Did you realize that startups fail four times more frequently than they succeed? Do you know why it’s so difficult to start a successful business? It could be due to a variety of variables, one of which could be how the founders spend their free time.
The productivity you can generate in your spare time typically translates to professional success, and you can bet that successful people spend their free time doing far more than sitting on the couch or binge-watching Netflix.
Goals: what are they, and what aren’t they?
Before setting goals, you need to know what a goal is. A goal is something you want to achieve. It’s the desired result that you, or a group of people, plan and commit to achieving.
Goals are often long-term. They relate to people’s life and career plans or the long-term goals of a company or organization. Put simply, a goal is a dream with a deadline.
Still a bit confused? Here are some characteristics of what goals are and what they aren’t.
A goal is:
- Your vision for the future. Goals should be the result of careful consideration of a personal vision statement and things you want to achieve.
- Time-sensitive. The most effective goals are time-bound. Goals generally have a longer time frame. They can then be broken down into smaller, short-term objectives.
- Large in nature. Don’t be afraid to set a goal that seems like a reach. Feel free to think outside the box and dream big. You can set smaller, short-term goals to help you get there.
A goal is not:
- An objective. While goals describe what you want to achieve, objectives are the steps taken to reach the goal. For example, “I want to become a confident public speaker” is a goal. “I will work with a coach to practise my public speaking skills by the end of this month” is the objective.
- A resolution. Resolutions are often temporary, giving short-term gratification (opposed to delayed gratification). While a resolution is a decision to do or not do something, a goal is what you want to achieve.
- A mission. Mission statements create a clear and focused direction to follow. It’s the statement of purpose from which a company, business, or individual operates. On the other hand, a goal is a specific aim you or your team works toward.
If you’re having trouble succeeding as an entrepreneur, take a deeper look at how you spend your time while you’re not at work. Consider swapping out some of your less productive routines for the following:
Exercising is beneficial to both the body and the mind. People who exercise for 30 minutes five times a week, according to several studies, have superior general brain health, including improved mood, lower stress, more creativity, and clearer thinking. The best thing you can do to keep alert and alive while running your business is to exercise.
Have you ever observed that some of your most successful friends also have interesting lives outside of work? This is largely due to the personal interests people pursue. Hobbies are a great stress reliever and a great source of creativity.
Fostering a passion for studying is often a prerequisite for success. Learn something new if you want to instill a love of learning in yourself. Some people enjoy learning new languages, while others enjoy keeping up with the latest technological advancements.
Most people learn something that will help them in their future employment, such as IT fundamentals. Personal and business productivity can be increased by 37 percent when there is a good learning environment.
You don’t have an excuse not to learn something new with online tutorials, web-based instructional courses, and apps that provide help with only a few touches.
Mindfulness may help you relax, enhance productivity, stimulate creativity, and maintain your entire well-being, which is why yoga has become one of the most popular health activities today.
It’s crucial to emphasize that practicing mindfulness doesn’t always include doing yoga or meditating, although these are effective methods.
It may be as simple as sitting still for 20 minutes twice a day or laying back in your chair, staring up at the ceiling, and forgetting about the rest of the world for ten minutes.
Take the chance to serve the less fortunate if you’re losing sight of perspective and what matters most to you. Giving back to your community allows you to think about things other than work, which may help you assess how to enhance your company.
It’s the most effective approach to put your life into perspective and relieve stress caused by obsessing over your personal concerns.
Reading is the finest way to keep up with the actions of successful people. Reading can help you boost your creativity, better your work processes, and de-stress after a hard day, whether you’re keeping up with the latest news, studying a business-oriented self-help book, or reading the biography of a great person you like.
Take a break every now and then to focus entirely on the people you care about. For a few hours each week, stop thinking about what’s going on at work and appreciate what’s going on at home.
People who are healthy, happy, and successful recognize that spending time with their loved ones keeps them calm as they work their way up the corporate ladder.
8. Make a list.
You must first define what your objectives are in order to achieve them. Don’t let this procedure overwhelm you; trust your gut. Set a timer for three minutes and write down all of your goals without worrying about how difficult they will be to achieve.
After that, think about what changes you’ll need to do or lifestyle adjustments you’ll need to make in order to achieve your goals. Do not tuck your list away in a drawer; instead, refer to it on a frequent basis.
9. Keep a clean workspace.
Clutter not only gets in the way physically but has also been scientifically proven to distract you. Consider it not just a physical but also a mental catastrophe. Extra items on your desk compete for your attention, forcing your brain to continuously balance their existence with the items that are genuinely relevant to your task.
Consider how some of the things that have been sitting there for a while are likely taking you out of the current moment. Ask yourself a basic inquiry about any stuff you may feel emotionally attracted to: Is this thing inspiring me to attain my goals, or does it serve another purpose?
10. Minimize other types of distractions.
Your workstation may resemble the perfect fantasy of a Pinterest addict, but if you don’t eliminate additional sources of distraction, your minimalist workspace will be useless. Find ways to block family members, social media notifications, and personal phone calls and appointments (unless in an emergency).
Even if no one is around to watch you, make a routine for yourself and keep to it. Look the part if you’re doing a professional job, or at the very least change out of your pajamas.
11. Wake up super early.
It might be difficult to stay concentrated during the day, no matter how hard you try to isolate yourself from daily distractions such as children, errands, or even breaking news. Getting up early is one option that has helped numerous renowned entrepreneurs find time to work toward their goals.
Sure, our bodies get used to getting up at the same time every day, and it will take some time to change. Expect to add three hours to your morning routine in a day’s time. Becoming an early riser needs planning, patience, and mental clarity.
12. Make the most of your weekends.
While it’s vital to relax and rejuvenate during the weekend, it’s also a good idea to plan for your week, including how you’ll achieve your objective. Don’t let the sound of the alarm clock fill you with the dread of tedious activities when you wake up on Monday morning.
Set aside some time on Sunday night to plan your clothing for the next day or week, schedule meals, and organize your to-do list. You’ll sleep better, feel less stressed, and have more time to do the work you love.
13. Stop procrastinating.
You may begin a task only to find yourself strolling over to the refrigerator, checking email, or Googling symptoms of an unknown ailment (we’ve all done it). While it may appear that procrastination is unavoidable, consider the 15-minute rule:
Set a timer for 15 minutes and dedicate yourself to completing something you’ve been putting off for a long time. What are the chances? You can get into a groove and not want to quit when the timer goes off.
14. Find people to help you
You’d be crazy to believe that you can achieve success on your own, no matter how motivated you are. Even if someone else isn’t directly assisting you, it’s beneficial to identify a few people you can look up to, who can motivate you to persevere or hold you accountable.
A mentor, for example, might provide helpful advice so that you don’t have to learn basic things the hard way. You might benefit from having a cheerleader or sidekick to keep you motivated and accountable. Locate specific individuals who can assist you in bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to go.
15. Play the role.
Consider who you want to be. What will your new-and-improved self-behave like? What will you think, say, and do? You’ll probably want to present yourself as a humble but confident individual. Instead of slouching, sit up straight.
Rather than gazing into the distance or allowing your thoughts to wander, look them in the eyes and listen to what they have to say. Make a conscious effort to choose your words.
Success is more likely to follow if you can learn from others, make a good impression, and discipline yourself to show the world your actual ambitions.
16. Conduct periodic progress check-ins.
It’s not enough to start new behaviors and get rid of old ones. To stay on track, you must schedule a time to review yourself on a regular basis. Schedule quarterly review sessions if you’ve completed lesser goals that will lead to a larger one, or if you’ve given yourself a deadline (say, a year).
Reflect on what you’ve been doing and whether it’s working, as well as how you might revise your plan, during these check-ins with yourself. Allow your accomplishments to motivate you to keep going.
17. Motivate yourself with rewards.
You’ll have an added incentive to persevere if you create prizes for yourself once you’ve completed mini-milestones in addition to the larger objective.
Reaching a particular number of followers on social media, getting up at 4 a.m. for the first time in a week, or saving an extra $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 are all examples of milestones.
You may spoil yourself with a favorite dish, a spa treatment, new recreational equipment, or simply a relaxing day off. Whatever the situation may be, make sure your incentive system is appealing enough to inspire you to work hard while remaining modest enough to be long-term sustainable.
Ready to set life goals and achieve them?
Now that you know how important goals are, it’s time to take the first step toward setting goals and achieving them.
Whether it’s personal goals for yourself or company-driven goals for your team, the goal-setting process can help you find purpose and meaning in your life.
Setting a goal is not so difficult, but it’s not easy to take the necessary steps and fulfill personal objectives. However, this is only a matter of self-discipline and planning, so you should think about the ways to make your targets achievable and realistic.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and your team members. Even if you don’t reach all of your goals, just having them written down can provide a deeper sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
Still not sure how to set goals and achieve them? Or do you just need more help on your goal-setting journey?