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New Year Resolutions In Action
January 24, 2019

Week 4 – Tracking Goal Progress

So by now, you should have one or a number of SMART goals, and an action plan to achieve them - and hopefully you've started taking action too!

Remember, achieving your goals is about being consistent with your actions, persistent and resistant to any curve balls and knock backs that inevitably come along.

Consistence – Persistence - Resistance

As you work through your action plan and strive off towards that goal, it is important to start keeping track of your progress.It’s important to review the progress of your goals for several reasons:

  • To see whether you are achieving the deadlines on tasks required to achieve your end goal.
  • To make sure you’re still actually heading in the right direction towards your goal.
  • To make any necessary adjustments to your action plan so that it is still achievable.
  • As motivation – to see what you’ve achieved and that you’re that much closer to achieving your end goal.
It’s also a great way to learn from any mini-successes and failures you may have encountered along the way!

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs and in the “”Life Planning Workbook” you’ll find a Goal Progress Review.

The Goal Progress Review provides a number of prompts to trigger your thoughts on how you are progressing. Now, we adopt the “SMARTer” goal format for setting goals – so our Goal Progress Review tool gets you to review each of these elements to guarantee that your goals stay smart.

So first of all, measureyour goal progress - goals need to be able to be measured so you can monitor progress. How you measure your goal (eg ranking system, actual measure such as weight, etc) should be established at the start of the goal setting process, along with your starting measurement. By determining your current measurement and comparing it with your starting point, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed towards your goal.

Secondly, are you using your Action Plan - your action plan is your road map to achieving your goal, which is your end destination. If you’re not using your map, how do you expect to get there? Think about how you have set up your action plan and whether there is another method that will suit you better.

You also need to look at whether you’re achieving the deadlines on your action items – if not, why not? Deadlines are there for a reason – to keep up momentum! Perhaps your deadlines were unrealistic (don’t worry, this is common!) or your time has been directed to other more urgent activities – either way, think about why so you can adjust your action plan.

Thirdly, is the goal still relevant - Goals are established based on your situation at the time of setting them. If there has been a significant change in your life, you need to consider whether you are you still able to achieve this goal – or whether you still WANT to. Remember, goals MUST be relevant otherwise you won’t have the motivation to achieve them. Remind yourself why this goal is really important to you, and ask whether this is still the case.

And finally, consider your resourcing - is your level of resourcing (money, time, information, support) adequate? Identify any additional resource needs and where/ how you might find them.

You can also try goal tracking software like Goals on Track

And don’t forget, you can try one or more of the following FREE resources to help you on your journey:

There’s also an article below on “5 steps to success” and "READY – AIM – But don’t forget the ‘FIRE’ and ‘RELOAD’".

So until next week, happy goal setting!

Best regards

Sam Sander
Achieve Goal Setting Success

The Daily Goal Machine Helps You Get Stuff Done

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5 steps to success

Many people ask me the secret of success – and I just tell them that there are 5 simple steps. Find out what these are and how YOU can achieve your own personal success. And of course, it really is no secret that people who succeed have goals – so setting effective goals is the key to success.

So how do you set goals? Like all things, its actually quite simple – once you’ve done the groundwork! The goal setting process is something like this:

  • Step 1: Get the ‘Big-Picture’ first, and always keep your eye on it.
  • Step 2: Work out what you REALLY want, not what you think you want.
  • Step 3: Work out what you can realistically do and achieve.
  • Step 4: Prioritise and synergise.
  • Step 5: Set SMART goals.
So let’s break down these steps…

Step 1: Get the ‘Big-Picture’ firstThe first and most important step in how to set goals - what is YOUR ‘Big-Picture’?

Your ‘big-picture’ is your one guiding principle, your shining light, that forms the basis for all your decisions and actions. If you were a company, your ‘big-picture’ would be the Vision or Mission Statement.

So, it is a statement outlining an idealised description of your life’s outcome. It will inspire you and create your target. It can apply to different parts of your life – your family, your career – and it is the end target that you want to achieve, and where your goals need to take you.

To help you work out exactly what your ‘big-picture’ is, think about your tomb-stone. Macabre I know, but your tomb stone is a concise summary of your life – what you have achieved, and how people remember you.

How do you want to be remembered? What will be on YOUR tombstone?

Step 2: So what do you really WANT? Now that you have an eye on your ‘big-picture’, what do you REALLY want?

Remember that goals must be personal and meaningful, otherwise you’ll have no reason to achieve them. So you need to work out what YOU really want, not what other people think you want.

The best way to work out what you really want is to brainstorm your thoughts to come up with a wish-list for each of your relevant aspect of your life. This is the chance for you to let loose by picturing your perfect life, and putting down in writing what that perfect life would look like.

Mind Mapping is a great way to do this – the Life Planning workbook in the resource section shows you how to build a mind map to help with your goal setting.

Step 3: So what can you really ACHIEVE? So now you know what you want, but what can you really achieve? Well, hypothetically, you can achieve anything you want to – but that’s not always the case. Resources, natural skill and ability, time – these all factor into whether we can achieve something or not.

The aim of goal setting is to set achievable goals, even if that means taking a larger goal or dream and breaking it down into bite-size chunks.

A personal SWOT analysis is a great way to work this out – it’s a detailed look at you and your life and will help you identify the most beneficial goals worth pursuing right now based on your current situation, and to identify goals that will help you prepare for the future.

The Life Planning workbook in the resource section shows you how to do a SWOT analysis to help with your goal setting...

Step 4: Prioritise and SynergiseGoal setting is a skill, and like all skills, how to set goals takes time and practice to become proficient at it. So if you’re new to goal setting, start with a single, easy goal or two to practice on. Once you’ve achieved this one (or made some progress towards it), you’ll feel motivated to try the process on some harder goals and confident in applying the process.

How to chose which goal? Well you need to consider:

  • How important the goal is to you. Starting on high priority goals will keep you more focused and motivated to achieve, than goals that are just considered ‘nice to do’.
  • The type of goal – ‘habit’ changing goals are often short-term goals and may therefore be easier to achieve. ‘Skill’ goals can have quite a clear path and may therefore appear easy, but beware that ‘skill’ type goals can take a long time to achieve so its important that they have lots of milestones to make the process manageable.
  • How comfortable are you that you know HOW to achieve the goal – for example, achieving optimum health and fitness may be a Must-Do goal for you and there is heaps of information and guidance on how it can be done, so that would be a good goal to chose as a starting point rather than something like achieving world domination!
Make the most of goal synergy – some goals have benefits in several life aspects. How to set goals that synergise? Riding your bike to work for a ‘fitness’ goal will also help the planet and your hip pocket. Kill as many birds as you can with the one stone for maximum goal setting success!

In a nutshell, prioritise and synergise!

Step 5: Make your Goal SMARTOnce you have a set of personal goals, all you need to do is develop your chosen goals and make sure they’re SMART. SMART goals are:

Specific: A goal is a well-defined target that gives you clarity, direction, motivation and focus towards what you want. Your goal statement needs to reflect this.

Measurable: It is easier to track progress against a goal if it is measurable. You’ll need to develop some kind of measurement or ranking system, or measure time spent on the goal.

Actionable: You will need to develop a strategy for how you are going to achieve your goal. You don't need to know all the details at first, just start with a general plan. Focus on actions you can take that are in your direct control.

Reasoned and Realistic: Goals need to be relevant to you and to your life – they need to be meaningful and significant, in order to make a difference in your life. Remind yourself why you want to achieve this goal.

Time-bound:For goals that have a measurable finish ending (eg weightloss goal), it is important to set a deadline. Goals without deadlines lend themselves to being put off until another day – we’ve all done it “I’ll start my diet tomorrow”. Action items also need to have deadlines to keep momentum up…and the goal setting process is as simple as that!

READY – AIM – But don’t forget the ‘FIRE’ and ‘RELOAD’

You’ve probably heard of SMART goals – and that’s great. But so many people have a fantastic set of SMART goals sitting on the shelf and get disappointed when they don’t achieve them. Don’t make the same mistake and put the FIRE into your goal setting process with these simple steps.

Goals give you the READY and AIM part of your success story, but goals won’t magically happen just because you’ve written them down. You need to MAKE them happen - by taking action! FIRE!

And to do that, you need to:

  • Prepare an Action Plan.
  • TAKE ACTION, using your Action Plan as your set of instructions. FIRE!
  • Review your progress against your goal – regularly! RELOAD
  • Reward yourself for you successes.
Developing your Action PlanA SMART Goal will have actions as the “A” part of this acronym – and this is how you achieve this goal. Depending on your goal, these Action Items may be detailed enough for you to work through your goal.

Not sure? Well, ask yourself the question: “If these Action Items were my only set of instructions to achieve this goal, would I be able to achieve it?”. If your answer is “YES”, well great!

If your answer is “No”, take the time now to fully develop your Action Plan by expanding on these Action Items so that you have a truly actionable plan to achieve your goals by documenting the what, why, where, who, when and how for your action items.

Taking ActionThe secret to Achieving Goals – take action!

And the key to getting action on your goals is to integrate the goal’s action plan into your day-to-day routine and tasks, and that’s where it’s important to have ‘Planners’ and ‘Schedules’. It’s all about getting yourself organised!

Why you need to monitor and review your Action Plan and GoalsGoal setting is a dynamic process. Over the long term, your vision will change - goals you had when you were a kid were different to those as a teenager because your needs change, and so does your situation in life.

So, it is good practice to review your goals to ensure you are always chasing the right ‘Big-Picture’ – RELOAD!

You can monitor the current ‘truth’ in your goal-setting journey by periodically reviewing your goals – the important thing to ask yourself in this case is “does this still apply to me or have my needs changed?”.

What do you do once you’ve achieved a goal?First of all, congratulate yourself on a job well done. It doesn’t matter how big or small your goal was, completion of a goal represents a step in the right direction towards your life success!

Reward yourself for your efforts with an appropriate treat [not a huge slice of chocolate cake if your goal was to lose weight!] – it sometimes helps to set this reward when setting the initial goal to help with motivation along the way, of course completion of the reward gives you a real buzz which is often a reward in itself!

But don’t stop here - set a new goal. Perhaps this was just a mini goal you’ve achieved - start the next mini-goal towards your milestone. Or have you achieved a milestone? In which case, go back through your list of goals and develop the next goal to start on. Does your available effort and resources allow you to work on another couple of goals?

Goal setting is a life-long process – your goals will change along the way, but you should always have some. As you become more experienced in the goal setting process, you will feel a lot more confident in setting and working towards multiple and more complex goals. Build on your experiences both good and bad and be the best that you can be and SUCCEED!

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