We hear people talk about goals all the time, but I’m sure you’d agree that there’s much more to it than tagging something aspirational as #goals. If we want to get anywhere in life, goals are the bricks in our pathway. It’s easy to set goals, but what does it take to actually achieve them?
Turns out there are four essential elements to keep in mind when setting your goals that can make the difference between success and failure. It all comes down to making a P.A.C.T. with yourself. This handy little acronym that we created will be your go-to tool when setting goals and a valuable diagnostic when you’re troubleshooting and evaluating progress.
P: Plan of Action
In order to achieve anything of significance, we have to set a direction to aim towards and have a plan in place to help us get there. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there? When setting goals, make sure that you not only pick a target that is both challenging and attainable, but that you also make time to map out actionable strategies that will get the ball rolling.
Even with the best intentions, our personal motivation doesn’t always cut it. There’s a reason, you never miss a deadline when your boss is checking in! Real results come when we have someone in place to keep us on track. In fact, studies show that setting a specific time to regularly check in with someone about your progress can increase your chances of success by up to 95%. That’s amazing! This is often the missing factor for a lot of people.
When we think about what it is actually going to take to achieve our goals, we are frequently drawn to the big power moves. However, in reality, what really creates the change and results we are looking for is a series of small actions repeated day-in and day-out consistently that help us get to the end goal that we really want. In short, most everything we want is on the other side of consistency.
The final element of P.A.C.T. is time. If you’re not seeing the results you want, you may not be putting in enough time. It’s helpful to periodically evaluate how much time you are actually investing towards the accomplishment of your goal. For example, you may be going to the gym for an hour and a half, but how much of that did you actually spend physically working out versus wandering around and talking with friends? Remember, great things rarely happen overnight. Be realistic about the investment of time and effort that is required to reach the desired outcome. Maybe you just need to give it a little more time.
So, when you’re ready to set your sights on a new goal, make sure you hit all four elements of P.A.C.T., and if you find yourself wondering why things aren’t going as planned, do a check to see where you may be falling short in each of these four elements.
If you’re committed to reaching your goals, be sure to make a P.A.C.T.