In our professional and personal lives, we are constantly working toward goals, trying to motivate ourselves and direct our behavior in a more positive direction. Perhaps your goal is to complete a certain amount of work in x-time, perhaps it is to increase profits by so much, or maybe it’s to get into great shape and lose fat. But did you know that if you don’t write down your goals they are not as effective in spurring you into meaningful action.
Goals are a big part of our lives for most of us. Only problem is, a lot of us don’t know the best way to write these goals if we want to actually achieve them and this creates problems. Writing down your goals in a meaningful way makes all the difference in your ability to achieve them.
The Problem With Most Goals
The goal of ‘losing weight’ or even ‘losing X pounds’ is one that you’ll see commonly and that is similar to the goal of ‘growing profits’ in business. Either way, this is an example of an abstract goal that has no structure and that has very little chance of coming to fruition.
The problem with goals like this is that they are a) vague and b) largely out of your control.
If your goal is to increase profits or get into shape by next year, what does this involve doing on a daily basis? It’s all too easy to not be productive towards that goal daily because you probably think you can worry about it later – or because you don’t even know how to go about achieving it.
At the same time, the fact that earning more profit depends on external factors like market conditions means you might blame those things rather than giving it your best – and it means you’re likely to become disheartened when things don’t go immediately as planned. The same can be said for weight loss, you don’t really have control over the number on the scale, you weight flucuates from day to day and varies at different times of day. For women this is compounded by monthly hormonal changes that are indeed reflected on the scale.
How to Write Goals Correctly
A much better plan for getting into shape is to follow this goal: work out at least four times a week. Now you have a goal that is completely within your control, that is completely concrete and that you can very clearly fail or succeed at. And if you stick to this goal, then eventually you’ll find that your body shape takes care of itself. Remembering of course that muscle weighs more than fat, so the scale can’t be the only factor in determing if your results are positive, a much better choice it to take measurements and compare them over time.
The same goes for business: instead of making your goal be ‘raise profits’, it should instead be ‘do at least one thing every day that expands the business’ or ‘invest X amount of money into marketing’. Growing your business takes time and commitment, if you aren’t seeing immediate results in the profits, you may give up, when the truth is that you were steadily growing your market share and profits just took some time to catch up.
Make sure that your goals are closer to plans rather than vague desires and you’ll find they are considerably more effective as a result. The more clear and specific you are the better your results will be.
For the last few years, I have used planners from a business coach and artist named Leonie Dawson. She is based in Australia, and each year she creates these amazing planners that help you to reflect on the previous year to help you plan for the upcoming year. This year is the first time the planners are available on Amazon.
Truly these planners work, I believe that I was able to buy my house from using the Life Planner. And last year when I was filling out the section on who I would like to work with, my pen seemed to have a mind of its own and it has been the best decision I could have made for my business. My email list has tripled in the last year and I have been more consistent about actually getting my content published rather than just gathering dust on my hard drive.