Knowing what you want is the first step to achieving your goals. Often times we say we want to achieve something but our goals are non-specific. In order to reach the goals we have in mind, we must learn to be more specific. Many life coaches, motivational speakers and even Pastors talk about the importance of being specific.
A person shouldn’t just say, “I want to graduate from University.” What are the steps to make it happen? For example, “I want to graduate University within 4 years. My goal is to be in the top 10% of my class.” That is being specific. If you say, “I want to run my own business.” That’s awesome. Now how will you go about reaching that goal? Get a loan? Investors? Where will you find investors? What kind of business? In how many years do you want to start the company? All specific questions you should ask.
When you have a clear and concise plan reaching your goal is that much more realistic. Here are 5 tips to having clarity when reaching for your goals.
1. Express your goal in specific terms.
Don’t just say, “I want to be business owner.”
Rather be specific saying, “I plan on starting a business selling fresh roasted nuts. I would like to source all my nuts in communities that support women growing and cultivating the products I will sell.”
2. Give yourself a timeline.
Just talking about a goal without a timeline gives no clarity as to when you will achieve or even when you will start to focus on the goal. Planning immediate, short term and long term goals is the best way to get to where you want to be.
There is no certain amount of time that is set as a standard, but many people find that having 3 month, 6 month or 1-5 year plans work to their benefit. It helps you to measure where you are at each time listed in the plan. It is an opportunity to see what has been done and what is still necessary to achieve the goal. It also can help you adjust your planning if you find some of the time frame is unrealistic.
3. Break the goal into steps.
Write down everything step by step. As you achieve each one, check it off. Seeing what you have completed can give a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to see how far you’ve gone.
4. Find someone to hold you accountable.
A close friend, a mentor or a person you admire can be the one you call on to help hold you accountable for your actions. That person can keep you in check when you start to waver or when your sense of clarity starts to become vague.
5. Be realistic.
Sometimes we are so excited about the goals we have we forget to be realistic about it. No success story ever happens overnight. To expect your business idea to become a multi-million dollar success in less than a year is unrealistic. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs worked diligently for years before becoming who they are today. That’s not to say it never happens. There are those odd stories of companies that seem to ‘hit the jackpot’ with an idea that takes off quicker than anticipated.
But remember to be realistic and not beat yourself up if your goals don’t happen overnight. Stay on course and keep your clarity and you will see you will reach the goal.