Most people don’t achieve the goals they set at the start of the year. So what is the difference between those people and highly successful people that do achieve their goals?
It’s a common misconception that successful people are more motivated; to some extent this is true, but the biggest difference is successful people have action plans and contingencies.
Reaching a new goal often comes down to some sort of habit change. Habits are embedded in us as humans and the majority of the time we are functioning on autopilot, which is why action plans are so important.
Based on over 200 studies, Harvard Business Review concluded that people who used a technique called ‘if-then’ planning were 300 per cent more likely to achieve their goals. This is huge and has certainly worked for me!
Some examples of ‘if-then’ planning may be:
“If I go to a restaurant and they offer me dessert, then I’m going to order a coffee instead.”
“If I begin procrastinating, then I’m going to set a timer and work on my highest priority task for 25 minutes.”
A few weeks ago, Valeria (Diverse City Careers Co-founder) and I hosted the “Setting Yourself Up For Success In 2016” Meetups across Australia. All events were fantastic and it was great to engage with such a wonderful group of career-driven and like-minded ladies.
During the sessions, we covered the ‘usual suspects’ of goal setting tips, namely the S.M.A.R.T. principle. This principle helps you set goals so you can actually reach them. The acronym stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
So, instead of setting an ambiguous goal such as “I want to be healthier this year”, a S.M.A.R.T. goal will be “I want to run 5km in 27minutes by the 30 March”.
Other techniques used to achieve goals
During the Meetups we held, it was also great to hear about some of the other techniques the participants use to achieve goals. Some of my favourites were:
- Set milestones and give yourself a small reward when you hit each milestone;
- Cut yourself some slack, if you don’t achieve your goal when you first set out to, reassess and reset another timeframe; and,
- Surround yourself with people who have achieved similar goals (you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with).
We will be continuing to hold our Brisbane Meetup group bi-monthly and you are welcome to join us.
Wishing you the most successful year yet!
This article was originally published on The Business Woman Media