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The Untapped Potential Of Goal Setting

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We are officially one month into the new year! What have you accomplished? Or should I ask, what have you NOT accomplished that you wanted to? The new year is a great time for us to reflect on our past and get set up to reach new heights. We set goals for finances, health, relationships, and everything in between. Unfortunately, too many times people fall short of meeting the goals they set at the beginning of the year. It can even happen as quickly as one month in! Take a second to think about what you want to accomplish this year, this month, this week, and this day… Are you on your way to achieving any of those milestones? If not, maybe we need to look at how you are setting yourself up each day for either success or failure.

Your goal setting scoreboard

The beautiful thing about goals is you either do them or you don’t. Goals are black and white, and that is what makes reaching them so difficult at times. Think of it as a scoreboard – you either put a run on the board or you don’t! I want to take this time to show you a way of keeping track of your goals and making sure you are keeping them top of mind each and every day. This method has worked well for me as well as a whole bunch of other people. Let’s explore.

Finiding Direction

A while back I found that I didn’t truly have a direction. Luckily I was introduced to goal setting and it has played a big role in my success both in my personal and professional life. I knew goals were important to set but didn’t have any idea where to start or what would work for me.

I eventually came across a great way to set goals in Jeffery Gitomer’s blog. He writes about the Post-It note method; it is a great way to get started and what I use to this day. The basic premise is to write our 3-5 goals on a Post-It note and stick them somewhere you are guaranteed to pass every single day. For me, that place is the bathroom mirror. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will run into these reminders on a daily basis (and even multiple times a day)!

Picking your goals

Sometimes the biggest challenge with goal setting is actually choosing them. I picked 1-2 goals for the following categories: business, personal, education, and fitness. For business, I may have chosen something about the number of sessions to lead or the amount of assessments I want to complete in two weeks. For personal, it could be something like a golf score I would like to achieve or a new hike I want to conquer. The education category can be anything that involves stimulating the mind; my preference is setting deadlines for reading books or watching a video series. Finally for fitness, I look to set goals of lifting a specific weight and completely a number of time trials.

Whatever the categories are, make these goals measurable and challenging. Setting a goal that is too low won’t bring you to new heights, and setting a goal that is too far reaching can be discouraging. It is all about finding the sweet spot.

How it Works

When you have these goals set, write each one out on a Post-It and stick it in a place you can’t avoid. This system works on two different levels. The first is that it becomes a reminder you see over and over again. Every single day, your goals are staring you in the face. Just the act of seeing them written out can spring you into action and make you more purposeful with your day-to-day operations.

The second driver is the person who set them – you! These aren’t goals set by your boss or your spouse. You are the one who choses what matters most to you, what to accomplish, and how it is measured. You are talking directly to yourself every morning, day, and night. Are you going to let yourself down? Most of the time, that answer is no. These two simple aspects of goal setting can push you to new heights you never knew existed.

time to celebrate

Putting up some sticky notes each day is just the start and can only take you so far. If it does help you reach a goal, what do you do next? Well, according to Mr. Gitomer, you should celebrate that accomplishment!

The beauty of sticky notes is that they are portable and can be repurposed. What I want you to do is find somewhere else you frequent every day. For me, these Post-Its get moved to my closet. When I reach a goal, I take that sticky note from the mirror and hang it on the wall of my closet. Now when I wake up, I see a goal I reached and can reflect on how hard I worked to achieve it. Then I head to the bathroom to get ready for the day to see what awaits me, and I am full of confidence that I can achieve whatever is staring back at me.

Reflect and refocus

In the opposite scenario, what happens when I don’t make a goal? Well, for me, that becomes motivation. This might not work for everyone, but I take my goals that I didn’t make and keep them on the bathroom mirror. Nothing ignites my fire more than seeing something I didn’t achieve, especially when I think I could have. In either case, what is important is taking time to reflect on why you did or did not achieve a goal. If you take some time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, you can better plan for the next item on your agenda.

wrapping it up

The big take away from this article is that what we see and say to ourselves each day matters. My intention is to reignite your energy heading into month two of the new year. You might notice I didn’t cover anything about short- or long-term goals or setting complex or simple goals. None of that is truly going to matter if a system is not in place to start moving Post-It notes from the bathroom to the closet (or where ever you choose… you get the idea). This method serves as a simple first step for everyone to start.

And now, take action! Come up with four categories that mean something to you. Within these parameters, set the goals you would like to achieve. For any fitness related goal, a great first step is scheduling a Performance Assessment with us at Advantage Training. Next, write all of your goals on Post-It notes and stick them somewhere you see them on the daily. From there, let your determination take the driver’s seat. You will be surprised by how far a simple sticky note can take you!