Do you practise goal setting? At Tabono, we’re fans of knowing where we’re going. We like to have a direction, and would find it near impossible to make the right decisions if we didn’t have that vision in the first place. 

There’s certainly always a lot of talk about goal setting. But what is it? Is it a good idea? Do goals suffocate us and make us feel we’re not achieving? Is there a correct way to do it? Does goal setting make us focus on the wrong things? Should we have goals or intentions?

When it comes to goal setting, there are endless questions. A lot of noise!!

Goal setting – our way

We’re a little more relaxed than that! Look at it this way. If we decided to go for a day out to the seaside, it would only happen if we first decided where exactly to go and how we would get there. So in this situation, the big juicy goal is to have a day by the sea. The actions needed to get there are working out when to go, where exactly to go, and choosing a mode of transport and a route. These actions can also be called journey goals. 

Similarly, if someone had a dream of selling fruit and vegetable boxes to people around the UK, that is their big goal. What journey goals might they have along the way? 

Make sense? Sometimes goals can be so enormous, we don’t know when to start. I think this is where people often come unstuck and end up not liking goal setting. Or thinking it doesn’t work for them.

So, what would be the most important steps to make goal setting work for you? It differs from person to person, and it pays to find ways that really help and allow you to progress. But here are my suggestions for making goal setting something that can help you make big leaps forward.

Some of these things require a bit of initial work, but once it’s done, it will save you a lot of time down the line. 

1. Break it down

For me, the magic lies in the ability you have to make your goals and journey goals tiny, actionable tasks. 

I’ve seen time and again when people say things like “I know I need a website, but every time I see it on my list. I can’t face it”. Of course you can’t. That’s a big goal. That’s also a project. How many things have to happen to create a website? Who will create it? What images do you need? You need to write copy. You need to know how many pages we want. The list goes on. 

So if you have items on your to do list that are actually big juicy goals, or projects, then it’s time to acknowledge that. Have some fun breaking them down and making the best list of tiny actionable tasks, or journey goals.

This really helps to make your goals seem achievable. It also helps with motivation and momentum. If you can see progress as you tick off those journey goals, it will keep you going and boost your sense of achievement.

2. Review regularly

Some people set goals and then put them to one side. They tend to be more reactive than proactive with their work. What can happen in this instance is those goals get sidelined. With no reviewing and no plan in place to use the goals set as a road map, they’re pretty useless.

3. Create the right habits

As with reviewing and using the goals to find your direction, we may well need to encourage the adoption of other new, helpful habits, to allow us to meet these goals we want to achieve. As James Clear says in his highly acclaimed book, 

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

James Clear, Atomic Habits

His book talks about the importance of focusing on your systems and habits, rather than on a goal itself. As I mentioned before, we love to have goals in place and know where we are heading. However, we are very aware that these will only have a chance of becoming reality if we put the systems in place to make that happen.

So when you’re wanting to achieve your goals, look to your systems and habits, and ensure you’ve got the right stuff in place at a lower level, to allow you to reach those goals.

4. Know your values

So this is one that takes a bit of thought, but once you’ve done the thinking and know what your core values are, the decision making and goal setting process becomes much cleaner and easier. If we know what our values are – the things that we absolutely need and want to align with to be in flow and feel comfortable and happy in our lives – then we know whether a goal or decision is the right one. 

Next time you’re setting goals and you wonder why you feel uncomfortable, check in. If you’re uncomfortable because it’s taking you out of your comfort zone and challenging you, then most times that is a good thing. But, if you’re uncomfortable because the goal, or result of achieving the goal, doesn’t align with your values, then it’s not a good one for you and you’re highly likely to resist it.

5. Write them down and be time specific

If you just think about your goals, or say they will happen “one day”, then they are just a dream! Committing your goals to paper and giving them a due date, brings them to life. It makes them real. It gives you the beginnings of accountability.

Accountability. And on that note, if you’re someone who over and over again slips out of your commitments to yourself and your own goals, get some accountability. Whether that is working with a coach or mentor, surrounding yourself with a supportive team or community, or committing to a supportive friend, tell someone else what your goals and actions are, and when you will do them by.

We hope that you found these tips helpful – how will you take your goal setting forward from here?