Goal setting that actually works

5 March 2021 • 3 min read

Leader setting goals on wall with post it notes

How to stay focused on your goals all year long

Most of us start the year with a rush of enthusiasm, full of plans and energy for new projects. And most of us struggle to hold onto that enthusiasm and to stick with our goals. A few months into the year, we might have fallen off the bandwagon entirely.


There are a number of reasons for this. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain focus on a far-off goal when you have daily challenges to deal with.

“Often the goal that seemed so desirable in January starts to look impossible-to-achieve as the months pass.”

Feeling this way is normal – it doesn’t mean you are a bad leader or have insufficient willpower to succeed. It simply means you need to refocus your attention. Here are some tips to help you stay focused on your goals all year long.

Visualise success

What does it look like and how good does it feel? If you are really specific about what achieving your goals will do for your business and your life, you are more likely to maintain motivation. Write down words that represent your future success and display them in your workspace.

Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable

If your goals are too grandiose, you might get overwhelmed. This doesn't mean you can’t dream big, but you do need to break those big goals down into smaller, achievable goals that will eventually lead you to your destination. Once you have mastered one or two smaller goals, you will develop momentum and find that your confidence and determination have grown.

Be specific

Write yourself a blueprint for success. In order to achieve a goal, what exactly do you need to do, when, and for how long? Maybe you need to start work an hour earlier each day, or commit to a certain number of sales calls each week?

“Hundreds of studies have found that intention is the key to carrying out your plans, not motivation.”

Write your goals somewhere everyone in your team can see them

There is no point in keeping your professional goals to yourself. Create a Google doc where everyone can comment on your shared goals and celebrate team wins. Consider an email sign-off that highlights one of your goals; you can change it each quarter, to help keep goals front of mind. Finish each staff update with a spotlight on someone in your business who has smashed a goal. Ask them how they did it, and what they learned.

Give yourself the right tools to achieve your goals

Do you need a special working space to make something happen? Additional training? Is having particular technology important? Figure out what you need to succeed.

Write your goals somewhere everyone in your team can see them

There is no point in keeping your professional goals to yourself. Create a Google doc where everyone can comment on your shared goals and celebrate team wins. Consider an email sign-off that highlights one of your goals; you can change it each quarter, to help keep goals front of mind. Finish each staff update with a spotlight on someone in your business who has smashed a goal. Ask them how they did it, and what they learned.

Surround yourself with people who reach their goals

Successful people tend to hang around with other successful people. Make sure that your business is supported by people who achieve their goals. Look for mentors, collaborators, employees and customers who pursue what they want, and have a track record of achieving it.

Reward yourself for successes along the way

It’s important to recognise your smaller wins as you work towards your bigger goals. Give your team letters of appreciation and gift vouchers, for example, or take an afternoon off to do something fun. Use each win as a way of measuring progress and celebrating how far you have come.

Tags Strategy Business

Read Further

More Articles

Starting off strong

Whether it's January or July, it’s never too late to create, chase and achieve laser-sharp business goals for this year, or any other.

11 Feb 2 min watch

Focus on what matters

Even in normal times, the sheer functional demands of keeping a business going are taxing and often overwhelming. Caught up in the thick of long to-do lists...

1 Sep 4 min

Five productivity hacks to transform your working life

You need to get it done, asap. Here are some tricks and tools for getting the most out of your workday.

3 Dec 3 min