There are 365 days in a year and 1,440 minutes in every day. Ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you making the most of this time?
• Do you have the right balance in your life?
• Do you have clarity of your goals and where you are heading?

As Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, said: “Most people are more diligent about making their grocery lists than they are about designing their lives”. Only a minority of people focus on designing and planning their lives, the remainder just don’t bother, they plod along making one decision at a time. Plodding through life without a plan is not a problem if you don’t have big ambitions BUT if you want to achieve BIG things, you need to put some effort into planning.

All high performers and achievers (whether it be in business, athletics or other walks of life) set goals to ensure alignment of their vision with their day to day activities. Just taking the time to write down your goals means that you are statistically more likely to achieve those goals. When you define your goals, you give your brain something to focus on and strive for. Writing your goal down and creating a specific action plan to achieve it is the first step to getting on your way to turning your goal into reality.

Some top tips for setting goals:
1. Small, easily achievable goals do not provide adrenaline or motivation.

You need BIG GOALS to stretch yourself. Give yourself challenging, stretched timelines. Be determined, focused and put a structured routine in place and you’ll be amazed at how your capacity stretches to accommodate your priorities.

2. Make your goals SMART!

o Specific
o Measurable
o Achievable
o Relevant
o Time-bound

Specific – The more specific the goal, the more likely you are to achieve the desired outcome. A bad example would be simply to set your goal as “Get Fit”. You need to be specific, and instead say “I’m going to run for 20 mins, 3 times a week for 1 month starting on 1st Jan to increase my fitness.”

Measurable – How are you going to quantify the goal, how will you know when it is achieved? For example, if your goal is to lose weight, what is the specific amount of weight you will lose?

Achievable – Although goals need to be BIG, they also need to be achievable, i.e. realistic with your available resources.

Relevant – Goals should be relevant to your values and beliefs. This will be specific to the individual, but your goal needs to align with your purpose and vision. If you’re vision is to grow your company by x%, really think about what will aid this growth. Don’t set yourself a goal to recruit 3 additional employees without really understanding if that will support your vision for growth.

Time-bound – You must specify when the goal should be achieved by.


3. Find your Motivation

Big goals are more like climbing a mountain than a walk in the park and if you don’t have a deep emotional reason for achieving something, you won’t be able to keep going when the going gets tough.

Many people abandon their goals or resolutions when the going gets tough. People expect instant results and when they don’t see them, frustration kicks in and giving up seems easier than sticking with it. What many people don’t realise is the cumulative effect and how small changes over a long duration of time can lead to big results. For example, if you’re trying to get fit, a 15 min run mightn’t seem like a lot, but if you were to run 15 mins a day, 6 days a week that adds up to 90 mins of cardio exercise a week. Think about how you can adjust your goals and break them down into tangible smaller pieces that you can chip away at each day to get you closer to achieving your desired result.

Start each day reflecting on your goals and what actions you need to take to keep you on the path to reaching those goals. This will help to keep you focused for the day.


Authored by Fiona Sharratt, Goals Resident Expert at The Outsourcing Way.

Ask Fiona a question via our Crisis Clinic or on Facebook or Twitter.