Setting and Achieving Goals
To succeed in life, goal setting is paramount. The benefits associated with goal setting apply to every one of us. Each and every successful person acknowledges the importance of setting goals. Successful lawyers, athletes, and doctors have in one way or another set goals in their lives. The same can be said for your local business owners and high achieving co-workers.
One major benefit of goal setting is that it acts as a roadmap. Goals help you identify areas in your life where you want more AND are willing to do the work to make it happen. Action plans then help you work through the steps required to make your goal a reality.
Another benefit of goal setting is that your goals act as your vision. Simply put, when you have a goal you have a vision. This vision will contribute to the creation of your vision board which will keep your goals front and center as you work through your day. Seeing your vision every day will push you to work hard to achieve your goals.
How to Set Attainable Goals
The first step towards setting attainable goals is to determine the type of goals that you are setting. Goals can either be short term or long term and be one that aligns well with your personal or professional objectives.
The second thing is to express the goals that you are setting in the form of a positive statement. All the goals should be written down and in a complete sentence and they should be SMART. SMART means that your goals should be Specific and not ambiguous; they should be Measurable quantitatively, qualitatively, or both. They should also be Attainable and Realistic. And lastly, your goals should be Time-bound. That is, you should have a certain time in which you expect to accomplish your goal. Honestly, there has been some debate over whether you should put a time limit on your goals. I’m of the opinion that a time limit should definitely exist, with the understanding that life events may happen that force a change in plans. The key here is to make a plan and adjust when necessary.
Each and every goal should have assigned priorities. They should be prioritized so that you start with the one that ranks the highest on your list instead of starting with all of them as a whole. This is vital so that you do not start out overwhelmed by not knowing where to start.
Have a vision and see yourself achieving the stated goal. Review your goals from time to time so that you do not lose focus and remain on track to attaining your goals. All your major goals can be broken into bite-sized chunks so that you are able to properly visualize and see yourself achieving them. Breaking them into bites makes them more manageable and much less overwhelming. Remember, as priorities change consider also changing your goals so that they align with your priorities in life. I suggest a weekly review of your progress, and to also plan your actions for the next week.
Strategies to Achieve Goals Quickly
Achievement of a goal can take a long time and, because of this, many people tend to give up early in the process. To be clear, there is no short cut method to achieve success. You must put in the work it requires. However, if you make an action plan and take smart actions, you can reach your goals in a shorter than expected period of time. Nevertheless, do not expect to accomplish something in one day that you or others might normally take years to achieve.
Listed below are a few tips that you can follow in order to achieve success in a shorter time compared to others.
- Be specific with your goals. Often people set goals that are not well defined. For example, saying you want to be rich is not a goal because it has no specifications. Richness can be in terms of wealth, education, and many such things. Define what rich means to you and then re-state the goal. It could look like this: “I want to have $5 Million revenue in my business by 12/31/2025."
- Motivate yourself. To be honest, many of us won’t get motivation from our closest friends and family. That realization can be painful if you depend on outside motivation. You must know how to motivate yourself in the happiest and most exciting of times as well as in times of depression and frustration. One way to do this is to remind yourself at least twice daily of the goals you set. You can remind yourself once in the morning when you get up and once at night before going to bed. This is where the location of your vision board, if you have one, can come into play. My vision board is across from my bed so it is the last thing I see when I’m going to bed at night, the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning, and the thing I stare at when I’m fighting with myself about getting out of bed on those really rough mornings. Another way to do this is to take a look at the goals that you have already achieved and the obstacles you overcame you achieve those goals. Sometimes you just need a reminder of what you are capable of.
- Spend at least ten to fifteen minutes every day visualizing your goals. This will help in motivation. Make sure that no one disturbs you during this time. This can be a review of your vision board or your goals list.
- Proper planning is essential to achieving a goal. Identify the goal, what resources you need to achieve the goal and any help that you will need. If you have identified a resource that you don’t currently have access to, decide how you will get access to it. If you need the help of someone else, be sure to talk it over with them and get their commitment to helping you. You can even create a schedule with them so they know when to be available. If you aren’t comfortable, I wouldn’t suggest giving them a full breakdown of your goals, just enough that they understand why you are asking for help. Remember, everybody needs help from time to time. Even the stars who portray a perfectly balanced life have nannies, drivers, personal chefs, and assistants who help them every day. They are not doing everything by themselves.
- Ensure that you have the ability to measure the progress you make in your goals. You can measure daily, weekly, or monthly. I suggest weekly as it is less strenuous than daily but holds you accountable to taking some action towards achieving your goals each week. This is very important, because if you cannot measure your progress, then you cannot update your goals causing you to lose track mid-way and possibly lose momentum.
- Finally, be dedicated and committed to your goals. Dedication plays a major role in the achievement of a goal. Dedication may look different for everyone but set aside time every week that is specifically for working on your goals. This time must be blocked in your calendar and, unless it is an emergency, should be undisturbed.
Goals are powerful tools that one can use to propel in life both socially and economically. They can lead to progression both in your profession and your day to day life in general. When you are comfortable in creating your own goals and you tirelessly work to attain them, it not only boosts your confidence but also helps you lead a happy, fulfilling and more meaningful life.