Pablo Picasso once said: ““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.”
Decades studies of research show that people who have goals are more likely to achieve them. A 2015 study found that more than 70 percent of people who wrote down clearly defined commitments and shared their goals with others achieved them.
If you also want to set realistic and motivating goals for your professional and private life, then the following advices could be helpful for you.
First relax and then reflect
Many people have been running into a kind of sprint without a break since the pandemic began. Because of this many people have difficulty setting goals. They have to recover first if we really want to set goals, which we are comfortable with and are enthusiastic about.
But how exactly does it work? Vladislav Vodatinskij, CEO of ENGINEC, a company that focus on management consulting for European concerns, believes simple routines help. He recommends small quiet moments for reflection as a first step in embarking on long-term planning. For example, he’s stocked up on pocket-sized notebooks that he uses every morning. “I write down the first things that come to my mind and I am don’t worry if it’s logical,” he says.
Start to reflect on the “bright spots” of the past year so that you can build on them in this year. Give yourself time to honestly think about everything that happened. What did you accomplish? Take some of the good things with you. But don’t just think about it, document it too. “Write everything down. Whether it was a project that was completed, a day you felt good, a fear that was overcome, and keep doing it until you feel good, ”said Vodatinskij.
Being grateful also helps. If keeping a journal is “too much” for you, then sticking post-it notes on walls, doors, furniture or mirrors, recording a voice memo or starting the day with an inspiring song. Find what reminds you to be grateful so that you can remember successes.
Prioritize your mental health
For many people, the pandemic has caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and burnout. Now, more than ever, it is time to make mental health a priority. Different studies are showing that a person’s wellbeing benefits not only their health and relationships, but also their professional performance. For example, positive moods can increase creativity and improve your problem-solving skills at work.
“Delete the word ‘goal’ and think about what makes you happy,” said Vodatinskij. “Then think about how you can put a little bit of it in every day.” He said he recently started surfing or basketball because this things are making him happy.
Focus on the process, not the goal
These “fuzzy” goals, he says, serve as “plugs for what’s left after planning ahead as far as possible.” If you can only set short-term goals for 24 hours or a week, that’s fine , he said. When you’ve achieved a short-term goal, sit down and adjust another, always working towards your long-term goal.
As an Entrepreneur, Influencer, Manager, Author of over 16 international articles and frequent traveler, Vodatinskij used to set goals around results. His personal goals for 2020 included, for example, article for FORBES and GQ and travelling to two new continents. But due to the pandemic situation worldwide, he said, he had to “return to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”.
“His corporate goals are now focused on using the time effectively and doing things that will help the community,” he said. “Instead of saying that I want to achieve X by the end of the year, I am saying that I want to devote a certain amount of time of our day, month or quarter to these initiatives.”
Try a vision board
Vodatinskij calls these goals “process goals”. He said that people often set unrealistic goals that ignore logical factors or life circumstances. But process goals that describe the “how” and not just the “what” are long-lived. Vodatinskij starts each day with a glass of water and some notice in his laptop and then he takes a look on his vision board on the main screen of his phone.
Based on the idea that the visualization of life goals helps to achieve them, vision boards have become popular alternatives (or additions) to traditional goal setting. Instead of performance-based goals, people create vision boards from inspiring images and slogans to artistically portray their desired future. “It’s kind of an anchor to me, something I come back to, to center myself on,” Vodatinskij said.
As an entrepreneur who has launched already 5 companies, including a social media platform on Instagram with over 900K followers, Vodatinskij is a “success-oriented” goal-setter who had personal and professional goals in a spreadsheet. In 2020, he began creating annual vision boards as an antidote to his mental situation. Now he says these will help him be a happier and more authentic leader.
To start with the vison board, just start to wondering how would it like to feel about different areas of your life, from work to relationships. Then arrange words and pictures according to topics. In best case hang your vision boards wherever you work or can see it daily and use them to set daily intentions and to-do lists.
Visualization of things is the strongest tool which people have. “Instead of focusing on, ‘What will I be in five years?’ It now says, ‘Who can I be right now? How can I be the best possible version of myself now? ‘”