The beginning of the year marks a perfect time for reflection and transformation. With the new year well underway, there is no better time to set both business and personal goals for the next phase to come.

Once you’ve mastered your new year’s resolutions, there is no reason to stop there. Goal setting should be a consistent ritual in your life and not merely limited to the beginning of the year. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be a goal setting guru in no time. 

But just how do you start? 

Pen hovering over a blank page. Palms sweating. Brain fog. Relatable? If these images are conjured in your mind when you think of goal setting, rest assured, you’re not alone.

Many people simply do not set goals because they feel overwhelmed by the process. The most common mistake people make when it comes to putting their dreams down on paper is not breaking their goal into manageable steps. 

Achieve Your Goals

So you want that big promotion at work? What are the small stepping stones you’re going to take to get there? 

Luckily, there are tried and tested methods of successfully setting goals. Like choosing an outfit, you may need to try a few different styles of goal setting before you find your perfect fit.

Year in Review 

Before you get to the nitty gritty, take a moment to reflect on the passage bygone. Setting goals is as much about examining the past, as it is about considering the future. Creating goals involves constantly revisiting your objectives and reviewing how much closer you are to achieving them. 

Ask yourself, what has gone right for you during the process so far? What have been the setbacks? Examining both your successes and failures will enable you to identify what has prevented you from achieving your goals in the past.

The best way to reflect on your past year is to write down your thoughts on paper. This will enable you to revisit your discoveries later. Some people prefer to reflect in their mind without creating a physical copy. That’s absolutely fine. Whatever, method works best for you.  

Move from Broad to Specific

When tackling any task it’s important to first consider it from afar, before working out the ins and outs. As mentioned above, people often have a broad goal in mind but they do not consider the small steps that will propel them towards their objective.

If there is no linear pathway to follow towards your goal, you will likely get lost along the way and the goal will not be realised. This can result in feelings of a failure and can act as deterrence for setting goals in the future. 

The easiest way to tackle this step of the goal setting process is to write your goal as a headline. Next, break your goal down into small check-list-like steps. Being able to physically tick off each step as you achieve it will enable you to reflect on your progress, and provide for a sense of satisfaction. 

Feel Them 

There is a lot to be said about visualisation. Visualisation is the act of creating a mental picture in our mind.

Boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, was a strong advocate for the act of visualisation and famously quoted, “if my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it- then I can achieve it.” He would spend a lot of time mentally picturing his win and how it would feel long before it had happened.

Jim Carrey has also been recognised as a fan of manifestation and wrote a check for 10 million dollars to himself when he was just starting out as an actor; later in life, this dream actually came true.

Not only is visualisation fundamental in successful goal setting but it also helps to reduce stress. Studies have demonstrated that, through receiving positive imagery training, surgeons and police officers have been able to limit their stress levels by significant amounts. 

So, how do you visualise? 

Sit quietly and consider your goal. Create a mental picture of what it looks like to achieve it. Now, conjure up all your senses. What does that moment in time: Look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like? 

Imagine the situation in as much detail as possible, then let it go. Repeat this process so that the seeds of your dream start to well and truly grow within your mind. 

Another powerful way to practice the art of visualisation is through writing affirmations and creating vision boards. When it comes to creating your affirmations, ensure that they are  conducted in present tense. For example, you could write something along the lines of: “my business is thriving. I have 100 000 followers on instagram and a world-wide reach”. The more specific the better.

Visualisation boards are another tool that aids in helping the mind to actively imagine a situation. If it’s your dream to travel to Europe, then cutting out specific images of locations you’d like to visit and sticking them onto a board, in a visible place, will set the wheels of your goal in motion. 

Billionaires Who Goal Set

As discussed earlier, there is no right way of setting goals and overtime you will discover the method that works best for you. Most successful business tycoons use some method of goal setting to get them where they want to be, and each has a very different approach that works for them. 

Bill Gates and the OKR Method

The OKR method was first created by Andy Grove, CEO of Intel and one of Gate’s favoured business leaders. Gates says that, “Having a good mission is not enough. You need a concrete objective, and you need to know how you’re going to get there.” 

The OKR method centres around moving from broad to specific. The first step is to set your objectives (O), before creating key results (KR). Key results need to be measurable and specific, moving you towards your goal.  

The OKR method is a popular choice among key business leaders and has even been adopted by highly successful companies, such as Google. 

Steve Jobs and Short Term Goals

Steve Jobs was a firm believer in the power of goal setting. He not only believed in the power of setting long term goals, but—more importantly—in the value of setting short term goals. These short term goals allowed him to stay on the right path towards achieving his broader life goals. 

In taking small steps, each and every day, Steve Jobs became the CEO and cofounder of Apple Inc, the founder, and CEO, of NeXT, and the chairman of Pixar.

Ray Dalio and Being Selective

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates, one of the globe’s most influential asset management firms. Dalio’s key advice surrounding goal setting is to be selective. We have so much choice in this world and honing in on a specific objective is the first step to bringing you closer to your dreams.

He says that, “while you can have virtually anything you want, you can’t have everything you want.” Often people get so distracted by multiple goals at a time, that they do not put enough focus into chasing one. 

Common Thread

Although each of these entrepreneurs set out to achieve very different things in life, it’s not hard to notice a common thread in their methods of goal setting. Each technique operates by first identifying a goal, before creating small, actionable steps to get there. 

So, you know just how powerful a role goal setting plays in taking you to where you want to go. Now’s the time to put pen to paper and start reaping your dreams.  

Maybe we can help.

For all your digital marketing goals, White Peak Digital is here to lend a helping hand and aid in propelling you closer to your long term business vision.