In the process of honing their life lists, members from the now-defunct-but-legendary website, 43Things.com, have experimented with countless goal-setting techniques and discovered which methods promote progress and which ones fail to yield results.
An elite group fashioned this knowledge into their own personal goal-setting strategies and quickly mastered the art of getting things done. Around 43Things, such all-stars were known as Champion Goal-Achievers.
Champion Goal-Achievers often shared a few of their life list-making principles and practices. Here’s their best goal-getting advice from my research.
When selecting a goal which qualities are most important?
The most important quality is that the goal is realistic. If it is a”big” goal that might take a long time to complete, break it down into smaller goals to make it more manageable.
A good example for this is the goal to lose weight. Rather than having the goal of lose weight, which is vague, adopt the goal lose 5 pounds. If you want to lose a large amount of weight, looking at a huge number each time you review your goals isn’t likely to inspire you.
Use an incremental approach as part of your weight loss plan by selecting smaller weight loss goals is a steadfast approach for achieving success.
How do you manage goals on your list?
Define goals as short or long-term and then label them as high, medium or low priority. Using these categories, organize your list in the following order:
At the top are the high priority short-term tasks, such as write a resume.
Beneath those are high priority long-term goals. An example is selling my house.
Following these goals, place high priority life-long goals like take care of myself.
List goals that keep you on track and prevent you from procrastinating. A good example is stop procrastinating.
Next are longer-term activities such as remember my mother.
At the bottom add low-to-medium priority goals or new goals.
How do you stay focused and maintain your momentum?
Give support to others who are also pursuing goals. It is always interesting to see what other people are working towards and it will remind you what you’re working for.
Cheering people with similar goals and reading others’ accomplishments and posts can help you stay motivated.
What tactics do you find to be the most effective for completing goals?
In addition to announcing your goal to a friendly person who has similar interests, track progress with a diary.
Put daily tasks in a calendar and regularly review the list.
How do you overcome pitfalls while working on goals?
The best thing to do if you feel stuck, self-critical and depressed (there is a link between self-criticism and depression) while working on a goal is to take action.
Get up and go complete some quick and easy task that is meaningful to you. Cleaning or organizing tasks can be really motivating.
But make sure not to select too large a task like clean the entire house because often you’ll get sidetracked or start procrastinating. Choose a small task like washing the dishes, which is short and gets you moving.
Once you’re done washing the dishes you’ll find that your energy level is up and you’re ready to move on to the next task.
And there you have it! Goal-setting advice from the now-obscure elite goal-getting crews that used to play together on 43Things.