What Are The Best Practices For Goal Setting?

what are the best practices for goal settingwhat are the best practices for goal settingAs the new year of 2014 emerges, it’s a popular time for setting new goals for the future.

For many years now, I’ve always used this time of year to reflect and set new goals for the next year. It feels like the right time – end of the year and all that! If you’re an entrepreneur, you should strive to improve each year and part of this is setting goals for yourself.

In this post, I want to give you the best practices for goal setting that a lot of people slip up on.

Let’s face it – Lots of people set goals and write a list of them at the start of the year (usually known as “New Year Resolutions“) but often faily to follow through with them beyond the first 2 months of the year.

Follow the best practices below to make sure that you stick to your goals in 2014.

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My 7 Best Practices For Goal Setting

1. Make Your Goal “Time-Bound” – You need to assign some form of a “deadline” to your goals that makes you accountable. Instead of having something like “Lose X Pounds”, it should be “Lose X Pounds By 17th April”.

When you assign a time-specific deadline to your goal, this will remind you of the urgency and make you get a move on with sticking to it.

2. The Goal Should Be Measurable – When you set your goals, make sure that there is some form of “attainable metric”.

What do I mean by this?

Instead of having a goal that is “generate more leads for my business”, it would be better to have something like “Be Generating 8 Leads Per Day For My Business By 19th March”.

Just like with the “date deadline”, there is something to judge your success by. The success of the goal can be measured against the metric you have set.

3. Your Goal Should Be Visible Often – The whole point of setting goals for the new year is that you are “aware” of what you are trying to achieve.

Therefore, the goals you set need to be “visible” throughout your daily routine.

What is the point of setting goals if you are not constantly reminded of them?

Find a way to make sure that you are constantly reminded (Each day) of your goals.

This could be having your goals on your desktop (as an image), written on your pinboard or on your calendar so that you see them each day.

4. Make Your Goal Challenging – The goals you set should really push you outside of your comfort zone. Exciting goals are challenging and rewarding!

It may look difficult to achieve but you may also surprise yourself, and the challenge will make you push yourself even further.

My post here talks about the importance of “never quitting” on what you strive to achieve. Part of this process is to set big goals.

Like the famous quote:

“Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

5. Write Down Your “Why” For Each Goal – The goals will require commitment and so you must understand “why” it is important that you succeed.

For each goal that you set, write down why it is important that you succeed. Understand what is on the line and this will give you the motivation to work hard on your goals throughout the year ahead.

6. Don’t Have Too Many Goals – Focus is always important for achieving anything. Try not to set too many goals that will distract you from achieving any of them!

I personally don’t set more than 5-6 goals for a year as I like to have a “clear focus”.

Just as I detailed in my Work Life Balance tips post here, you should work “smarter” rather than harder. Have a few goals that you want to achieve and give yourself time to “focus” on them.

7. Use The Goals To Produce A Strategy – I recently published a post here that covers the importance of having a strategy. Once you have set your goals, you then need to identify the “next actions” required.

To do this, I recommend that your write a strategy document that explains (to yourself) how you will tackle your goals in the year or months ahead.

goal setting tipsThe new year is a perfect time to set goals.

Follow the 7 best practices for goal setting that I have outlined above and make 2014 your best year.

Have you set any exciting goals for 2014? Have you done this by following any of the tips above?

Let me know in the comments below and let’s discuss your plans and objectives for 2014!

Please share or comment below if you have gained value from this post.

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  1. Great article Nick!

    I’m in the process of planning my year and setting some goals and I’ve read a few articles on this topic. Yours is the first I’ve read that mentions having a ‘why’ for each goal. It’s always good to know the reason for your goals, helps you to keep motivated.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Brian, and glad you enjoyed.

      Yeah, people always mention about having a “Why” and it is important. It gives you the motivation to keep going with the goal. I recently watched a video in which the guy talked about having “positive” and “negative” reminders. So, in other words, reminding yourself “why” you are striving for the goal to achieve the “positive” and avoid the “negative”.

      Basically, human beings are motivated by positive and negative feelings so both can be used as motivators.

      Powerful stuff!

      Thanks for stopping by Brian and have fun Goal Setting!

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