The beginning of the year is always a time when people like to set goals and ambitions for the year.
Even though many people make New Year’s goals and resolutions, not many people actually stick to them. A University of Bristol study (1) found that 88% of goals and resolutions are not achieved. A similar study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute (2) found that only 9.2% of people were successful in completing their targets.
How to Set Goals
At Yop & Tom, we have a 5 step goal setting method for success. If you want a little help in creating goals then we have created, The Power of 3 ®, an Undated Goal Planner which helps you set and achieve your goals by grouping them into 3s.
5 Step Method to Goal Setting
Make them specific: This is fundamental to goal setting and is mentioned in almost all goal setting guides. By making them specific you can understand when you have completed them and your progress along the way. For example, don’t set a goal to “Improve fitness”, instead set one to “Be able to run 5 miles in under 45 minutes”. That way you have something to aim for and you can see as you improve along the way.
Make them achievable: It may seem obvious, but a rule that you are likely to hit you are far more likely to work on throughout the year. Goals should be challenging, but ultimately achievable. So no goals for world domination or to become a billionaire (unless you are close!).
Understand how they will help you: Lots of people fall into the trap of setting common goals such as to make more money, get more sleep or eat healthier. Now whilst there is no issue with any of these goals (provided they are specific) we would always recommend that before you set any goals you sit back and think about what is actually important to you and your life. Is more money really what would make you happier, or is it having more time to spend with family and friends? Goals that will truly improve your life, you are much more likely to stick to. In the Power of 3 Productivity Planner we ask people to write down how goals will help them. By putting pen to paper you are more likely to create meaningful goals.
Create a plan: It’s one thing setting a goal but actually the key to success is having a plan to achieve it. For each goal in the Power of 3, we create a plan for each goal by splitting it down into 3 milestones. Each milestone is further split into 3 individual tasks with deadlines. By splitting down a big goal like this it makes it more manageable. Each task should be a quick win to keep you motivated but together they all work towards your overall goal. The tasks are then added to the monthly and weekly planners with deadlines to help you stay on track.
Review and adjust: Remember it’s ok that your goals change. As you go through the year and hit certain goals your priorities will naturally change. We don’t recommend that people chop and change their goals every week or even month. You need time to work on them and really understand their importance. A fundamental part of the Power of 3 philosophy is to reflect on your goals every 3 months and migrate forward the goals that are still important. Not migrating a goal is just important, as it enables you to really focus on what’s important and drop what isn't. These goal reflection times give you the chance to really analyse your goals and ask yourself if they are still important to your life. If they are then bring them forward to the next period and if not then start something new.