Knowing exactly what your goals are and how to set focused goals is only part of the battle. The real key to the process most people ignore. Many people don’t focus on how to actually achieve their set goals. In this final part of our series “Digging for Goals” we outline how to actually find success when setting goals. The most important thing to remember is, focus on the system not the goal.
How to Achieve Goals
To effectively accomplish our goals, we must focus on the system used to achieve the goal and not necessarily the goal itself. This is contrary to what many have been taught in the past. Most of us were told to consistently keep our eyes on the finish line. Which is true (in part). What’s truer is focus on the sysem and from time to time, look up to the finish line. This helps you to see your progress, and make sure you’re still on the right track. But in all honesty, we must be laser light focused on the system of achieving the goal itself. What’s the system you ask? The system is basically the process we go through to achieve the goal. It is the small steps taken daily to bring us to the finish line.
So if we’re losing weight, we focus not only on losing weight, but we become married to the process of losing weight. We become one with the act of working out, eating right, getting ample rest, etc. These items are what cause the goal of losing weight to be achieved. However, if we pay attention only to the distant goal of losing 45 pounds, we may not feel like we’ll ever make it. Focus on and become married to the system (process) and not just the goal itself. Focus on the practice instead of the performance.
What vs. How
The goal itself is your What. The System then becomes your How. What are we doing = Goal. How will we do it = System. It’s important to know the difference between the What and the How. Always keep “what” you’re looking forward to in front of you, even as you maneuver the “how” of getting it done.
Objective vs. Purpose
To break this down a little further. We also look at the objective of your goal and the purpose of your goal, as it equates to the Goal vs. the System. The item you identified previously as your “What” also serves as your Objective. The items you outlined as your “How”, serve as your purpose. Think about it, What you want to accomplish, your goal, is your overall objective. It is the final period on the last sentence at the end of the book you’ve been writing. However, your purpose, is the system, it is the process. It is the “reason” you’re actually writing the book.
We’ve found the more people who tackle life this way, the more beauty we’d see everyday. The system, the process, what you’re going through everyday to achieve your goal is the actual purpose for the goal. Think of it like this. The purpose of life isn’t about getting to the big house, car, family, business. The purpose of life is all the things we learn on that journey. Those things inevitably lead to the big house, car, family, business.
Anyway, back to goals. Now we’ve paid great attention to purpose throughout this whole goal setting process. It’s important that we understand that our purpose relates directly to the “how” of our goals. When we understand how to conduct ourselves within the process, it becomes easier for us to determine whether the goals still meets the initial objective we originally defined. When you identify the What, you also identify the main objective. It is a clarification of exactly what you’re doing.
The 3 P’s
Motivation is what drives everyone. It is the engine that powers you toward your goal. It keeps you moving when things are easy, and pushes you when things get tough. In order to be truly motivated, you must be fully invested in the result of the goal.
We must be able to see the overall value of the goal that we’re setting, or our motivation will wane as the process continues. Without being fully invested in the value of reaching our goal, we will experience burnout. If you’ve already found yourself in the burnout phase. Read our article, How to Avoid Burnout… and 5 Ways to Reignite your Passion Immediately. When motivation wanes your goals become tasks that you’re just trying to get checked off a to-do list. You can only go so long trying to motivate yourself to do something you don’t believe in and don’t really care about.
Patience – The ability to hold on for the long haul in the process of obtaining your goals. Rome wasn’t built overnight, and neither was anything else. We must be patient with ourselves and with others. It’s the reason we created a specific, measurable time frame for our goals.
Persistence – There must be a certain level of determination and resolve when looking to accomplish goals. Something might go wrong. Somebody might not be all the way bought in. Many little things can happen that, if you let them, will derail all of your progress. Remain persistent in your efforts to achieve your goals.
Planning – The most important aspect. There must be a moment when you sit down and plan out exactly how you’re going to achieve what you want to achieve. This plan must be specific and strategic. This is where you actually write out the process that you’re going to be married to.
Are you going to go to the gym 3x a week? Will you reach out to new supporters within 24 hours of them contacting you?
The Final Aspects of Achieving Your Goals
Trusting in Your Team – Inevitably you must have faith in yourself and your team to finish what you have started. As we stated previously, if you doubt, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
This is a great chance to create a new level of trust. Even if you’re only required to trust yourself to be successful. If there have been mistakes in the past, wipe the slate clean. Everyone gets to start fresh with this new goal. Yesterday doesn’t exist any longer, all there is to look forward to is tomorrow.
Measuring Results / Achievement – So important, is to monitor your progress as it happens. Don’t wait till it’s all over to find out you’re off your target and need to make serious adjustments. Take some time each week, or bi-weekly, or whenever makes sense for your goal, to sit down and find out, “Where are we?” “How close are we?” “What else has to be done?” “Are we on schedule?” etc.
These shouldn’t be the normal, non-beneficial business or ministry meetings. These should be quick, with observations of progress, determinations of necessary adjustments, and recognition of success already achieved. Get some real feedback. Ask your stakeholders how you’re doing with your goal. Talk to those holding you accountable, ask their input on your progress. Most importantly, be honest with yourself about exactly what you’ve accomplished, what more you could have done, or not done, and where your progress really is.