Achieving Goals: 10 very easy tips to achieve goals better and faster

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A lot of people set very ambitious goals but then struggle to follow through. Achieving goals that you have set for yourself requires thorough planning as well as amazing execution skills.

In this blog, I will begin by giving you a few tips on creating goals for yourself. Because obviously, you need to set a goal to achieve it!

But, my major focus will be on achieving goals faster and much more efficiently.

I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you have set major goals for yourself but never ended up meeting them as per your expectations. Or, maybe you struggle to set clear goals, to begin with.

Lucky for you, I’m going to walk you through all the details of achieving goals better, faster and also much more efficiently.

What is a goal?

Before jumping straight into how achieving goals faster can help your business grow and so on, let’s start at the very beginning.

So, the most basic question first is- What is a goal?

A goal is an aim or an object of a person’s ambition.

And goals can be of multiple types

  • Personal Goals

These are basically the goals you set for yourself… such as wanting to lose weight, wanting to learn how to cook and so on.

  • Professional Goals

They have everything to do with your career. E.g., completing a degree before a certain number of years, getting a promotion within the financial year or even something more long-term such as becoming CEO of a company.

  • Business goals

This sounds a little more complicated doesn’t it? But honestly? It’s just as simple as when you set a personal goal. Sure the stakes are higher, but the basic idea remains. A goal you set for your business or your company is called a business goal.

Some examples could include wanting your company to experience double-digit growth in revenue, needing to hire ‘x’ number of employees by the end of the year, the goal to grow sales by 20% next quarter etc.

Why is it important to have clear goals?

Now that we know what goals are, have you started wondering why they’re so important?

Let me tell you why.

Clear goals give your work direction

When you have clear goals set for you, it’s easier to keep track of what has to be done to achieve them. As a result, you have a sense of direction. Imagine a race with no finish line. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? An image of people running helter-skelter comes to mind, of course! Along with utter chaos!! That’s exactly what a person or company with no goals looks like.

This is what I mean when I say that goals help give direction to both people and companies at large.

Aligns employees to the needs of the company

Building on the same example of the race, imagine now employees know the direction of the race, but the goals aren’t aligned. So, some employees think the person who finishes first is the winner while some think the last one to cross the finishing line will get the gold medal!

It’s absolutely absurd!!

But imagine a company where employees don’t know whether to maximise or minimize an objective. Obviously, this is a drastic example, but unclear goals can actually lead to companies making losses and employees wasting their time by doing tasks that are unnecessary.

Goals help track employee performance better

Now that you know you will have better direction in your work, (continuing with the same race example), you can imagine all the runners running in the same direction. But, how do these runners know when to stop, and how much to keep running? How do they know how much of the race they have completed at any given point?

This can also happen with companies.

How does a goal help? You know exactly what you want your end result to look like. So at any point in time, you can pause and check how much closer you are to that end result or goal. Say, for example, a goal of hiring 30 new employees by the end of the financial year can be tracked by counting the number of new employees hired throughout the year. This would mean, also tracking the performance of the recruiter or HR manager

So, goals make it easier to track the performance of employees.

Achieving S.M.A.R.T. Goalss.m.a.r.t. goals easier way to achieving goals

You would have definitely heard of this term before. SMART goals. What does S.M.A.R.T. stand for?

S – Specific goals are easier to achieve

When a goal is extremely specific and detailed, it becomes easier for an employee to achieve. The scope for confusion and vagueness gets reduced to almost zero and this also results in increased productivity and improved employee performance.

M – Measurable goals are easier to achieve and help track employee performance better

Measurable means, when you can track how much of that goal is completed at any given point in time and you know exactly when it is achieved. Say, for example, if your goal is to increase sales calls by 20%, it is measurable. This is because you know the current number of calls, you know what a 20% increase will look like in terms of numbers.

On the other hand, if your goal is to “hire new employees” it isn’t measurable because while you know your current employee count, the goal doesn’t mention how many new employees you need to hire. Hence, you won’t know if the hiring of new employees has actually met the requirement or not.

A – Goals need to be attainable or achievable

Obviously, this one goes without saying, if you set a goal that is not attainable in the first place, no matter what you do, you aren’t going to achieve it!

R – Relevance to your business and its ultimate goal

A goal that you set for an employee should be ultimately relevant to the overall company. Otherwise, it just ends up being a waste of time and resources.

T – Achieving goals that are timebound

Very often when an employee has a single goal or a set of goals but takes forever to complete it, it becomes pointless.

To properly be able to measure the success of the goal, you and your employees need to be aware of the deadlines that are set for the goals. This would mean, knowing if it’s a long or short-term goal, when should the planning stage be completed, and things like when tasks within the goal should be finished.

Misconceptions around achieving goals

There a tons of misconceptions and myths about achieving goals. A lot of people are sceptical about goals. While some people think that defining a goal might be limiting yourself, others may say that goals don’t really help in any way.

While both these are false, setting the goal isn’t everything, it’s about what you do to achieve them!

Achieving goals is where most people struggle the most and now, I’m going to talk about the common myths about achieving goals.

i. If I set a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I will definitely achieve it

While setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is the first step, it doesn’t guarantee success. You need to be able to follow up with the progress of your goal at every step of the way and track it well.

ii. Once I have set a goal, it is cast in stone

I recently came across this TEDx Talk given by Reggie Rivers, which ironically, says, ‘If you want to achieve your goals, don’t think about them!’ In his talk, he speaks about how, very often, people set long-term goals. But the fact is, in times as uncertain as the ones we live in, people may not even be able to account for the next few months of their lives.

As I said, times are uncertain, and, once you’ve set a goal, external factors (even personal situations) may come in the way of you achieving your goals in the stipulated time frame. As a result, you may be required to alter the goal as you go along!

iii. If I haven’t met my goal in the set amount of time, I have failed

While the whole point of setting a goal is to meet it at some point, if you haven’t completed it, it does not mean that you have failed. Even completing a part of it shows progress or improvement. Also, if you don’t complete the goal, you will certainly learn from your mistakes.

Strategies to achieve goals better

We’ve taken a quick look at what goals should look like and some common myths. Now, let’s have a look at how you can get right to achieving goals faster and better!

These steps are the things you do once you have your goal in mind.

1. Write down your goal

Writing things down always makes them more definite and concrete. You will perceive your goal to be more real once it’s written down. Not just that, you will be able to get into greater detail once you have an overview of your goal written down in a clear and specific manner.

According to a study done by Dr Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California, people who write down their goals tend to have a higher chance of achieving goals than those who do not write down their goals.

2. Break down your goals into smaller tasks to bring you a step closer to achieving goals

One large goal can be extremely overwhelming for anyone. So, break them into smaller chunks instead. How you do this is by making a list of tasks that you need to carry out in order to achieve this task. This could be like a checklist or a to-do list. Once this is down, your brain will start perceiving the goal as smaller steps towards a larger goal rather than a behemoth task that will never get accomplished. That in itself will increase your chances of achieving goals.

3. Achieving goals is a lot easier when you try to get a fresh perspective

What does this even mean?

It is ever so easy to get obsessed with goals and reach a point where you feel like you can do anything to achieve them. But this could easily lead to burnout. Having a balanced life is extremely important to avoid bucrnout in such situations.

Ensure that you have planned breaks. Yes, planned breaks are breaks that you include in your overall plan to achieve goals. And as a result, you will be able to remain fresh and focused rather than exhausted in your quest to achieving goals faster and efficiently.

4. Identify potential obstacles in advance

Every plan hits a snag or a roadblock at some point or the other. What makes a difference is how you overcome this roadblock. So, while making a plan for your goal, brainstorm and think of all the potential problems you could run into.

Just like the famous saying goes – Expect the best but be prepared for the worst!

Doing this will help you prepare a more robust plan. It will also ensure that you are not completely thrown off course every time you face a challenge.

5. Achieving goals become easier when you’re accountable to someone

Very often, when working on achieving a goal alone, it could get lonely. As a result, you could lose motivation or even lose track of your time and progress.

So, to overcome this issue, talk to a friend, family member or mentor about your goal. This will ensure that you are accountable to someone other than yourself, thus increasing the chances of achieving the goal.

6. Constantly keep checking in to see how close you are to achieving your goals

What this does is, it keeps you on track. At every stage, you will know how much of your goal you have achieved and how much is left. On one hand, if you’re on track, it will help you stay motivated, and on the other, if you’re lagging behind, you’ll know you need to buck up!

7. Consistent reflection and adjustment result in higher chances of achieving goals

The previous step spoke about constantly checking in to know if you’re making progress. But what is also important is to reflect on that progress and see if you can make improvements in the way you are working.

Maybe you realise that you haven’t made as much progress as you thought you would. Maybe you have set an unrealistic goal and are just realising that. Either way, reflecting back on what you have done will help you make changes to your plan as required. And as mentioned earlier in this blog, iterations in a goal are completely acceptable and alright!

8. Stick with the plan of action you made to achieve your goals

It is very easy to lose interest and motivation. This can happen either due to low progress, too much work or no time. What you can do here is, add reminders into your plan as to why this goal is important for you. This will help you remember why this goal is important to you and hence, stay motivated.

9. Develop a positive mindset towards achieving goals

This will help you every time you hit an obstacle. How?

You won’t get as demotivated as fast.

You can do this by reading motivational books, spending time with other motivated people, having a support system that can help you every time you feel low or just by believing in your own abilities.

10. Upskilling makes achieving goals a lot faster

A new goal could mean doing something new for the first time! You may need to learn new skills or understand a new concept. Or you may just need to put previous learnings into practice. Either way, upskilling or adding a new trick to your skillset will help you reach your target goal a lot faster.

achieving goals - cta

Ready to take a step towards achieving goals better?

Now that you have a detailed understanding of how to achieve your goals better, you’ll never have to worry about this ever again. Just for a quick recap…

  1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  2. Write them down
  3. Break down your goals into smaller tasks brings you a step closer to achieving goals
  4. Achieving goals is a lot easier when you try to get a fresh perspective
  5. Identify potential obstacles in advance
  6. Achieving goals become easier when you’re accountable to someone
  7. Constantly keep checking to see how close you are to achieving your goals
  8. Consistent reflection and adjustment result in higher chances of achieving goals
  9. Stick to the plan of action you have made
  10. Develop a positive mindset
  11. Upskilling makes achieving goals a lot easier

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