Whether you want to improve your health and fitness or thrive in your career, goal setting is a crucial step towards achieving your desired results. However, when leading my life coaching sessions, I find that many people struggle to reach that sought-after end point because they don’t put in the work needed to set realistic goals.
Effective goal setting allows you to visualise the goal in your mind and empowers you to take the required steps so you can finally make it a reality.
Why set goals?
There are tons of benefits of setting proper goals. Even though it takes some time to get them right, it’s worth it. Here are a few benefits of setting goals:
- Gives you a clear purpose and direction
- Helps you visualise what you want and how to chase after it
- Enables you to assess progress
- Keeps you accountable
- Ensures you’re much more likely to achieve a result
What is goal setting?
The process of setting goals requires looking at where you are now and where you really want to be. This exercise helps change your mindset to be focused on what you want to achieve.
When setting goals, people typically focus on long-term outcomes. This means it can be difficult to measure the small 1% changes we make towards these broader goals, and most people get side tracked by not understanding how to track this progress.
When you set ‘mini goals,’ you can see how your daily performances and processes are helping you progress towards your main goal. By breaking the goal down into daily performances or specific tasks that need to be completed to achieve the main goal, your progress is much more noticeable and easier to track.
How to set SMART goals
It’s important to get facts and figures to behind goals so you can track progress and evaluate results.
To ensure we set effective and measurable goals, we can use the SMART framework. This means that all goals should be:
- Specific. Is the goal clearly written, with no ambivalence? Is it clear who needs to accomplish the goal, and any support that might be expected?
- Measurable. Does the goal answer the questions of how many, how much and/or how often?
- Achievable. Can you get the support needed to achieve the goal by the target date? Do you have all the resources needed to achieve the goal? Are the results expected realistic?
- Relevant. Does the goal make a difference to your career/health/wellbeing? Is it going to make an improvement in your personal life? Is it going to significantly make a difference for you and your environment?
- Time-bound. Does the goal state a clear and specific completion date?
Use the SMART framework to get your broader goals on paper and make steps towards achieving them. This is an exercise I include in my life coaching sessions, as well as breaking these larger goals down into small, everyday actions that contribute towards the broader goals.