It’s the beginning of the New Year, and everybody’s sharing their resolutions. During the next week or two fitness clubs, diet programmes, stop drinking and smoking hacks, and the like will have record sign-ups. It will probably last until mid-January, and then the first weaklings will start dropping off. By the 1st of February, pubs will be filled, gyms will send out reminder emails and cigarette sales will soar or return to pre-new year’s resolution levels. But how do you change a habit, set and reach a career goal, measure your progress and learn to stick to or achieve them? Let’s have a look at what the uber achievers have to say about it.
Five golden rules to set goals with five steps to success
You’re rather smart, right? Or, at least we think you are. But are your goals as smart as you are?
According to Mindtools, powerful goals are SMART. There are various interpretations of what SMART stands for but essentially they need to be:
- Specific – goals must be clear and well defined. An example is: I want to get my B.Comm Degree by 2025.
- Measurable – include precise amounts and dates. “I want to reduce my weight” is not a goal. It’s a wish. “I want to lose 10kg in two months” is a goal because you can measure it, and celebrate the small victories you achieve along the way.
- Attainable – don’t reach for the stars and end up in a hole. Ensure your goals are attainable to build your confidence. Nobody likes failing before they even begin. Conversely, you also need to challenge yourself a bit. If your goals are really easy to achieve, what’s the point?
- Relevant – goals are part of a bigger picture. They reflect the direction you want your life to take. If you align your goals with your career path or business goals as well as a work/life balance, you’ll find that your life slowly starts moving in the right direction.
- Time-Bound – deadlines just make things real. They contribute to a sense of urgency and a knowing that we are on the clock. It somehow makes it easier to attain anything.
Various people set career goals every year. Only 8% of people reach them. Why is that? Let’s first look at some of the common career goals people set for themselves. They want to take on more responsibility, improve their work/life balance, get promoted, get a raise, gain a qualification, change their career direction, learn a new skill, be more organised and make packed lunches. But somehow they end next year with the same goals. And they don’t attain them.
Here’s why… How exactly do you measure how much responsibility you had before vs what you now have? Or celebrate an improvement in your work/life balance? Are you less tired? Do you have more free time on your hands? If you are promoted or receive a raise, it can be equated to reaching a goal. But does this promotion just fall out of the air because you wanted it to? Anything in life worth having is worth working for. And it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow journey of a million small steps. But let’s focus on five.
Mind the step
If you want to measure anything or achieve something, you have to be conscious of what you are doing whilst moving towards your goal. There’s nothing better than a journal to record your progress, thoughts, achievements, and challenges in. Write down your goals and record your progress as you take each step. That way you will know where you are going and where you’ve been.
You can also celebrate small victories along the way. Indeed publishes an interesting blog post that talks about goal setting and achieving career goals. Ensure that you record and celebrate victories and analyse failures or shortcomings. That way you can duplicate what worked for you and eliminate what didn’t.
Reminders are a great way to stay abreast of your goals and progress. Talk to people or an accountability buddy, use apps or productivity tools. Whatever gets you through the night and towards your lighthouse. And let your guiding light be a positive attitude. Nothing reaches goals like a good attitude.
Make sure time is on your side by setting realistic deadlines. If anything unforeseen happens you can adjust these deadlines but don’t do it lightly. The point of this journey is that you need the discipline to reach your destination. A couple of stops at a fueling station along the way will give you the energy to get there, but make sure you don’t get stuck at one of them.
Finally, choose goals that you are passionate about. There’s no point in setting them if you’re going to hate every step you take. None of us like diets or enjoy learning in the wee hours of the morning after a full day’s work. But we do it because there is a burning desire within us to feel better in our bodies or be more accomplished in our careers. Let your passion lead the way, and the steps will walk themselves.
If your goal is to grow your ecommerce business this year, why don’t you speak to Truevo about taking the hassle out of payments? We cater to ecommerce companies big and small and we can’t wait to help you make your goals a reality.