Setting Goals: How to Determine the Best Technique For You – Wedo.ai

 

 

It’s the end of February and how many of us have already ditched the resolutions made only about 50 days ago?

How many of us never make any resolutions to avoid being disappointed at our lack of perseverance in seeing them through?

There is not one method that works for everyone. But there are several methods to choose from – let’s find out which one will work best for you.

 

SMART method: Laser-sharp goals

SMART is an acronym used to set

Specific,

Measurable,

Achievable,

Relevant, and

Time-bound goals.

The SMART method for goal setting helps to ensure that your goals are clear, actionable, and attainable, which increases the chances of actually sticking to them. It also helps you to keep your goals focused and on track, avoiding goals that are too broad or unrealistic.

Use the SMART method to set and achieve goals by following these steps:

  1. Specify the goal: The first step is to clearly define what you want to achieve. Be as specific as possible and use action verbs.
  2. Make it Measurable: The goal should be quantifiable so that progress can be tracked, and success can be determined. For example, instead of “I want to be fitter,” a measurable goal would be “I want to lose 10 pounds in 6 months.”
  3. Make it Achievable: The goal should be realistic and within reach, given the available resources and constraints. Consider what you need to make the goal happen and if you have the necessary skills and resources.
  4. Make it Relevant: The goal should align with your values and overall objectives. Ask yourself if the goal is important to you and if it will bring you closer to your long-term vision.
  5. Make it Time-bound: The goal should have a clear deadline or time frame so that it is clear when the goal should be achieved. Having a deadline will give you a sense of urgency and help you stay motivated.
  6. Review your goal regularly: Once you have set your goal, it’s important to review it regularly, to check if you are on track and if the goal still aligns with your values. If not, you need to adjust it.

The SMART method works for several reasons:

  1. Specificity: By making the goal specific, it is clear what needs to be achieved, and it becomes easier to create an action plan and measure progress.
  2. Measurability: By making the goal measurable, it is possible to track progress, and it becomes easier to determine if the goal has been achieved, providing a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Achievability: By making the goal achievable, it is possible to ensure that the goal is realistic and within reach given the available resources and constraints, and this helps to build confidence and motivation.
  4. Relevance: By making the goal relevant, it aligns with your values and overall objectives, making it more likely for you to pursue it and be motivated to work towards it.
  5. Time-bound: Making the goal time-bound creates a sense of urgency and helps you to focus on the task at hand and prioritize it.
  6. Flexibility: The SMART method is flexible and allows for adjustments to be made as needed, which is important as your circumstances may change over time.

Here are some examples of SMART goals:

  1.  “I want to increase my website traffic by 20% in the next 3 months.” Measurable: “I will track my website traffic using Google Analytics and compare it to the previous 3 months.” Achievable: “I will achieve this goal by creating new content, promoting my website on social media, and running paid advertising.” Relevant: “Increasing my website traffic will help me to grow my online business and reach more customers.” Time-bound: “I will achieve this goal by the end of the next 3 months.”
  2. “I want to improve my public speaking skills.” Measurable: “I will track my progress by giving one presentation per month and receiving feedback from my audience and a mentor.” Achievable: “I will achieve this goal by taking a public speaking course, practicing regularly, and seeking feedback.” Relevant: “Improving my public speaking skills will help me to advance in my career and make me more confident in front of an audience.” Time-bound: “I will achieve this goal within the next 6 months.”
  3. “I want to save $15,000 for a down payment on a house.” Measurable: “I will track my savings by monitoring my bank account and creating a budget.” Achievable: “I will achieve this goal by cutting expenses, increasing my income, and putting a certain percentage of my salary into savings.” Relevant: “Saving for a down payment on a house is important for me to achieve my long-term goal of homeownership.” Time-bound: “I will achieve this goal within the next 18 months.”

While the SMART method is a widely used and effective tool for goal setting, there are a few potential issues that might indicate that it is not the right method for you:

  1. Lack of flexibility: The SMART method can be too rigid, and if your circumstances change, the goal may no longer be realistic or relevant, which could lead to frustration and demotivation. Some people may find that the SMART method is too restrictive and limits their ability to think creatively or outside of the box.
  2. Focus on short-term goals: The SMART method focuses on short-term specific goals and may not be suitable for long-term strategic planning.
  3. Lack of consideration for external factors: The SMART method does not take into account external factors that may impact the goal, like market changes, competition, or other unforeseen events.
  4. Emphasis on quantitative measures: The SMART method places a strong emphasis on quantitative measures which may not always be the best indicator of success, for example, a goal like “I want to be happy” is hard to measure quantitatively. If your goal is not easily quantified (and some goals are not quantifiable), this might not be the right method for you.
  5. You might be choosing goals that are too big.

Keep in mind that the SMART method is a guide and not a strict rule. It can be adapted to your specific needs and circumstances. It’s also important to evaluate the progress and adjust the goals as needed. The SMART method can be a powerful tool, but it should not be the only one used when setting and achieving goals. It works best if you are a person who loves clear structures and likes to plan.

 

WOOP method: Anticipate obstacles

The WOOP method is an acronym used to set and achieve goals based on the concepts of Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan.

  1. Wish: Clearly define your goal, what is your wish, and what you want to achieve. Make sure it is something that is important and meaningful to you.
  2. Outcome: Imagine the positive outcome that will result from achieving your wish. How will your life be different? What benefits will you gain? This helps to clarify the benefits of achieving your goal and make it more tangible.
  3. Obstacle: Identify the obstacles or challenges that may prevent you from achieving your wish. What are the potential roadblocks? What are the reasons why you might fail? This helps to anticipate potential problems and plan to overcome them.
  4. Plan: Create a plan of action to achieve your wish. Make sure it is specific, measurable, and achievable, taking into account the obstacles identified in step 3. It should include a specific set of actions, milestones, and deadlines.

The WOOP method is based on the principle that by focusing on the positive outcome, it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve the desired wish. It helps to keep the goal in mind and to take action to achieve it. Additionally, it can help to increase motivation and self-efficacy, by providing a clear and actionable plan.

Some examples of how the WOOP method can be used to set goals:

  1. Wish: “I want to learn a new language” Outcome: “I will be able to communicate with more people and have a deeper understanding of other cultures” Obstacle: “I struggle to find the time and motivation to practice consistently” Plan: “I will schedule regular language practice sessions into my daily routine and use language learning apps and resources to supplement my learning.”
  2. Wish: “I want to lose weight” Outcome: “I will have improved health and self-confidence” Obstacle: “I have a tendency to overeat and have a lack of motivation to exercise” Plan: “I will keep a food diary to track my eating habits and portion sizes, and I will hire a personal trainer to create an exercise plan that I enjoy and will stick to.”
  3. Wish: “I want to improve my time management skills” Outcome: “I will be able to complete tasks more efficiently and have more free time” Obstacle: “I have a tendency to procrastinate and get easily distracted” Plan: “I will create a daily schedule and set specific time slots for completing tasks, and I will use apps and tools to help me stay focused and on track.”

Why would you use this method?

Do you easily give up when the going gets tough and you hit an obstacle on the way to your goal? Then this might be the method for you. By thinking of potential obstacles and how to overcome them, we can neutralize the little voice that tells us that we won’t make it anyway.

…or not

If the goal is not clearly formulated the way to reach your goal becomes unclear.

 

Zurich Resource Model

The Zurich Resource Model (ZRM) is a therapeutic model developed by the Zurich Resource Model Institute in Switzerland. It is a holistic, person-centered, and strengths-based approach to coaching and therapy, which emphasizes the individual’s inner resources and abilities.

The ZRM is based on the idea that every person has innate resources and abilities that can be used to overcome challenges and achieve goals. These resources include cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual dimensions. The ZRM helps clients to identify and access these resources, and to use them to achieve their desired outcomes.

The ZRM approach is divided into four main stages:

  1. Assessment: the therapist or coach works with the client to identify their current situation, goals, and resources.
  2. Intervention: the therapist or coach helps the client to access their resources and develop strategies to overcome their challenges.
  3. Integration: the client integrates the newly acquired skills into their daily life.
  4. Follow-up: the therapist or coach supports the client in maintaining their progress.

The ZRM is used in various fields such as coaching, therapy, counseling, and personal development. It is aimed to help people to reach their full potential and to live a fulfilling life by tapping into their inner resources and abilities. It is a therapeutic model that was developed by therapists, and typically, it is used by therapists and coaches in a professional setting.

However, it is possible to use the ZRM model on your own, without the help of a therapist. Here are some steps you can take to use the ZRM model on your own:

  1. Self-Assessment: Start by assessing your current situation, goals, and resources. You can use questionnaires, journals, or other self-reflection tools to gather information about yourself. You can also use observations, and nonverbal cues to gain insight into your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
  2. Identify your resources: The ZRM model is based on the idea that every person has innate resources and abilities that can be used to overcome challenges and achieve goals. Identify your cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual resources.
  3. Create a plan of action: Using the information gathered from your self-assessment, create a plan of action that is specific, measurable, and achievable to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals. Make sure to consider the obstacles that may prevent you from achieving your goals and come up with strategies to overcome them.
  4. Implement and practice: Take action and practice the strategies you have created. It’s important to be consistent and persistent in your efforts.
  5. Reflect and adjust: Reflect on your progress regularly, and adjust your plan as needed. Reflect on what’s working and what’s not and adjust accordingly.

For whom does the method work best?

It works well for people who often feel that they lack motivation.

Potential Pitfalls:

The method is fairly complex. If you do not wish to work with a coach, a ZRM webinar might be a good idea to help you in defining your goals and stay on track.

 

Small steps technique: Make specific plans

Setting goals by taking small steps is an effective way to achieve your desired outcome. It is a gradual and incremental process that helps to break down a big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks. Here are some steps you can take to set goals by taking small steps:

  1. Break down your goal: Identify your big goal and break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will help you to see the progress you are making and make it less overwhelming.
  2. Prioritize your tasks: Once you have broken down your goal into smaller tasks, prioritize them based on their importance and urgency. This will help you to focus on the most important tasks first.
  3. Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals: For each task, set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. This will help you to know when you have completed the task and whether you are on track to achieve your big goal.
  4. Create a plan of action: Create a plan of action for each task. This should include a specific set of actions, milestones, and deadlines. This will help you to stay on track and make sure you are making progress towards your big goal.
  5. Take small steps: Start with the smallest and easiest tasks and work your way up. This will help you to build momentum and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  6. Reflect and adjust: Reflect on your progress regularly, and adjust your plan as needed. Reflect on what’s working and what’s not and adjust accordingly.

By breaking down your big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks, setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals, and taking small steps, you will be able to achieve your desired outcome with less stress and more success.

Dividing a plan into small steps to reach your goal works because it helps to break down a big and potentially overwhelming goal into more manageable and achievable tasks. It provides a sense of progress, and it makes it easier to focus on the next step. Here are a few reasons why it works:

  1. It helps to increase motivation: When you break down a big goal into smaller tasks, it becomes less daunting and more manageable. This can increase motivation because it is easier to see the progress you are making and to feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each task.
  2. It helps to identify specific steps: When you divide a plan into small steps, you can identify the specific actions you need to take in order to reach your goal. This can make it easier to focus on what needs to be done, and it can help to increase accountability.
  3. It helps to track progress: By breaking down a plan into small steps, it becomes easier to track progress and see how much you have accomplished. This can help to keep you motivated and on track toward your goal.
  4. It helps to make adjustments: When you divide a plan into small steps, you can evaluate your progress more frequently and make adjustments as needed. This can help to ensure that you stay on track and make any necessary adjustments to your plan.
  5. It helps to develop a sense of control: When you divide a plan into small steps, you have more control over the process. You can focus on one step at a time and have a clear idea of what needs to be done. This can help to increase feelings of self-efficacy and self-control which can improve the chances of reaching the goal.
  6. It helps to reduce anxiety: Dividing a plan into small steps can help to reduce anxiety and stress associated with achieving a big goal. It makes it easier to focus on the next step, and it provides a sense of accomplishment as you complete each task.

For whom does it work?

It can be a great goal-setting tool for procrastinators who do not start a project because it seems too big. The small-steps technique encourages you to break your goal down into measurable steps and makes it easier to take the first step.

What are potential pitfalls?

Although the process has easily identifiable steps, it takes a lot of self-discipline to continue the process.

 

If-then Method

The “If-Then” method is a strategy that can be used to achieve goals by linking specific actions to specific situations. The basic structure of the “If-Then” method is “If (a specific situation occurs), Then (I will take a specific action)”. By using this method, you can increase the likelihood of achieving your goals by creating a plan for how to respond to different situations that may arise. Here’s how you can use the “If-Then” method to achieve your goals:

  1. Identify the goal: Clearly define the goal that you want to achieve.
  2. Identify the situation: Identify the specific situations that may arise that could hinder your progress toward achieving your goal.
  3. Identify the action: Identify the specific actions you will take in response to each situation.
  4. Create the plan: Create a plan by combining the “If” (situation) and “Then” (action) statements.
  5. Implement and practice: Implement the plan by putting it into action and practicing it regularly.
  6. Reflect and adjust: Reflect on the effectiveness of your plan and adjust as needed.

For example, if your goal is to exercise more, an “If-Then” plan might look like this: “If I wake up in the morning and it’s raining outside, then I will do an indoor workout video at home”. Or, “If I have a meeting in the afternoon, then I will take a walk during my lunch break”.

By using the “If-Then” method, you can create a plan for how to respond to different situations that may arise, increasing the likelihood of achieving your goal.

Here are a few reasons why the “If-Then” method is effective:

  1. It helps to overcome procrastination: By linking a specific action to a specific situation, you are more likely to take action when the situation arises. This can help to overcome procrastination and increase the likelihood of achieving your goal.
  2. It helps to increase flexibility: The “If-Then” method allows for flexibility in responding to different situations. By having a plan in place for different scenarios, you can adapt to unexpected events and still stay on track toward your goal.
  3. It helps to increase focus: By having a specific plan in place, you are more likely to focus on the task at hand and less likely to be sidetracked by other distractions.
  4. It helps to build habits: When you consistently respond to a specific situation with a specific action, it can build a habit. Over time, this can lead to a sense of automaticity, making it easier to achieve your goal.
  5. It helps to increase self-efficacy: By successfully implementing the “If-Then” method, you are more likely to have a sense of control and self-efficacy over your actions, which can improve your chances of achieving your goal.

The “If-Then” method of goal setting, also known as implementation intentions, was first proposed by Peter Gollwitzer, a psychologist at the University of Konstanz. According to Gollwitzer’s research, the “If-Then” method works because it helps to increase the likelihood of achieving a goal by creating a plan for how to respond to different situations that may arise.

Gollwitzer’s research found that people who use implementation intentions are more likely to achieve their goals because they are better able to overcome procrastination and distractions and persist in the face of obstacles. He also found that the “If-Then” method can help to increase self-regulation and that it can be effective in a variety of different domains, including health, education, and the workplace.

Gollwitzer’s research also suggests that the “If-Then” method works by activating the goal, which makes it more accessible in memory and more likely to be activated when the situation arises. This helps to increase the likelihood of taking the desired action in the specific situation, and hence increases the chances of achieving the goal.

For whom does it work?

People whose goal is to change certain habits.

What are potential pitfalls?

The If-Then statement needs to be very clear and not open to interpretation.

 

Visualizing your goals

Visualizing your goals is a powerful method, especially for those who are very visual and creative, and who need to see (and preferably touch) things for them to become real. Images create emotions and emotions can make sure we stick to our goals, even when the going gets tough.

So how does this work?

  1. Determine your goal and put it into words. You should feel very strongly and very enthusiastic about your goal.
  2. Look for images that appeal to you and reflect your goal. Look in magazines, online, and/or take pictures yourself. Collect everything and anything that appeals to you and represents your goal. It could also be a quote, short sentences, or single words.
  3. Once you have collected your material, create a mood- or vision board. Put your own picture in the middle and make a collage with all the images and words that match your goal. The board should reflect the motto: “A picture says more than a thousand words”, meaning that the goal should be clear without any explanation. The board should evoke positive emotions whenever you look at it.
  4. Put the board somewhere where you see it often and start working toward your goal. Every small step counts!

For whom does it work?

This method works best for those who see images in their mind when they think of their goals.

What are potential pitfalls?

Since the steps to reach the goal are not as clearly defined as in some of the other techniques, if you are a very structured person, you might feel lost and without a plan.

 

If the idea of a mood board holds a strong appeal but you need more structure, consider combining this method with one of the previous methods.

 

We all have goals and aspirations, and we increase our chances of reaching them by identifying the method that works best for us and using it. Once we have identified the worthwhile goals, formulated them clearly, and decided which method to use, we are well on the road to achieving them.

 

 

Find out how Wedo can help you achieve your goals by providing the tools you need to work successfully:

Freelance 101: A Beginner’s Guide To The Most Important Points You Need To Consider In Starting Your Business (wedo.ai)

 

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