal is related to career mobility. Writing down that you want to find your dream job is too vague. What do you truly want? Flexibility? Ability to work from home? What salary range? What level of responsibility?
2. Why do you want it?
Write down the reasons you want each of your goals and habit. You should understand why the result you seek is significant enough to do whatever it takes to get it done. It’s important for your goals and habit to have deep importance to you, rather than just being what's expected of you. Without a strong enough why people rarely follow through.
"I want to make more money", doesn't tell us the why. A better example could be: Having financial freedom will allow me to pay for my daughters' college tuition. This will rid her of financial stress and the pressure of working while studying. Being able to do this for her will make me happy.
3. How do you need to show up in order to get things done?
Describe the identity you need to funnel every day to accomplish your goal. This may sound silly, but how you define yourself and what you believe about yourself becomes your reality. This is true for positive beliefs and limiting beliefs. If you believe you can, you might. If you know you can, you will. Your identity determines your actions.
Example: Chief Executive Officer of Getting Things Done. Master Collaborator. Master Problem Solver. Bold and Brave. Energy Creator. No Bullshit-Mary.
4. What actions do you need to complete to achieve your ultimate goal?
Get specific. Clarity leads to focus and being laser focused leads to actions. Having clear actions will enable you to measure progress on a daily, weekly and quarterly basis.
If your goal is tied to losing weight, jot down "I must exercise a minimum of 45 minutes five days out out of the week. I will drink a total of 3 gallons of water every day. I must hire a personal trainer. I will schedule an annual health check with my doctor and develop a dietary plan."
5. Make a list of resources you need to get this done.
What resources, tools and insights do you need to be successful?
If your goal is tied to finding a new job, example of clear actions could be: update Linkedin profile. Build a personal website outlining core skills, ability and trajectory. Develop a list of personal connections in the (fill in the blank with industry sector, career level, etc). Contact two of the people on that list every day for the next seven days.
6. Develop a timeline.
Set an accountability timeline so specific that you can measure and benchmark progress on a quarterly, monthly and weekly basis.
Work your way backwards. Start with breaking down activity that must take place on a quarterly basis in order to reach annual goals. Then breakdown weekly activity to help you reach quarterly goals. Then daily activity.
7. Build Discipline.
Motivation comes and goes. Discipline is what will help you achieve whatever you set your mind to. Having accountability peers is super helpful in this process. If you are already a VEST Member, engage with other members and share your goals. They can help you identify tools, resources, make introductions and keep you in mind for opportunities that match your goals.
If you are not a VEST Member find a peer group that can help you play at the next level. If you don't have that peer group, consider joining VEST and gain proximity to influential women building power collectively. Explore Membership.