No matter how you choose to live your life odds are that you try to set goals. Setting goals is great, but how often do you meet your goals? Were you able to reach your goals in the past?
Unfortunately, most college students (including myself) and new graduates have a difficult time with reaching goals. When I first wrote about goal setting here at Studenomics I discussed the importance of SMART goal setting and how sometimes goals need to be broken down into tiny tasks. One thing that I never went into detail on was practical tips for helping you meet your goals. I’m still learning about smart goal setting and being able to reach goals consistently.
Thankfully I came across a great article that shared a productivity secret that Jerry Seinfeld uses for smart goal setting. The productivity tip was so practical that I decided to implement it immediately.
What is this great goal setting secret? Allow me to put it into my own words.
If you want to meet a goal you must practice every single day. In order to ensure you practice every single day you purchase a giant wall calendar that has all 365 days of the year on it and when you work on the goal (no matter how short a period of time) mark a giant X in with a marker for that day. After a few days you’ll enjoy seeing the red X’s on the calendar. Keep on going until all you see on your calendar is a bunch of red X’s. Daily practice will turn this new task into a habit and you’ll quickly be able to reach your goals.
What goes wrong when you try to reach your goals?
Goals seem too time consuming.
You get all excited about losing weight. Then you suddenly realize that you actually have to move on that treadmill for a full hour. You now come to the realization that losing those 20 pounds will take much longer than expected. In order to improve your credit score, you’re going to have to wait a few months until you see any results at all.
We often fear that we don’t have enough time to reach our goals or we simply get lazy by the thought of all of the work needed.
Goals seem so big that you don’t know where to start.
To expand on the previous point, not only will some of your goals require a lot of time, but reaching your goals will require tons of dedication and energy. Trying to figure out what to do after college isn’t easy. Where do you start? It feels too challenging to figure out where to start.
How does this productivity tip helps you reach your goal?
Breaks down your goals into tiny tasks.
Losing 20 pounds doesn’t seem so bad when you realize you just need to squeeze in an extra 20 minutes of walking every day for a few months. If you only need to dedicate a small portion of your daily time to an activity you won’t be as stressed out as you would be trying to tackle a major goal without knowing where to start.
Keeps your eye on the prize.
If you want to learn a new language and you simply spend an hour every day learning something new you will be constantly improving. If you’re trying to get in shape for a marathon then a little bit of exercise daily will keep your mind on the “prize” of being able to complete this marathon soon.
You can reach your goals in a less stressful manner.
I kind of started following this tip a few years ago in college when I realized that if I worked on an assignment slowly over time I would get it done relatively stress free. Staying up all night to complete an assignment was taking its toll on me and it was stressing me out. You can also use this goal setting tip to help you decide if you should buy or a rent a home in your 20s. You can check out different places in your area by going to one viewing a day and so on.
You don’t need any goal setting software to reach your goals. All you need is a simple calendar and a marker.