How to keep your goals simple

The Internet really over complicates goal setting.

If it is not recommending the ‘best’ app to record your goals, it offers a platitude of content at the users’ disposal.  Many a cunning person has exploited this, as if by applying a monetary value their advice is seen more impactful, when it is just another piece of the same old regurgitated advice from across the globe.

Here is how it should be:

  1. Choose how you want to record your goals.
  2. Come up with what you want to achieve.
  3. Make a plan for it and put this into practice.
  4. (After much effort and habit) get a result.

Basically with goals:

It’s not rocket science

I use Microsoft Word and Excel to keep records of my goals.

Word I use to record goals details, typically following a SMART framework and Excel I use as a tracker to keep a high-level plan of ambitions, long-term plans and to keep track of anything short-term with numerical values.

There is no need to make it hard, you don’t even need to use a computer, keep a journal, whatever just don’t waste your energy messing about with the latest tool to record progress.

Prioritise

Don’t go with too many goals at once, if you have a lot of aspirations write down everything you want to do.  Then have a go a prioritising these.

It’s not necessarily what you want most, but also working out what is feasible – what resources and time do you have for this?

I find my optimal amount to be truly effective is three goals at a time, but you may be able to do more – just remember the more goals you are focusing on the less time you have towards progressing – remember quality not quantity.

KISS

Don’t make your goals complex or convoluted.  If it is a large ambition break it down into smaller segments and make the first goal to achieve the first segment before moving onto the next.

Metrics are really helpful to measure progress for example:

  • Wanting to travel?  Work out the budget you will require and set a plan to make the money in the timescales
  • Fitness – work out the weight loss, body fat, weight to lift and so on that you want to achieve.
  • Single?  Set a measurement of actions (messages on dating sites, approaches, times you made effort to talk to someone of your preferred sex.
  • Writer – apply daily wordcount

The other metric should be the date you intend to achieve your result by.

Make it habit

If you aren’t working on at least one of your goals a day then you are going to fail.  If you haven’t worked on all your goals that week then you are going to fail.

Make your goals a daily habit – work out a routine that works for you – for my fitness goals morning is best, but for writing after 8pm is my optimal time.

Make it a daily habit to always dedicate at least 30 minutes towards a goal and dedicate time afterward to record your progress – this is where your metrics come in useful as you can record actions of your latest results.

Finally…

Make sure you are progressing and not procrastinating, the intention when you are working on goals is actually to work – if you are sitting on your arse in the gym posing for selfies or reading crapon social media when you should be researching – these little distractions are the killers of progress!

Best of luck and enjoy the journey.

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4 thoughts on “How to keep your goals simple

  1. Solid advice!

    Much Internet help involves trying to repackage and sell age-old wisdom with a shiny new coat of paint, the kind of stuff you’re giving away for free with post like this.

    It’s all about habit, routine, and tracking. It really is that simple! Systematize, take the long-view, recognize that it’s a process, and make sure you have something to measure yourself against a year form now. Boom.

    1. Thank you, the challenge for me as a self-improvement blog is to keep producing content when goal setting is a simple concept and does not require endless words to discuss!

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