Working in advertising sales for 20 years, one of the first things I learned was the importance of hitting goals. If you don’t hit your sales goals, you don’t last very long. But when you’re handed a seemingly insurmountable sales target to hit, it can feel useless to even try. This is why setting short term goals is important.
I learned early on the importance of setting personal goals of my own in order to successfully hit the goals the company had set for me. Here’s why setting goals will catapult your success.
Why Setting Goals Will Catapult Your Success
You Need a Big Picture
When I was little, I liked to play M.A.S.H. with my friends. If you’re unfamiliar, it stood for Mansion, Apartment, Shack or House. You would list out the cars you’d want to have, the number of kids you wanted, and the people you wanted to marry. Then you drew a spiral and counted the number of levels. This gave you your magic number and you moved counterclockwise around the options that number of times, crossing out each option once you reached the magic number. Finally you came up with your future prediction.
Contrary to the game results, I didn’t marry Bo Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard and never got a Trans Am but this game got me into the habit early on of vision casting for my future. As I got older, I continued vision casting in much more practical ways. Envisioning myself graduating high school, going to college, having a career, getting married, traveling, etc.
If you don’t see a big picture of what you want out of life, you’ll get what you get. You’ll settle for mediocre. Or worse, you’ll get stuck on survive and never really move beyond the trials of life that will most surely come.
Where there is no vision, the people perish.King Solomon
We need a motivator, something that causes us to keep going when the going gets tough. Something that gets us started toward accomplishment. That is vision. Vision is so important. How you see your life unfolding is the first step to living a meaningful and abundant life.
For example, when I started this blog I created a vision board of what I wanted it to be. Rudyard Kipling is my favorite poet. This quote is something I keep on my vision board for Honey and Figs, to remind myself of the reason I started writing. That if I can put my experiences into words, they can impact people and help people more profoundly than any drug. It inspires me to keep writing.
Why Setting Short Term Goals is Important
Getting from your vision to actual implementation of that vision requires focus and intention. Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals will catapult your success faster than anything else. The reason I know this is because I have both set goals and neglected to set goals, so I can assure you that the latter does not bring success.
When I first started Honey and Figs, I neglected to set monthly goals for my blog because it seemed too arbitrary. Starting from zero made success seem so far away that it was hard to imagine what success would look like on a monthly basis. In January I started setting goals and I have experienced first hand how goal setting can improve performance.
Without any goals, you can feel like you’re constantly striving but have nothing to measure against and nothing to propel you forward. When you set short term goals, you can look back on your success and this will feed even more success.
Setting short term goals also helps with focus. It’s hard to know where to start to achieve a big goal, so prioritizing by asking “will this activity get me to my goal?” really helps you know what to focus on next. When we have focus we manage our time well and can achieve what we set out to do much faster and more efficiently than when we are just meandering around with no goals in sight.
Long Term Goals
I have been quantifying short term goals for as long as I can remember, but I only recently came to understand the value of quantifying long term goals. I started saving for retirement at the age of 24 but I never really stopped to set a retirement goal. It was just obvious to me that I’d need to retire one day and should save some money in my 401k, so I did.
I recently took the time to ask myself how much money I would like to make monthly in retirement. I was then able to quantify how much money I would need to retire and figured out based on my investments and my projected social security (if that’s still around by the time I retire) that I could reach my goal and actually retire in 10 years.
This was a huge eye opener for me. Before setting this long term goal, I just believed like everyone else I knew that I would need to work until I was 70.
Now that I have this long term goal, I am taking steps in the short term to catapult my success. I am actively tracking my progress and investments, cutting expenses, sticking to a budget, etc.
How Setting Goals Will Catapult Your Success
It doesn’t matter what your vision, the secret to catapulting your success is to set long term and short term goals against that vision to make it come to pass.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, hit a sales target at work, start a business or take a vacation, you can achieve it if you plan it. Here’s a practical example of why setting goals will catapult your success.
First get a vision of what you want. Whether that be a picture you found on the internet to inspire you or one of the skinny jeans you want to fit into from your closet. Have that vision somewhere you can look at it everyday.
Second, quantify your goal. “Losing weight” doesn’t cut it as a goal. “Losing 5 lbs by Summer” is a quantifiable goal.
Third, divide the total quantified amount by the amount of time in months or weeks that you have to accomplish it. You will need to lose 1 lb per week for the next five weeks in order to hit your goal by Summer. This is your short term goal.
You know you will achieve your goal in 5 weeks if you stay on track with your weekly goals between now and Summer. This is way more of a sure thing than saying “I am going to try to get in shape for Summer”. Your chances of success just catapulted by quantifying what you want to achieve and setting a timeline for achieving it.
In short, setting goals will catapult your success because both short term and long term goals serve as a roadmap for how to get to where you want to go.
Start with a vision for what you want, something to inspire you. Quantify what it will take to reach your vision. Set a timeline for your achievement of your vision. Divide the quantified result by the amount of time you will take to accomplish it and give yourself daily short term goals to hit.
Success comes with the little things we do every day to move us forward that add up to the big things later.
Happy Goal Setting!
Welcome to Honey & Figs! I’m Lisa. I love helping people with practical ways to live more abundant lives based on my own experience. You can click here to find out more about me.
Become part of the Honey & Figs Community & get the Newsletter