The problem with setting goals and 6 ways to achieve them with ease

It’s the time of year when we like to think about what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months, reflecting on what worked, what didn’t and where we want to be in 12 months time.

Setting goals is never really an issue. That’s the easy part. It’s sticking to them that’s the problem.

Who else has set a goal of eating healthier in the new year, only to fail after the first two weeks? Or have you committed to exercising every day only to be making excuses before the end of January hits?

It’s definitely not easy.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way of actually STICKING to those goals? Some tools or strategies you could use to help make the chances of sticking to them higher, and easier?

Here are 6 ways to help you stay on track with your personal goals this year.

1. Write it down

If you set a goal in your head the chances of you achieving it are not great. You are  20% more likely to achieve your goal  just by writing it down – it’s a scientific fact. So you have nothing to lose and quite literally 20% to gain by writing down your goal. As quoted by Antoine de Saint-Exupery “A goal without a plan is just a wish”

2. Get accountable 

There is good reason why people who work on their own join co-working meetups online and in person. Or why we have personal trainers and diet support groups. Self-motivating is hard for the majority of us. So getting accountable to someone is key for those of us that need it. According to the same study linked above, those that make themselves accountable get 40% more done. 40%!! So whether that’s being accountable to your boss, mentor, coach, peers, friends or family. Talk to someone about your goals if you are serious about achieving them.

3. Celebrate the Wins 

Set yourself a goal for each week and month, or even each year. Having goals will give you something to focus on and create a map of where you want to go.

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4. Stay focused

Distractions are quite literally everywhere. But the great news is that technology can help. There are a number of productivity tools, trackers and apps that can help you stay focused on your goals. Why not set up an Asana board, and break your big goal down into lots of small goals so that you can tick them off as you go? It’s perfect if you are more of a visual person. You can find more productivity tools on our blog here.

5. Are you sure it’s a SMART goal?

If you are finding your goal hard then have you really make sure it’s a smart goal. We know the term SMART so well that often we don’t actually sit down and tick off each of the criteria. For a recap a SMART goal is:

Specific – Is your goal specific enough? Don’t be too broad. ‘Become a better leader’ for example is too broad. How exactly will you do that? 

Measurable – How will you know when you have met your goal? 

Attainable – Can you realistically achieve this goal? 

Relevant – Does your goal fit into your life purpose and what you need right now?

Time-bound – When do you want to achieve this goal? Next week? Next month? Next year?

6. Create good habits

Good habits will help you to achieve your goal – but starting a new habit isn’t easy. A great way to start a new habit is to attach it to an old one. So say your goal is to drink 3 pints of water a day. Every time you get up to go to the toilet, go to the kitchen and get half a pint of water. Once you start doing that regularly, getting water will become part of that routine and you won’t have to even think about it.

If you follow each of the steps listed above then you are far more likely to achieve the goals you set for yourself in 2022.



Join us for more

If you want some accountability with your goals next year then head over and join The CIO Circle for free masterclasses on productivity and leadership. The CIO Circle membership, is a community of likeminded tech leaders who aspire to do more and be more.

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