Goal setting is a fundamental concept of life. It gives us purpose. It’s what keeps us operating as people. We always have to keep working towards something. Tony Robbins touched on this in an interview with Tim Ferriss where he said, “Life is growth baby, if you don’t keep growing you’re going to die.” That’s such a great quote because constant growth is so important throughout life.
The folks that have long-term success and more importantly long-term happiness are the ones that can consistently convert on their goals. Whether they be on a personal level… live a healthy lifestyle, buy a vacation home, travel the world… a professional level… start a successful business, get that promotion, obtain a certain certification… or a financial level… save enough to retire at 50, pay off that student loan in 7 years instead of 10, create multiple streams of income, goals are ingrained in human nature.
If goals are so important towards a successful and happy life, why is it that so many of us set goals that we never end up accomplishing?
Are they just unattainable? Do we not want to accomplish them bad enough? Are we scared? One could make an argument for all of these questions being the reason.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that no matter how simple or farfetched a goal is, in order for us to accomplish it, we have to apply a series of steps to ensure we are consistently making progress. We can’t just look at the goal by itself. We have to analyze it and break it down into manageable, quantifiable steps, to hold ourselves accountable.
We’ve all had those moments where we say to ourselves “someday I’ll travel the world, someday I’ll start saving for retirement, someday I’ll start exercising”.
This is such a common conversation to have with oneself. The thing is that many of us have these visions of what we want to accomplish but never seriously think about the process. All we think about is the end result.
The more we think about what could be, the further we get away from what actually is.
We have to understand where we are now, as well as where we want to be, and then carve a path to connect those two places. If we fail to do this we increase the likelihood that something very achievable won’t ever be anything more than a pipe dream.
What I have found that works with people and businesses alike is the ability breakdown goals into bite size proportions. I like to look at this as setting many small achievable goals as opposed to one big goal. It’s ok to have an overall idea to shoot for but once we know that overall goal, we must lay out the process we are going to use to achieve it.
Say our goal is to get 1000 new instagram followers in 5 months. Whether it’s for personal benefit or the benefit of a business, it’s very accomplishable if gone about in a way that allows us to convert on it.
The term converting is well known in business. Whether it is taking a someone from an email subscriber to a paying customer, or from a one-time reader to a loyal advocate of our writing. The concept of conversion is something we must understand if we want to be successful.
When it comes to achieving our goals, conversion rate applies in the same way.
I’ll define “conversion rate”, as it pertains to goals, as the ability for us to consistently accomplish what we want to accomplish. It’s about setting goals that are achievable as opposed to delusions of grandeur.
To set goals that are achievable we need to lay out a series of attainable steps to get us to our desired outcome.
So what are the steps to take?
- Define the Vision – Write down exactly what you want to accomplish when it’s all said and done
- Set a timeline to achieve this…3 months? 1 year? 5 years?
- Breakdown the timeline into manageable steps – In order to reach your goal by your desired date, how much of that goal needs to be accomplished in a week? A month? 5 months? a year?… etc.
- Develop an Action Plan – Create a realistic plan that keeps you moving forward
- Stay consistent
This Instagram post by Gary Vaynerchuk says it all. If we aren’t consistent with our goals, we will delay our ability to achieve them and in some cases, fail to achieve them all together.
Let’s use the above example regarding getting 1000 Instagram followers in 5 months to put these 5 steps into action.
- Define the vision
- 1000 Instagram followers
- Set a timeline
- 5 months
- Breakdown that timeline into smaller more manageable proportions
- 200 followers per month
- 50 followers per week
- ~7 followers a day
- Develop an Action Plan
- Post regularly
- Use relevant hashtags to reach communities in your area of interest
- If you are looking to grow your business, follow established people in your niche that have a lot of followers
- Engage those people by liking and commenting on their content
No matter how tough the process becomes once we start, we have to keep pushing. If your goal seems too farfetched, reevaluate and pivot in order to make it manageable. There is always a way to accomplish any goal.
Let’s look at another example
Let’s say it’s April and we want to lose 15 pounds by June in order to have that respectable beach body by summer…
- Define the Vision
- Lose 15 pounds
- Set a timeline
- 2 months
Breakdown that timeline into smaller more manageable proportions
- 15 pounds in 2 months
- 7.5 pounds per month
- ~2 pounds per week
- 2 pounds per week… very manageable, not to mention that it is a safe amount of weight to lose on a weekly basis.
- Develop an Action Plan
Download an app such as MyFitnessPal to track your calories and hold yourself accountable. This app also lets you enter your current weight as well as your goal weight, and will safely reduce your daily caloric intake each day for you so you don’t have to.
If you are on track your first week and lose 2 pounds, great! If you don’t hit that number, don’t get discouraged, stay consistent.
As I said above, goal setting is a fundamental concept of life. In my experience, it’s not that our goals are too crazy that we can’t achieve them, it’s that we don’t think deeply enough about what it will take and we also don’t dissect the process to the point where the overall goal becomes manageable on a smaller scale. Using this process is one way that we can increase our conversion rate as it applies to what we want to achieve.
About the Author: