How to Reach Your Goals
Do you make goals & then...
struggle to achieve them? Or, perhaps even forget about the goal you made?
If so, you're in good company! I have been there. But, recently I've been learning some really helpful tools and questions to help me make better goals that I will be more likely to reach.
1. First of all, I've learned you need to make positive goals. For instance, you might say, "I don't want to be insecure around my customers anymore." I would ask you what it is you want to experience that you're not currently experiencing? You might say, "Confidence!" The goal then could be, "I want to feel more confident around my customers." See how it switched from the negative (I don't want) to the positive (I want)?!
2. Secondly, this goal (of confidence) needs to be measurable and observable. For instance, how will you know when you feel more confident? What does confidence look like to you? What does it feel like? What will you be saying and doing, that you aren't right now, when you feel more confident? If I had a video of what you would be doing, 2 months from now, if you felt more confident, what would I see you doing?
You might say you will be able to talk with your customers about money with no insecure feelings. Ok! That's more measurable. You could have a goal that, in 2 months, you will be able to confidently tell your customers about the prices of your products with no hesitation. THAT is measurable & observable. Good!
3. Now that we have a positive, measurable and observable goal, let's break it down. It's a lofty goal to feel confident talking about prices with customers! We need to make some micro-goals to move us forward. These need to be EASY & doable, and need to move you closer to reaching your goal. It is vital that they are simple!
Studies show that you can trick your brain into increasing dopamine levels by setting and achieving micro-goals. In a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, researchers reported finding that “ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday.”
So, we're gonna have our "big" goal. Then make 3 objectives that we need to accomplish to reach the goal. And finally, break those objectives down into micro-goals (easy goals).
Recently, in the NY Times, Tim Herrera wrote, "For any task you have to complete, break it down into the smallest possible units of progress and attack them one at a time...break down the very first steps you have to take and keep slicing them up into tiny, easily achievable micro-goals, then celebrate each achievement."
Here is an example of what this might look like:
GOAL: To feel confident talking about prices of products with customers
OBJECTIVE#1: Be totally familiar with our products, services and why they cost what they do
Micro-goal:Go to website and look at products.
Micro-goal: Print off product list and prices. Look over them several times.
Micro-goal: If I think they are too expensive, talk to a collegue about why they are priced the way they are.
OBJECTIVE #2: Do self-reflection as to what I don't like about talking about money with people
Micro-goal: Write one sentence in a journal about what I don't like about talking with others about money
Micro-goal: Tell a trusted friend or mentor about the sentence I wrote. Ask for feedback.
Micro-goal: Write out what you could say to someone about spending money on your products, if you were more confident.
OBJECTIVE #3: Practice talking with "safe" people about spending money on my products & services.
Micro-goal: Read the sentence you wrote in the last micro-goal to yourself, on video. Watch it.
Micro-goal: Ask a safe person if you can practice your product pitch on them.
Micro-goal: Repeat your pitch several times a day until it feel comfortable, sincere and confident!
Taking your big goal (making it positive) and breaking it down into objectives, then micro-goals IS going to get you closer to reaching your goal. It's almost guaranteed. The time it takes to write these goals down is well worth it...IF you really do want to reach that goal.