Don’t give up, stay focused and achieve your vision

Successful business leaders are always guided by a vision of the future. As a leader you must build a vision that blends your passion, beliefs and values. This will keep you on course, focused and also motivates your team.

Successful leaders also set goals to realise their overarching vision. Here are 10 top tips for setting goals to achieve your vision. If you implement even a few of these, you’ll create positive momentum in building your business and your life around a brighter future.

Write it down

Studies show leaders who write down their goals are even more likely to have success getting to where they want to be. Writing your goals down plants the goal in your brain, and once it’s there, it sticks. Even if you’re not consciously aware of the goal on a daily basis, your brain is looking for the opportunity to work on it.

Make yourself accountable

From my experience over the years of working with successful leaders to achieve their most audacious goals, I’ve seen that sharing your goals with others – peers, family, friends, your team, your coach – provides an additional incentive and push to “do what you say.” It makes you accountable.

Visualise a new reality in vivid colour

All goal-setting starts with seeing something in the future that doesn’t currently exist. Successful leaders see a new and better future more vividly than most. Visualize your future in as much detail as your imagination allows—what it looks like, what it feels like, the conditions that will define it as a success, and everything you want to be true when you make that vision a reality.

Choose your words carefully

A goal helps you set a direction for your efforts. Goals are about articulating your desires and telling yourself where you’re headed. It’s important to use the right words to specify what you want as you write them down.

Set a realistic time frame

There’s no such thing as an unrealistic goal, only an unrealistic deadline. Once you have a clear vision and have filled in the details, your mind needs a deadline to take it seriously. Remember, “a goal without a deadline is just a dream”.

When you set your deadline, make sure it’s challenging and exciting, but also achievable. As you decide on your deadline, consider all the events going on in your life and business, as you’ll have many goals in play simultaneously.

Watch for “strategic by-products”

Strategic by-products are the surprises or unexpected things that happen on the way to achieving a specific goal. Sometimes these turn out to be even more important than the original goal. Grasp these unexpected opportunities and embrace where they take you, but be careful that they don’t derail you from your goal.

Take ownership of your future

Your future is in your hands. If you don’t take ownership of it, others will be happy to do it for you. Goal setting helps you take increased ownership of your future, regardless of the circumstances that surround you. As a result, you’ll have greater choice and freedom.

See goal setting as a never-ending learning process

Each goal you set will teach you something new, better, different or important. This learning will be incredibly enjoyable. The more specific your goals are, the greater and faster your learning. Your progress toward your goals will allow you to transform yourself continually as a business leader, to transform your relationships and to transform the quality of your entire life.

Be part of a community of goal-getters

Surround yourself with the best people possible. Talk to them about setting inspiring goals, share strategies and lend each other support. You’ll be challenged and stretched by others who are committed to creating a brighter future, the same way you do. This will tap into your creativity and result in refreshed inspiration and new ideas as well as renewed confidence and energy.

Set goals in all areas of your life

Your life has many different dimensions. Goals are the fuel for growth in all of these areas – personal health and fitness, relationships, business growth and personal finances – just to name a few. As you look at your most crucial goals, consider all time frames, from the very short-term to the twilight years of your life. Also look for the underlying motivation for your goals. Why is the goal important to you? What difference will it make in your life and business? Understanding this will play a significant role in aligning you with your goal and in changing the habits that need to be changed for you to achieve it.

Final thoughts

As long as you’re growing and learning, you’ll always keep adopting new goals and making new progress. The more you learn, the more you’ll want to discover. The stimulation of achieving new goals will keep the cycle going and, as a result, your future will always be brighter than your past.

Barbara Armstrong OBE
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Barbara Armstrong OBE

Barbara is a successful business consultant and leadership coach, with a proven track record in helping entrepreneurs and leaders achieve more. Over the past 30 years, she has gained invaluable experience as a CEO and managing director. During that time, she faced all the challenges that come with starting and growing a business. Barbara has learned how to overcome these hurdles to build a strong, sustainable business. She uses this expertise to help SMEs and larger organisations meet those challenges themselves.