Edwina McQueen

Seven steps for staying focused on your goals.
In this article I discuss the difference between a goal and an objective and share seven steps on how to stay focused on your goals.

When setting goals, it’s important to recognise the difference between a goal and an objective.   A goal is an aspirational statement based on what the future looks like.  Objectives are the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

Before attempting to reach a goal it’s important to consider your objectives and create a plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound (SMART) to keep you on target.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”

Pablo Picasso


Here are seven steps I use to stay focused on my goals:

  1. Set habits. Adopt a mindset of accountability e.g.  I wake up early every morning and hold myself accountable to action my objectives for the day, before I do anything else. “Win the morning, win the day”.
  2. Write it down. Keep track of how you are doing.  Studies show that you will be 1-4 times more likely to achieve you goal if you write it down.
  3. Take one step at a time. When we experience success, our brain releases a ‘feel good’ hormone.  Each time this happens we are motivated to continue to exceed and re-experience the same positive feeling.  The opposite happens when we experience failure.  That’s why some people fail to reach their goals.
  4. Tell others. This way you become accountable to others as well as yourself for your actions.
  5. Challenge yourself. Don’t make it too easy but be realistic.
  6. Have fun. Celebrate your success.
  7. Find and develop a relationship with a coach/mentor. A mentor can help you grow both in your personal and professional life by providing guidance from their own personal experiences.

It is important to keep reviewing your goals. Before you can achieve anything, you need to know what you want.  You must decide that whatever you are doing is important to you, that it’s worth it.   And if it isn’t it’s time to set a new, more meaningful goal.

Finally, last month I shared the classic coaching tool the Wheel of Life to help you think about your high-level goals and keep them alive visually.  Also, a simple planning worksheet to help you set your SMART objectives. ICYMI, download my [FREE] Goal setting toolkit here http://bit.ly/EMC2020plan