The secret to success at any goal is consistency. It’s been something I’ve struggled with for my entire life, but I’ve found a way to make it easier to stick with it and stay on track.
My problem was, I would always go about it haphazardly, setting goals when I felt inspired and forgetting about them as quickly as the came to me. What I needed was a PROCESS. Something to give me structure and a framework to work within.
I’ve created a simple, 4 step goal setting process that makes making progress almost automatic. Just follow these 4 steps, and you will eventually be able to reach ANY goal you set for yourself.
But before I share my process with you, I have to tell you that I have a different way of looking at goals. I don’t really agree with the old tried and true method of setting SMART goals. Well, I have a problem with one letter in particular… T. Goals really don’t have to be TIME BOUND at all.
I like to think of goals as either process goals or outcome goals… and have a balance of both. Let me explain…
Process Goals vs. Outcome Goals
Outcome goals are goals that have a finite end date, or have a clear result. An example of an outcome goal could be “I want to lose 30lbs”. When you have reached that milestone, you know you have achieved the goal. Another example is if you want to save a certain amount of money by a specific date. That gives you a deadline as to when you want to accomplish that goal.
What I also like to do is set process goals. Process goals focus on habits, or processes that you use in your daily life. So these goals aren’t necessarily going to have a finite end our outcome, because they are something you repeat over and over and over. Like sleeping every night.
While outcome goals can be really encouraging because it feels so good to cross them off the list when you have reached them, your process goals are really important to support the big outcome goals that seam almost out of reach. And even though they seem less significant, the process goals are the ones that are going to make the REAL difference in your life.
I’ll give you a few examples of process goals. Your goal might be to work out 3 times per week. This is a much better goal to set than “I want to get healthy” or “I want to work out more.” You have to be specific. Working out 3x per week, that’s a habit. Even if its only 10 minutes at a time, you are still working out, and that goal is attained.
I’ll share with you one of my process goals, and that is to sing, pray and meditate daily. These three actions help me to feel spiritually connected, grounded, and living my truth. When I don’t do these simple things each day, I FEEL the difference in my attitude and approach to the day.
Think about what habits you NEED to incorporate into your day to have success at everything else. It could be starting the day by making your bed or making your to do list, getting to bed at a certain time, or reading something inspirational daily.
Now that you know the difference between process and outcome goals, lets take a look at the process, and how we are going to use them.
The 4 Step Process
Step 1: Write out your top 10 goals
Write out your top 10 goals. Try to make 5 of them outcome goals, and 5 of them process goals. You will have the most success when your process goals support your outcome goals. Here’s and example:
If we stick with the outcome goal to lose 30lbs, then it might not be a good idea to focus on several other goals as well. Maybe it’s not the right time to learn how to play piano, to start a business, and finish a big house project. Instead, choose process goals like “workout 3x per week” or “drink a gallon of water each day”.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Make sure that your goals are achievable. But on the flip side, you want your goals to feel like they stretch you a bit as well. You should feel accomplished and pleased with yourself when you reach them!
Step 2: Write one small action step for each goal
Write one small action step for each goal. These action steps have to be so simple that they won’t take you more than 15 minutes to do! Of course, naturally, some of them are going to take longer. Try to keep them as simple as possible. Let’s look at an example.
If you have a goal to start a business, some of your action steps might be: Spend 15 minutes researching how to write a business plan. Sign up for class at the small business development center. Spend 15 minutes researching competitors. You only need to pick one of these action steps for now, but having a list of action steps will set you up for the next several weeks!
Action steps for process goals are a little trickier. Sometimes, the action step is to simply DO THE THING. If your process goal is to workout 3x per week, your action step could be to set out your workout clothes on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. (And then get up in the morning and get those clothes on!)
Make sure that your process goals are achievable for you. If 3x per week feels like way too much right now, make the goal 2x per week instead, and next week you can always bump it back up to 3.
Step 3: Put the action items on your to-do list, and do them!
Put the action items on your to-do list, and do them! Keep your to do list with all of your action items somewhere that you will see it often. You could write them on a post it, and stick it on your computer screen or bathroom mirror.
What I do, is keep a whiteboard in my kitchen where I spend most of my time. I see it every single day, and it is such an amazing feeling to cross those things off the list. Don’t tuck your to do list away where you will never see it! Make sure it is front and center all the time.
This is the most critical step of all. If your action steps don’t get accomplished, progress isn’t made. That’s why these steps need to be super simple! Do your best to plan ahead and know which day and what time you plan to do each one. And remember, life happens. There are weeks that you won’t get anything done, and weeks that you will crush your to-do list and then some.
Step 4: Repeat this process every week
I want to encourage you to re-write your goals EVERY SINGLE week. There are some good reasons for this. First off, your goals change. Your life changes, priorities shift. So it’s ok to change your goals often.
Also, you may realize after a few weeks that one of your goals just isn’t realistic. If you keep falling short of taking steps towards a goal, ask yourself why that is. And, be honest with yourself about whether or not that is a good goal for you RIGHT NOW.
Finally, rewriting your goals imprints them in your subconscious. If you write your goals once you will likely forget about them. Creating a habit out of writing your goals every week will turn creating success in your life into a habit as well.
Get your free Step by Step Goal Setting Worksheet!
I’ve created a downloadable worksheet that will guide you through this process. You can print this worksheet every week when you rewrite your goals!
Your desire to change has to be so much greater than any thing you are feeling at the time. You are not going to feel like working out, you aren’t gong to feel like prepping your food, you aren’t going to feel like doing something scary or difficult… BUT that feeling of knowing that you are taking control of your life, and you are moving toward something that REALLY matters… THAT is the feeling that propels you forward.
Believe in yourself, and believe that you have what it takes to get these action steps done this week. The only thing that is standing in your way is you.
CLICK HERE to get your Free Goal Setting Worksheet