How to stay motivated and stick to your goals

stay motivated when goal setting
Goals are priceless if you have tools in place to keep you motivated and ensure you are accountable throughout the year. The more you can return to them, measure your progress and see how you’re tracking, the more likely you are to achieve them.

The key is to find out what motivates you. It’s a personal process, which means not every technique will necessarily speak to you. Here are some ways that might help you build a stronger focus on your goals in 2017.

  1. Set aside quality time

Many people rush through their annual goal setting, yet this is a precious exercise for yourself and your business. If you are able to turn your attention to the process, it really pays off.

Take the time to find value in the process, and understand what a greater focus on personal and professional goals could mean for your future success.

To stay motivated, you want your goals to hold meaning and give you a clear purpose. By using this time to understand your purpose, your goals are more achievable when life gets busier later in the year.

  1. Break goals down

Start with the broad goals, and break these down into smaller objectives that you can work towards. Then be sure to reward yourself and your team along the way to avoid losing motivation.

For example, if you want to build a new website for your business and don’t have the skills or resources to do so, the fear of failure can be off-putting. Instead, break the overall goal of having a new website down into milestones you can start to achieve.

Focus on what you can do today and ensure you reward success, even for the steps as you go. The ability to reward yourself as you make progress is a great motivator, and means a bit more than just ticking something off a list.

Also be sure to measure how far you have travelled, not how far you have to go.

  1. Work with the experts

With your list goals, you can enlist others to help you achieve them and keep track of how they are going.  This applies in both your personal and business goals.

Work out who will be the most helpful in working towards specific goals, whether that’s your partner, a colleague or an external advisor.

For example, say your personal goal is to set up a self-managed super fund. It is likely this will take a lot of unnecessary leg work to get right, so rather use your time to find a professional to make the most of your efforts.

If outsourcing helps you achieve your goal, do it.

  1. Be resilient

Like everything in life, meeting goals involves sticking it out and dealing with the challenges that will inevitably arise along the way. Ideally, to stay resilient you’ll want to try and keep your emotions in check and avoid getting flustered if things don’t go exactly to plan.

How flexible you are able to be with your goals will also affect how easy it is to stay resilient. Be prepared to put some goals aside, add new steps or refocus altogether, as long as they continue to align with a key purpose or vision, you will keep heading in the right direction.

Staying motivated is first and foremost in finding your purpose to achieve your goals. Be sure to have clearly laid out plans and a realisation that you can’t do it all on your own. And you will be well on your way to creating achievable goals to keep you motivated throughout the year.


BRichard-Applebyy: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Richard Appleby

Effective goal setting: 4 common mistakes to avoid when setting goals

Effective goal-setting

Now is the ideal time for leaders to sit down to think about what they want their business to look like in a year’s time. Effective goal setting is not as simple as writing down large-scale objectives and hoping you achieve them.

Many people consequently make mistakes in this process, forgetting that goal setting is actually the first step in the process, to achieving desired goals. With this in mind, here are some of the most common mistakes that are easy to avoid with the right guidance:

  1. Don’t forget your personal goals for effective goal setting

The goals you have for your business aren’t the only directives that should shape the months ahead. All too often, senior executives make a plan for the new year that doesn’t account for their own personal goals.

Most leaders spend the majority of their time working tirelessly on the company, to ensure it achieves greater value for shareholders or competes better in its particular market. It’s easy to neglect your personal investment in these goals, the impact on your life as well as that of the company. Answering the question of why, will help you to find a balance.

  1. Misunderstanding your needs

Most of you will be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but how many of you are confident applying it to your everyday lives? As a leader, you need to be aware of how your position dictates your needs and shape your goals accordingly.

It’s almost a given that some of the lower levels of the pyramid such as physiological and safety needs will be taken care of, which means you can focus on more of the self-fulfilment needs that sit closer to the top. Achieving your potential through self-actualisation can really help you understand why you do what you do, and how you need to shape goals accordingly.

  1. These are not just your goals

Take the time to talk through your goals. Whether it’s your spouse, your children or other family members, talk through your ideas for the future. As these people may be just as affected by your decisions as you and have an invested interest.

For your personal goals, it can be as simple as regular date nights for you and your partner, or as grand as meeting savings goals and travelling more. The point is that it builds on that personal element mentioned above, and helps to build that why that links your objectives with that of the business.

For your business goals, you may want to find a mentor or business advisor to talk through your goals.

  1. Forgetting to be accountable

The other positive that stems from bringing family into the goal-setting process is that they can help you stay accountable. It’s not just you ticking off a list by yourself, it’s important people in your life asking ‘how are we going with our goals?’. This is especially important with regards to personal goals, as these people add just a bit of extra motivation and ensure your progress is being tracked.

It’s not just family that can keep you on your toes either. Sharing personal goals with a peer group or mentor, means you have yet another audience that isn’t afraid to ask you tough questions about your achievements as the year progresses. Maybe the friendly pressure of a surprise interrogation every now and again will result in the motivation you need to keep on track with your goals.

Overall it easier to set up goals that are achievable and to follow through on your promises by creating personal connections and genuine measures of accountability as the first step.


Ian NealBy: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Ian Neal