GOALS: How to Set Them and Why They Are Critical to Your Success
You know when people say, “WOW, where did time go? I blinked and an entire year went by!’ Those statements never really resonate with me. I always feel like time DOES fly by, but it has been SO full of new experiences, amazing opportunities, and incredible people that I wanted to start off by saying that I am incredibly grateful for the community that surrounds RX Ashlee and the hundreds of men and women looking to make a change in their personal and professional lives.
Now that 2018 is behind us, I wanted to share with you ONE thing I did in 2018 that was significantly different than any other year regarding goal setting...
I had a VERY clear roadmap! Gone are the days where I set vague professional plans for what my year will hopefully look like. As I get deeper into the weeds of my business and more clear on what I define what success as, I am forcing myself to set clearer limits and boundaries for not only myself but also with where I want to take my career and my business.
So - here’s the realization I came to after thinking about my 2019 goals: sometimes, setting specific goals doesn’t really mean anything to me. What I’ve found to be the most valuable is creating a crystal clear vision for myself and creating specific steps that will lead me to accomplish my goal – and, let’s be real, those steps may end up being MORE critical and important than the actual goal itself.
In this blog, I’ll be giving you some insider tips on setting #goals and how we should actually be changing our mindset in order to THRIVE in 2019.
Why We Need to go Beyond Just “Setting Goals”
I think the phrase “setting goals” is overused, too vague, and not clearly defined.
When it comes to planning out a year, it’s important to start off with your specific intentions for the year.
First, set the intention that this 2019 YEAR WILL BE THE BEST YEAR EVER! This goes beyond the usual resolutions that we pledge at the start of the year: lose weight, start eating a better diet, save money, blah blah blah.
Instead, you will want to create a strategy and a plan that will lead you to accomplish your goals and feel like your intentions were true to yourself and the future you envision.
Be Realistic: Set Attainable and Measurable Goals
It can be tempting to over-engineer this planning process by making idealized goals that sound good to the ear, but ultimately may lead to more stress than success.
Think of this time as your opportunity to create three different categories of goals: Immediate, short-term, and long-term goals.
For each one, ask yourself: what steps are you willing to take every. single. day to be able to achieve it?
Having a clear definition of your goals, and a ladder to ensure you are taking the appropriate steps, is very critical to ensuring your big goals are obtained.
Set yourself up for success by making sure that you’ve FIRST created a DEFINITION of what success means for each goal. For example, you could say that a general goal for 2019 is to “get new clients.”
Now, take that goal a step further and add in more detail by noting: “Get 15 New Client Accounts each month in 2019.”
From there, you’ll want to note that you’ll be “reaching out to X prospects a week to close Y new deals every month.” And THAT will be how you specifically can measure the success of your processes, which should lead to 2019 closing out with you having reached that goal.
The best goals you can set for yourself will be challenging, attainable, and measurable all at once – so you’ll need to take the time to really plan your moves and make sure they happen!
Setting “Micro Goals”
One important point that I want to emphasize is the importance of setting “micro goals.”
Think of these are individual steps in a ladder, which will ultimately help you reach the top and accomplish your big goals for the year. Some people also like to think of micro goals are milestones, which clearly mark how much progress you’ve made.
Micro goals are extremely specific and should allow you to clearly measure their success and how much closer you’ve come to reaching your big goals.
As I mentioned above, it is KEY that you add in a very specific level of detail to each of your goals and how you’re going to accomplish them. How many of us have resolved to lose weight or save money, only to end the year without any progress being made? In those cases, it’s likely that you didn’t set up specific micro goals and worked the steps you need to take into your schedule in order to make it happen.
Ultimately, micro goals are going to give you the BOOST you need to be SUCCESSFUL. They motivate you each and every day by getting the ball rolling on those big goals, keep up the momentum for the rest of your work, and create a clear path to achieving what it is you want to achieve.
How to Know if You’ve Set a Good Goal
Similar to having your own unique definition of success, defining a REALLY strong goal is really up to you. The power is all in your hands, and 2019 can be your best year so far – or it can be more of the same.
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re looking to change things up and make this new year even BETTER than before.
If you’re wondering if the goals you’ve set are good or not, ask yourself if they’re
1) challenging, 2) attainable, 3) measurable.
Write out the nitty-gritty details and make sure that your smaller goals all lead to your BIGGER goals. There should be DOZENS of small goals in comparison to your bigger end-goals simply because they should all be funneling into each other.
And, if you really want to make sure your goals are attainable and “good,” you can always reach out to your support system for advice!
Get Your Support System in Place ASAP
Speaking from experience, the BEST way to make sure you achieve all of your goals in the new year is by creating a SUPPORT SYSTEM that is rooted in accountability and honesty.
This year, I made sure that I created a team that was aligned with my vision and goals – but that they’ll also speak up and hold me accountable.
I pushed myself past my limits. I tried new things. I got to take my career to a totally elevated level. I worked with the most AWESOME people. And I participated in multiple events all because the people I was surrounded by were ALL holding me accountable to my word.
Working with people who will hold you accountable for your goals is HUGE.
I am in multiple mastermind groups, some focused ONLY in pharmacy, so that I can talk pharmacy talk with them, bounce ideas around, and they GET me.
On top of that, the strongest group that I identify with are entrepreneurs. These people are the BUSINESS PEOPLE who can give me amazing feedback, soul-to-soul talks, and advice even when I am feeling totally lost.
Chances are that without the support from my Content Manager, Nancy, I would never be pushing out new material as much as I do. The podcasts would not be happening if it weren't for the Founder and Content Creator of the Pharmacist Podcast Network, Todd. As well as my intern, Michael, who keeps The RX Buzz organized and functioning like a well-oiled machine. My two books would NOT be getting written or published if it was not for my co-author, Joanna Lewis (also stay tuned on our book!). My presentations would be procrastinated on until the very last minute if it was not for my business coach, Danielle.
Also, most importantly, my clients are seeing the BEST results from their businesses and careers because I am that person holding them accountable to their own goals, dreams, visions, and desires… it is A HUGE CYCLE HERE.
Get my point? Someone is always pushing me (and my clients!) to get to the next level. Leveling up is not something I recommend trying without some sort of a support group.
Here’s the thing, though, our support systems may not always be our friends and family. In fact, they may not even be in the same city or country as us! Instead of focusing exclusively on the people in our immediate circle, we need to get more comfortable with reaching out for support on the web if we need it.
Tracking and Measuring Your Successes
Some people find that being extremely detail-oriented can help them measure their successes. For others, they’re seeking a feeling that will let them know they’ve reached their goals.
My personal opinion is that we should always keep track of what we are doing in each role.
This is not just true for job seekers, it’s true for EVERYONE because you need data to measure success and data talks.
Want that raise? You need to be able to ARTICULATE to your boss or manager the things you’ve been doing and the value you’ve added, not just that you’ve vaguely met all of your goals.
Everyone manages this differently. Whether it is crossing off items on your “To Do” list, having different colors in your planners, or entering actual data points into a spreadsheet, it’s important to monitor how you’re actually spending your time AND how it’s paying off.
Personally, I am trying to be more intentional with my time. So, ensuring that I set a specific calendar week-by-week and day-by-day helps me make sure that I accomplish the tasks that I am supposed to and that whatever is in front of me is CRITICAL to launching my new business.
Remember: DATA SPEAKS. So keep track of everything you do, reflect on it frequently, and find the right methods of measuring success for each of your goals.
Sticking to Your Goals (Even If You Fall Off the Wagon)
One of the biggest reasons that people get sidetracked from their goals is the fact that we’re ALL prone to falling off the wagon from time to time. You get caught up in different priorities: family life, personal life, different projects, travel requirements, etc.
Sure, you may start the year off going to the gym 5 days a week or working on your book 3 hours every day, but the SECOND something else comes up – we fall off the wagon.
Suddenly, getting up at 5 am every weekday to go to the gym is impossible. And working on your book falls to the wayside once other responsibilities pipe back up.
This is precisely why PRIORITIES ARE CRITICAL here. Unfortunately, at any given time, one of your priorities may be demanding more of your attention than another one (insert kids here!). In a few weeks, maybe the responsibility that had to take a temporary backseat will rotate back into your “To Do” list.
Or maybe it won’t, which is when “falling off the wagon” turns into “the horses ran away and now the wagon has actually been stolen too.”
When this happens, which it probably will, it’s important to give yourself the space to step away from the hustle of achieving your goals, or the guilt of not getting stuff done, and REFLECT.
Think back on your original plan, adjust what needs to get done, and don’t let anxiety, guilt, or anything else hold you back any longer. Remember the perseverance principle and how much you can help yourself by simply LIVING and BREATHING the ups and downs of your journey toward a goal.
If you have set attainable goals with the right support systems in place, you should be able to achieve your goals even if you fell off the wagon once or twice.
Whether you’re setting goals to start 2019 off on the right foot, or a mid-year rejuvenation (depending on when you’re reading this), it’s never too late to revisit your goals and get the right system in place to make sure you’re successful!