Well, I’m going to assume that you’re already on board with setting goals – if you’re not you might find it useful to see how some rather accomplished people have used these techniques for some life changing results.
To start, I’d like to share with you two different time-scales that we can use.
Basically, it’s “short term” and “long term”.
I define these as follows:
- Short term is generally daily or weekly based
- Long term is generally 12 week (3 months) based – sometimes longer
With that in mind, let’s look at the short term and see how we can go about doing this.
Main Ideas For Short Term Goal Setting
- Very specific
- Lay out the steps
- Perform on a regular basis
- Works well for making sure you accomplish tasks and not just spend time “doing things”
How is this different from tasks or creating a todo list?
There’s certainly some overlap depending on your style, but the main point here is to set actionable, specific, tasks that move you towards your larger goals.
That last part is really important – why didn’t I start with that?
Why Start With The Short Term?
I’ve found that it’s much easier to start with your daily goal setting and get into the habit of thinking about, listing, and working on these items first and then creating those longer term goals.
Once you have the habit built and working, you can more easily accomplish your longer term ideas.
We all have a tendency to wander into more vague ideas and terms when setting those big, audacious, long term goals and having the experience of setting specific short term ones will greatly help you when moving into the long term.
Moving Into The Long Term
This is the realm of “big ideas” – big, awesome, potentially life changing goals that we want to use to drive ourselves and our businesses forward.
Yes, this can be done in 90 days.
Yes, this is a great way to plan!
And yes, if you do this regularly you will see results.
Listing out your ideas here doesn’t have to be greatly different from your short term planning, but I want to reinforce a few ideas.
- Be specific
- Lay out the steps (milestones, action items, etc)
- Review regularly
Being specific will help you create goals that make sense – you’ll uncover problems quickly, and will be much more likely to succeed. There is an incredible amount of research and writing on this topic, if you’re not convinced I highly suggest you do a quick search or ask me during a live Q&A in the Real World Productivity group.
Laying out the steps is a continuation of the specificity. By breaking it down into discrete steps you’re helping yourself find the path that will utlimately get you the results you want.
For example, what scenario do you think is more likely to work?
- A goal of “generate $100k in sales this quarter”
- Generate $100k in sales this quarter by:
- Reviewing and updated sales call process
- Performing 1 hour of new client prospecting every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm
- Content every current client and interview about potential additional work in web design for next 30 days
It’s not rocket science, yet most of us get sidetracked by the day to day and don’t put the time needed into these concepts.
I’m as guilty as anyone which is why I dove into this topic to see how I could help myself and create systems that work and pushed me forward!
Using A Template
Having a template, guide, or goal setting worksheet can be extremely helpful.
It’s a great starting point to help you start the process – once you’ve gotten started you can then alter and customize it as needed.
I’ve shared the template that I use, you can grab it for free here: https://productivity.academy/goal-setting/worksheet/