Did you set any goals at the beginning of the year? How are you getting on with accomplishing them?
One of my favourite authors and online business and productivity mentors is Michael Hyatt. In one of his goal-setting webinars, he offered some amazing tips for how to make this year your best year ever.
I’d love to share them with you in case any of you feel like you need to make a change:
“You’ll only achieve what you intentionally pursue”
FOCUS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Michael talks about bestselling author Stephen Covey’s “Circle of Influence” and “Circle of Concern”.
Steven Covey encourages us to only focus on concerns that we have control over. He outlines the “circle of concerns” as all of the stuff that concerns and worries us. Within the larger “circle of concerns” is a smaller “circle of influence” that only contains stuff that we can actually control.
The point he’s making is that we should only spend our energy on stuff that we can do something about. Focus only on problems that lie within your “circle of influence.”
Michael then went on to give 7 simple steps to conquer your biggest goals this year:
1. Clarify your priorities
2. Write strong goals
3. Aim for discomfort
4. Identify your why
5. Narrow your focus
6. Determine next steps
7. Track your progress
STEP 1: CLARIFY YOUR PRIORITIES
Michael gives us three questions to do this:
- At the end of my life, what will I want to have achieved?
- What will I regret not doing?
- What will matter most to me?
We need to avoid goals that are tunnel-visioned and only focused on one area of life. Instead we should set goals that are balanced and takes into account different aspects of our life.
List 7 to 10 of your top priorities.
STEP 2: WRITE STRONG GOALS
Our goals must be written down. According to research from the Dominican University of California, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. So get your notepads out ladies!
Our goals must be specific.
A good goal is: “Lose 35 lbs”.
A better goal is” “Exercise 4 times a week for 4 mins”.
Being specific matters because it makes our aspirations actionable.
Our goals must be measurable.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
A good goal is: “Lose weight”.
A better goal is” “Lose 35lbs”.
Our goals must be time-bound.
Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law: “Tasks expand to the amount of time allotted for them”. This is so true!
Deadlines create a sense of urgency, but also quite importantly for us mums, deadlines help us balance our workload and prioritise our daily tasks.
A good goal is: “Lose 35lbs”.
A better goal is” “Lose 35lbs by 1st June 2019”.
Write down 7 to 10 strong goals
STEP 3: AIM FOR DISCOMFORT
Michael says that “If your dreams are in the comfort zone, they’re not really dreams”. He gives this great analogy using the example of Long Distance Archery:
- When you’re practising long-distance archery, you’d assume that you should aim for the centre of the target
- However, aiming for the bullseye doesn’t take into account the resistance (from wind and gravity). That’s why if you aim for the middle you’ll fall short.
- The key is to aim just above the target.
- Likewise, aiming for the discomfort zone is your best bet for achieving the results you want.
When you aim for the discomfort zone, you’ll likely feel these seemingly negative emotions:
- Fear – “I’m afraid I’ll fail”
- Uncertainty – “I’m not sure how to get there”
- Doubt – “ I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes”
But we need to learn to see these emotions as clear signs that we’re on the right path.
Make sure each of our goals is in the discomfort zone.
STEP 4: IDENTIFY YOUR WHY
This step is vital.
To maximise our persistence, we have to pursue goals that really matter to us.
“People lose their way when they lose their why”
Gail Hyatt, Michael’s wife
4 qualities of compelling goals:
- Spiritually meaningful – “How does this fit into God’s plan for my life?”
- Intellectually stimulating
- Emotionally energising
- Physically challenging
List 3 reasons why each goal matters to you
STEP 5: NARROW YOUR FOCUS
It’s tempting to set a lot of goals, but productivity studies show that we really can’t focus on more than 7 to 10 items at once.
We should set 7 to 10 goals but choose 2 or 3 to focus on first. Once those are accomplished, move on to the others.
Focused effort in one direction is more powerful than scattered effort in many directions.
Choose 2 or 3 goals to focus on first.
STEP 6: DETERMINE NEXT STEPS
The biggest obstacle we face is procrastination. “Excessive planning is often a fancy way to procrastinate”. Michael Hyatt
High achievers approach goals by:
- Breaking projects down into bite-sized pieces
- Focusing on the next step
- They know the path becomes clear only when they’re in motion.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”
The most important step is always the next step.
Identify one next action step for each goal.
STEP 7: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
One of the biggest mistakes people make with goal-setting is failing to keep their goals visible.
As the old adage says, “Out of sight, out of mind”
Determine how you will track your goals.
And that’s it! I was so inspired after hearing Michael talk. Every year is a blank canvas. A brand new opportunity. The most important things in life are in our control.
We have an opportunity to create an incredible year. Imagine what this year (or next year depending on when you’re reading this!) could look like for you, and your family if you can achieve your goals.
I’m excited. I hope you are too.
I hope this was helpful to you as well. If it was, I’d love to know what’s one thing you took away from Michael’s advice.