I read an article long ago that when a group of highly successful people were examined, one thing that was found common between the achievers was that they wrote their goals down and posted them up. Notice that it wasn’t the process of setting goals, but rather it was putting them on display that was the common factor. That sounds good and nice but let’s make it practical.
At this point, I’m not going to spend time on why or how to set goals (if you need this, let me know as I’ve written about this exercise before). However, we need to make these real, loud and put some teeth into them. While you need to believe you can achieve them (otherwise you wouldn’t have set in the first place) keeping them fresh is essential to ground them into your subconscious, your life. For any of us who were born, our life consists of interacting with the environment around us. Therefore, we need to integrate our goals into our surroundings in order to effectively accomplish this. Now what is the best way to do this?
Certainly the easy answer is to write down the goals and post them up. You’re going big though, I know you’re going to type them out (IN BIG BOLD FONT) then post them up by your computer (one step up over hand written post it note). That’s good, I want you to do that. However, let’s do it better. First, you should make sure those people around you are aware of your goals. These individuals are likely family, friends, and coworkers for example. I’m not saying you need to share with your coworkers that you want to pay off a certain debt or your gym buddies that you plan to improve your deep conversation skills with your spouse, but do communicate what is appropriate to that audience.
For example, if you are going to prep your meals for lunch, your coworkers should know your training for a competition. Likewise, your family should be aware that you are cutting sugar out of your diet (so grandma knows why you aren’t eating her cookies). Special mention, no one will hold you accountable better than your kids if they know what you are working towards (especially helpful at the dinner table). This communication with those you surround yourself with will help reinforce the accountability plus it will deepen your commitment to those goals.
Keep it Real
Stepping back for a moment, I mentioned earlier that these are goals that you believe in. That means they are realistic and achievable. If these are goals that you are working towards in the next 12 months (which they should be), putting them out in the public is healthy and positive. I’m not saying it will be comfortable, in fact, quite the opposite probably, but that is one of the reasons we’re doing it.
The goals have been posted on your wall. Conversations have taken place with your family, friends, coworkers, gym buddies, etc. that are now appropriately aware of the goals they are most likely to impact. Time to go one step further, time to go online. For some of you, this might have been the first thing you did, I mean how many instances have we heard about someone’s New Year’s Resolution (only to catch them moving away from it in a couple weeks)? We’re doing it different. The proper steps are taken to create the action plan and now it’s time to step up the communication one more notch.
Social media has a TON of drawbacks, but here is one of the positives. Post out what your goal is/are. Again, this should be appropriate (no need to let FB know your financial goals) but by sharing with others what you are working towards, again you will get additional support and realisation. There might be some who doubt or hate on you (which is motivation for some of us) but overwhelmingly it will be another positive reinforcement. This could be a simple post on your wall, could be pictures, could be a YouTube video, etc. Keep the updates coming, you’ll be amazed at how people will follow your progress and often times, get inspired by your results.
Return the Favor
Speaking of inspiring, as you are having the people in your life hold you accountable, make sure you do the same for other individuals you interact with. It’s often said that the teacher learns more than the student, likewise, by supporting others you will find that you are reinforcing your positive habits and create momentum for yourself. This can be in person or online of course. Additionally, you might need to search for it. Most people aren’t going to have the initiative or guidance to take the steps you have, so you might need to dig by asking questions like ‘what is your big goal right now?’ or ‘if there is one thing that would make a huge impact this year what would it be?’ Then you do your part and support them in their efforts.
Putting it all Together
Creating an action plan to achieve your goals is absolutely crucial for success. Taking this to the next level and setting you up to accomplish the journey requires creating systems and the discipline to adhere. By sharing the goals on multiple channels and also by supporting others in their process will give you the support, inertia and continued motivation to succeed!