It’s about halfway through 2022 and one of the big questions we all want to know is; did you achieve the goals you set on December 31St 2021?
Actually, that might not be a big question for you. For some of us, we may be trying to avoid this question. It might be easier for us to just sweep this under the rug.
So what happens?
How come some of us cannot achieve the goals we set? How come it feels like we are in a perpetual loop of creating new goals each year? Buying new diaries, making new lists, and signing up to new things. Yet unfortunately we never seem to go anywhere.
There is a big cognitive leap that goes from writing a goal down to actually achieving it.
I believe that in our society we glamourize the act of setting new goals itself and we have come to value this more than the actual change we want to see. We’re happy with the surface level, but not really ready to undergo the real change.
In this blog post I’d like to share with you some insights I have learnt when it comes to goals and changing yourself over a period of time.
It can happen. You have to trust in the process and in yourself. It’s just a matter of going about things in the right way.
Why are you setting goals? And what do they mean to you?
Firstly, we need to ask ourselves. Why? Why are we setting these goals in the first place? Furthermore, why are these goals important to us? What are they and why do they matter?
When you favourite speaker, coach, or mentor talks about their goals it can be a great motivation boost for us. We want to mimic their energy in hopes of transferring some of their success too.
However we don’t want to necessarily mimic their goals!
Someone else’s goals are good for them because they matter to them. While they may look good on paper, they may not actually be suitable for you.
A person may want to earn $100,000 in the coming year. If their business made $90,000 the previous year, this goal makes sense within their context. It is a positive progression.
“To start your journey to success you must first acknowledge your starting position.”
Just because the idea of making money sounds good, doesn’t mean it’ll fit with your life right now. The same goes for goals that are overly general…
Losing weight, cleaning the house, saving money.
These goals appeal to everyone because they are general. Everybody can see something they like about in them. However, they may not be relevant to your personal situation.
To make goals you will want to achieve, you need to put them into your own context. You need to move them from the general to the specific.
Are you interested in fitness? What part exactly? How can you make a general fitness goal more suitable to your lifestyle?
Maybe you want to start a new gym membership. Maybe you want to become better and increase the difficulty of your fitness regime. Or maybe you want to start training with someone else to keep yourself accountable.
All of these fit under the general umbrella of “fitness goals”, however they serve different purposes and different people at different stages in their lives.
Knowing where you are in your life and how you want to get to the next stage will help you make relevant goals.
How come I am not achieving my goals?
So you think you have the right goals? How come, then, things are still not moving? What is holding you back from achieving these goals? Have you ever felt this way before?
You set your goals at the beginning of the year, but things soon come up that take us away from our focus.
However, being busy or “things coming up” isn’t the reason we abandon our goals.
Despite surprises along the way, if we really did want to achieve our goals we would jump back on the proverbial horse and try again once we were ready.
So the question then is; “If I drop my goals at the slightest inconvenience, am I really passionate about my goals?”
We spoke about choosing the right goals for you early on. The real test comes when difficulty arises and you must make a choice; do you always abandon your goals? Do you find it hard to return to them after a break?
This might be a sign that you are not as passionate about your goals as you originally thought.
And this in itself is OK. We need to test our passions, goals, and dreams. We do not have to make a business out of all of them.
However, if you find yourself struggling with these goals, but you do still want to achieve them. Then it’s time to reassess and realign your goals.
Maybe you are still interested in fitness, but you find focusing on losing a specific amount of weight too much pressure. Maybe you need a goal to work up to? That could be running a certain distance, or reaching a new personal best in the gym.
Taking time to readjust your goals after important events in your life is a healthy and practical things you should be doing.
How much do I want to achieve the final goal (Marathon vs holiday)
This leads us onto a very important analogy; about goal setting and mindset. Allow me to detour for a second, but I promise it’ll be worthwhile.
We often hear the analogy, running a business is like running a marathon…
You set your sights on the finish line, there is a lot of work leading up to the event, and the marathon itself has different stages. You need to save your energy for when the going gets tough to finish the race.
Unfortunately, many people I know never finish that race.
They start off feeling giddy and excited but they soon lose enthusiasm when they realise just how much effort is needed to run a business. In other words, despite running so hard the finish line is still so far away.
So, I like to consider running a business like planning a holiday.
Have you noticed, that already, there are different connotations with this? Holiday makes you feel happy and joyful. Pay attention and keep that feeling!
Planning a vacation also starts with an idea. Everyone is very excited about it at the beginning. There’s lots of work, trials, and preparation along the way.
However, you don’t hear of too many people who go months of planning a vacation only to quit all of a sudden, without a good reason. Why?
Because there is a clear goal at the end of an arduous process. And for some reason this goal is clearer to us than in the marathon.
We want to get a return on investment back for all the time and resources we have spent. We want to eventually get on that plane, or that boat, or that bus.
The goal of the vacation is not only easy for us to visualize but it is also relevant and important.
In the same way, we have to make our own goals relevant and important. We need to design and plan them in such a way that we will keep coming back to them despite adversity.
In this way, we should try and run out business like we’re planning a holiday!
Do my goals reflect my feelings?
Being able to reflect and analyse yourself is an important skill when it comes to deciding on and honing in on your goals.
It’s one thing to be able to mark your goals down. It’s another to then identify where things aren’t working. However the step where most people mess up is, they do not make a change after that.
If you want to really achieve your goals you will need to learn to be dynamic and pivot when the need arises. You can always change, revise, and improve your goals.
Think about how your business makes you feel. What are all the thoughts and dreams that run through your head when you are dreaming and aspiring. Do your current goals match up to these thoughts and feelings, if not look deep into yourself and see what does match.
Goals need to go beyond surface level. They need to come from somewhere deep within you. Your goals are not worth anything as coloured pieces of paper or lists, alone. They need to have a meaning for you as a person, and not be general.
Once you have crafted specific and relevant goals, I believe that you’ll find it a lot easier to achieve what you want and be where you want to be!
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.