5 Simple Steps to Start Achieving Your Goals
We’ve all been encouraged to “Dream Big” at some point in our lives. Goals are easy to dream up, but taking the steps to actually achieve one is the difficult part. All goals needs to be defined, planned, and followed up on. As a remote team, we take goals seriously—so we’re sharing the steps to help you take action on your dreams.
Begin by Defining Your Goals
Whether you’re wishing to get a promotion, spend more time for your family, or simply get the laundry done on weekends, our steps help you define your goals and make an action plan to see them through.
Want a quick cheat sheet? Download the infographic for everyday use!
While planning, don’t be afraid to take a deep breath and reflect on what you’ve written down. As you create each goal, know you can always look ahead, adjust your timeline, or simplify your aspirations. But keep in mind, it’s always best to stop thinking and start turning that wish into a reality.
Setting goals clarifies your wants and needs, but more importantly, it gives you motivation. When you want something enough, the motivation to do what’s necessary to achieve it comes naturally. If it doesn’t, that’s when you have to work smarter and harder towards the end goal.
So how do you turn those written goals into tangible successes? Start with these five steps.
1. Write It Down
S – Specific: Well-defined and easy to understand
M – Measurable: Have a way to track progress and define achievement
A – Achievable: Within realistic timelines, resources, and knowledge
R – Results-Oriented: Tangible outcome you want to accomplish
T – Time-Bound: Enough time to achieve the end result, but not open-ended
2. Begin with the End
An easy way to set up achievable benchmarks is to work your way backwards through the goal. If you want to update your website for example, break it down by choosing what you want to spend, what you want to change, making calls to web development companies, and researching websites for inspiration.
This step works hand in hand with setting deadlines. By starting at the end, you’ll be able to see what steps need to be taken to get there. Then, you can take it step by step.
3. Set Deadlines
Deadlines. Some days it’s like we eat, sleep, and breath next to deadlines. After all, without them, work wouldn’t get done.
But sometimes one looming, final deadline can be overwhelming. Instead of giving the power to the deadline, take it back by setting smaller deadlines.
A proposal needs to be written? Block out time to finish it by the end of the day. That’s one thing crossed off your to-do list and one deadline down. By defining specific timeframes for your goals, you can take small actionable steps every day. Before you know it, the steps add up to your end result.
4. Make It Happen
Oftentimes, the workday hits the ground running, whether we do or not.
Emails, voicemails, interoffice chats, lunch meetings, afternoon conference calls, out-of-town conferences, in-office presentations—there’s always something going on!
But since you know there’s always something to do, start streamlining your days by planning out a day or week ahead of time. Once next Monday or Tuesday rolls around, you’ll know exactly what you need to do that day to meet your benchmarks.
By proactively planning the next day and next week, you get an idea of not only what’s going on when, but when you might have a few minutes to just relax. Or if you’re trying to work toward a specific goal, planning helps free up time to work toward that goal you otherwise thought wasn’t there.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
Maybe you’ve developed a routine to be accountable for working out four days each week. Or you clean and organize your desk every Friday afternoon. But when it comes to large goals, personal or professional, we’re not always our best accountability buddy.
If you have a mentor, they’re already there for you, guiding and advising through life in and out of the office. Tidbits of wisdom gleaned from them has helped you grow and thrive. So why not share a goal or two with them?
By sharing a goal, they’ll be able to tell you on how realistic it is. Remember, what isn’t realistic now won’t always be that way. As with many things in life, there are many factors to consider, including timing.
However, if the goal is possible within an idealized timeframe, a mentor continues doing what they’ve been doing. Guiding and advising, this time for your accountability’s sake. By sharing, you’re more likely to stick with the goals–and you can help motivate your peer to achieve their own.
A Quick Review of SMART Goals
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Results-Oriented
T – Time-Bound
Now, grab that paper and start setting your own goals. Remember, if it’s based off a competitor, your industry, or simply yourself, make sure to create appropriate benchmarks according to the results you want. Once you set a goal and steps, stick with it to the end. Happy goal-getting!
Bonus: The 80/20 Rule to Goal Setting
How to Set Goals: 80/20 Rule for Goal Setting | Brian Tracy
Credit: Brian Tracy
Pay It Forward
Know someone who’s ready to hit the ground running towards a goal? Share this post with them for motivation!
Special thanks to @johntmeyer for collaborating with us on the infographic design.