It’s never too early (or late) to set yourself up for success with setting goals!

Setting goals is a concept that has been done for centuries. It is proven that the most successful people not only set goals, but also, they write them down, monitor and adjust them.  According to research only 3% of people have written goals and only 1% actual review and adjust them and yet it has been proven that the most successful persons are those setting goals that are specific, a little difficult to achieve and write them down. One of the terms I like to use when setting goals came from the Covey book, Five Disciplines of Execution. In that book, they use the term wildly important goals.

The wildly term in wildly important goals refers to creating a big goal that inspires and stretches you.  We usually underestimate what we can achieve so to set yourself up for success by setting goals you want to make sure it is realistic and achievable but it should motivate you to do the tasks that it will take to achieve the goal.

You need to make sure goals cover the IMPORTANT things in your life!

The important term in wildly important goals refers to the fact that the goal should be important to you.  This means in order to set yourself up for success by setting goals, you need to know what the important things are.  This may take some time to reflect on. A good way to start on this is to make a list of your top values and then define what those values look like.  For an example to get you started, click on this link to the Eseedling Value slides. The goals that you set should be associated with the most important things to you.

To set yourself up for success by setting goals, the goal must be as specific as possible and it must have a due date. Your brain needs a plan and making your goals as specific as possible, will give it the plan you need for your brain to start focusing on achieving it.

I think of setting goals like planning a trip.

You know where you want to go and when you want to go so that is the specifics of your goal.  But we all know that there are steps and you must take and tools you can use to help you to get to your destination on time – the same goes for setting goals.

What happens if you don’t plan when you go on vacation? You may not find transportation, hotels or get to do the activities you want to. So, you must book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and whatever else you need ahead of time. You will need to do some research what type of activities you want to do while you are there and then you may have to book those also. You will most likely use the internet or a travel agent to help you accomplish these tasks.

What happens if you don’t plan when you set goals?

You probably won’t achieve them!  Once your goals are set up, you need to break them down into smaller goals and tasks that will help you accomplish them. If you are start with a big goal for the year, figure out what you need to do each quarter or month to achieve the big goal.  Then write that smaller goal down as what you need to accomplish and by when. Then you need to write down the daily and weekly tasks you need to do to complete that smaller goal. In order to set yourself up for success by setting goals, you need to evaluate how you are doing and make adjustments in your tasks so that you can achieve the big goal.

The last thing that I think is super important to set yourself up for success by setting goals is to put the tasks on your calendar. If you don’t have them scheduled, the chances of you getting them done is very slim.  This is where a lot of people fail.  They feel like they are just too busy with other stuff (usually not as important). This is why I love the Big Rocks principle that Stephen Covey developed.

Make sure you Schedule your “Big Rocks” each week

Stephen Covey states that the important things are your big rocks. Each week you should decide what the 1 or 2 most important things are to move yourself forward (in this case to achieve your Wildly Important Goals).  The important things need to be scheduled on your calendar first! Then all the other stuff, which he calls gravel, will fill in on your schedule around those big rocks.  If you start with the gravel, you will never be able to fit in the Big Rocks. If you are interested in learning more about the Big Rocks principle, you can watch this Covey Video (somewhat data but gets the principle across)

Keep your Goals where you can see them and Review them!

The last piece of advice to set yourself up for success by setting goals is don’t put those goals in a folder or notebook or someplace where you don’t see them.  You need to constantly see your goals in front of you – I personally use a whiteboard in my office but you could also put them as a screen saver on your phone, record yourself saying them and listen to the recording often (if not every day). Do whatever works for you but don’t forget to review and adjust your tasks throughout the year.  If you do these things, I know you will be well on your way to setting yourself up for success by setting goals!

Julie Ann Wood is the Chief Cultivator for Eseedling, LLC.  She has worked with over 1,000 kids in helping them start businesses and realize that the entrepreneur mindset can help them change the world. She helps organizations, teachers and parents implement entrepreneurship through her More Than a Lemonade Stand Book and curriculum which is now being used in 20 state and 10 countries.  Her Wildly Important Goal for 2020 is to reach out to even more by providing entrepreneurship in 5 more states and 3 more countries and to complete a TedX talk to get the word out about how entrepreneurship can help our kids and communities thrive!