One of the best things that you can ever do to help increase your chances of finding success is to set goals for yourself. It’s that simple. Without setting goals and following them, it is going to be easier to lose focus and become distracted.
Goal setting not only allows you to determine the direction in which your life is going, but it also is a great way to help you track your success. Are you getting closer to achieving your goals? Are you slowly starting to achieve them? What kind of strides are you making?
And it’s not as easy as just saying you want something and then you are going to magically achieve it. As we know all too well, it’s never that easy.
Achieving your goals is a process. But the only way to start that process is to know what you want, make a plan for how you are going to achieve it, and then executing on that plan each and every single day.
As we dive into the new year, everybody has new goals that they want to achieve for themselves. But don’t just make this another year where you give up after a week or two. Make this year your year. Make this year the year that you are going to achieve your goals and turn them into your reality.
Here are 11 steps to setting goals and achieving them.
1. Get specific about what you want.
What are some of the things that you want to achieve? Start by visualizing them. Don’t put a limit as to what your mind comes up with or what you think you can and can’t achieve.
If you had a magic wand and could make everything perfect in your life, what would your life look like? How much money would you be making on a consistent basis? What kind of health would you be in? How would your relationships be with those around you?
Envision exactly how you want your life to look. The reason for this is because when you envision what you want and can picture yourself living that life, you are going to be more motivated to move forward in the face of adversity.
2. Write down your goals each and every morning.
Everything that you want to achieve, write it down immediately when you wake up. Not only is this going to put your goals at the front of your mind when you wake up, but it’s also going to give you an intention for the day. Since you know what it is that you want to achieve, you are going to be more inclined to subconsciously work towards those goals throughout the duration of the day.
Again, be clear about this. What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve it? How is this going to better and change your life when you do achieve it?
3. Focus on your one thing.
Now that you have your goals in the front of your mind, what’s the ONE Thing that you can do today that is going to help you inch closer to achieving your goals?
Too often we think that we need a perfect plan in order to get started. The issue with this is that we continuously develop this plan to the point where we never even take action. Either that, or we don’t prioritize the most important piece of action that will lead to us achieving our goals.
After you write down your goals, determine one thing that you can do, such by doing so, everything else is going to become easier or unnecessary. Then do it. Take action on that one thing and make it your priority.
4. Set a deadline for yourself.
You would be surprised as to what you can accomplish in little time. When setting goals, give yourself a deadline for when you want to achieve them by. Don’t say that you want to give yourself a year. Be realistic with the timeframe in which you want to achieve your goals by, but also put some urgency to it.
Think back to when you were in school and your teacher assigned you a five-page paper due in a week. You probably thought that a week seemed reasonable, but found yourself starting it the night before. All of a sudden, what could have taken a week to complete took you only one night. That’s because when you set a deadline – and one that becomes urgent – your focus amps up and you become less distracted.
5. Think about the obstacles that may stand in your way.
Ask yourself why you haven’t already achieved this goal? What are some of the obstacles that you have experienced so far that have prevented you from living the life you want to be living?
List out all of these obstacles in front of you.
First, realize that the likelihood of these obstacles ever playing out exactly how you are envisioning right now are slim to none. Second, realize that the majority of these obstacles come from within.
Lack of skill, lack of knowledge, lack of time, lack of quality. These are similar obstacles to what all of us face, but if you want to achieve your goals badly enough, you need to be willing to overcome them. And congratulations. The first step to overcoming any obstacle is to first recognize its’ presence.
6. Identify how you are going to overcome these challenges.
Do you lack the right amount of time to achieve your goals? Do you lack the resources required to set yourself up for success? Do you lack the motivation you need to turn your goals into your reality?
In a world where all is perfect, how would you overcome these obstacles? What are some of the things that you would do to turn these obstacles into tiny little road bumps that are easy to overcome?
Maybe it’s by reaching out to a friend or a co-worker and asking for help. Maybe it’s by abandoning the television. Maybe it’s waking up before work in order to get more done. However you are going to overcome these obstacles, make sure to start working towards them on a daily basis.
7. Create a plan and follow it.
What does a typical day look like to you currently? Not what does a typical day look like when you are chasing your goals? Start implementing some of the activities and habits that you envisioned for yourself when you were chasing your goals and work them into your daily life now.
Make a plan for yourself and keep track of your progress.
Plan each day the night before.
Plan each week at the start of the week.
Plan each month at the start of the month.
The more you plan out your day in advance, the likelier it will be that you actually stick to that plan instead of deviating off course.
8. Time block and prioritize.
Similar to focusing on your one thing, now brain dump all of the rest of the things that you have to do for the day. After doing so, prioritize the biggest and most important tasks first, and the less important tasks towards the bottom.
The philosophy behind this is that as the day goes on, you are only going to be tied down by everybody else’s schedules more and more. If you can knock out the most important tasks – and the ones that are ultimately going to lead to your success – first thing in the morning, it will be easier to keep progressing towards your goals.
Not all tasks are as important as others. Determine which ones are most important, and get them done before getting on with your day.
9. Practice and improve your self-discipline.
This is one where you are going to have to look at yourself from within. How important is it for you to achieve your goals? How badly do you want to achieve your goals? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your goals?
Your ability to not only achieve your goals, but to achieve anything in your life, comes down to your will and your determination. You are the only person who is able to create substantial change and success in your life. You are in control. You always have been and you always will be.
10. Find your purpose for pursuing your goals.
If you were asked a simple question of “why do you want to achieve this dream?” what would your response be? Write it down. That response is going to be your why. Your why is what’s going to give you the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough, it’s going to be what’s going to motivate you when you feel like quitting, and it’s going to be the purpose behind all of your hard work. Without purpose, your goals will never seem meaningful.
What does it look like to have achieved your goals?
How is achieving your goals going to better your life?
Who else are you going to be able to impact once you do achieve your goals?
All of these are questions that you should respond to because they are the reasoning for staying motivated when you feel like giving up.
11. Keep at it no matter what.
The thing about success and achieving your goals is that you never know when it’s going to happen. You could be working towards your goals for a few months, a few years, or a few decades. But if you give up, every ounce of work that you have put in up to that point will all have been for nothing.
You could have been a few days from achieving your goals or until you saw noticeable changes. But since you gave up, you will never truly know who close you were to achieving them.
Don’t make the mistake of wondering “what if.” Every single day, do everything in your power to turn the possibilities of “what if” into the reality of “what is.”
Before you get started, make a promise to yourself. No matter what happens, no matter what obstacles you face, and no matter how much you feel like it, never give up. Your goals will only become your reality if you continue to fight towards them no matter how difficult the times get.
You are stronger than your failures. You are stronger than your weaknesses. And you are stronger than your doubts. Believe in yourself and achieve your goals.