Goal setting is essential to living a life of purpose and meaning. Almost everything in life revolves around goals: they encompass all of our plans for the future, all of our hopes, dreams, and visions of what we want in life. And yet we often fail to achieve our goals. So what does it take to achieve a goal and see it become a reality? Here are 16 actions you can start taking today to make sure you achieve all the goals on your wish list.
Actions for goal setting
1. Consider your overall goals.
Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself before taking on a new goal is: What do you want your life to be like? Does this goal fit with that vision? Goal setting should be part of your life’s journey, it should be relevant and meaningful to you. Things to consider: How do you want to spend your waking hours? What excites you in life? In what areas would you like to spend time learning more? And what kind of people do you want to hang out with?
2. Write it all down on paper.
Writing down your goals forces you to crystallize what exactly you hope to achieve. This simple act has a way of making your goal stay in your mind and makes your brain work on the details to achieve it. One study found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
3. Think about what needs to happen.
You know what you want to achieve; Now you must begin to strategize what needs to happen to achieve that vision. You will need to brainstorm to identify the main steps and tasks you need to complete along the way. Are there certain steps you need to prioritize? Are there urgent tasks that need to be done in a certain order? Begin to determine what should happen and when.
4. Make an action plan.
An action plan is the roadmap you can follow that will lead you to your goal. This will help ensure that no important steps are missed. By doing this, your goal will seem less overwhelming and more achievable. Be specific about what you want to accomplish each step of the way.
5. Make it measurable.
Along with your action plan, you need to set benchmarks for yourself to ensure that each step you accomplish is steadily developing toward your larger vision. You will need to set milestones and make each mini-goal measurable, to see if you are deviating. This means setting deadlines that are reasonable, but also allow you to keep moving forward. What is your expected time frame to complete the overall objective?
6. Take action!
There is no time like the present. You have to start somewhere, so dig deep, find your courage, and do it. Your goals will never be met if you don’t take action.
7. Consider your talents and experience.
Think about what it will take to accomplish each of the tasks that make up your larger goal. This includes carefully analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have the skills and experience to perform all the steps? Are there areas that you will need to strengthen or should you consider seeking help with some tasks?
8. Delegate less important tasks.
If you have a big, powerful goal or dream, you probably need help getting there. It’s important to build a complementary team and surround yourself with supportive people to help you achieve your goals. Do you have helpers or employees to whom you can hand assignments? What about hiring a freelancer?
9. Develop a success mindset.
A positive mindset is a “success mindset,” which means you have confidence in yourself, but are also capable of learning from mistakes. It’s easy to get tired and discouraged. A positive mindset helps you find the bright side of storm clouds and allows you to visualize your goal so that you can “see” yourself achieving your dreams.
10. Take responsibility.
A great way to take responsibility is to share your goals with others, so if you are not making steady progress, you will have to confess.
11. Find your inner motivation.
Keep your motivation high by setting goals that are achievable and relevant to you and your life. Making sure your goals are meaningful, realistic, and timely will help keep you excited and give you an incentive to keep going.
12. Take advantage of your inner worker bee.
Achieving any goal will require you to hone good habits and fulfill your responsibilities. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s about making it happen, day after day. Productivity habits, like learning to prioritize tasks, work efficiently, and stay focused, will make it much easier to reach your goals.
13. Look for comments.
Feedback is critical to improving your performance and increasing your ability to achieve your goals. You have one perspective, but those around you may have another. Seek advice from those you respect and trust.
14. Evaluate how the plan is working.
As you begin to move toward your goals, take the time to keep track of how things are going – is the plan working? Can you meet the deadlines and milestones you have set? Periodically reassess your goals, see where you are falling behind, and start making any necessary adjustments.
15. Reset your goals if necessary.
You may need an alternative plan if things don’t go the way they should. Don’t get so focused on your goals that you forget what your bigger vision is. Is it time to make radical changes and alter your course? If so, it is better to do it sooner rather than later.
16. Take a moment to reward yourself.
It’s important to celebrate your successes every step of the way. Remember, it’s as much about the journey as it is about the end goal. If all you do is worry about the future, you will surely burn out before you achieve success. Give yourself a pat on the back for all those little wins – they add up. And when you reach an important milestone, take the time to acknowledge it.
Obstacles to achieving goals
If the goals were easy to achieve, we would all be rock stars, billionaires, and space scientists. And that walk can be very tough. This is why 92% of Americans fail their New Year’s resolutions. They know what to do, the popular resolutions are all simple, but something is preventing them from being successful. You have probably experienced the same problem. You had a goal, you knew what had to be done but you couldn’t achieve it. Do not worry; You’re not alone. In fact, some common mistakes keep most people from reaching their goals. Do them and you will sabotage your progress over and over again. Control them and achieve everything you set your mind to.
Here’s how to understand and cope with the seven reasons why you are not reaching your goals.
1. You wait too long, too soon
As a generation used to instant gratification, we want it all and we want it now. There’s a reason marketers promise a flat tummy in six weeks; a better life in 15 minutes; easy money in a few hours. They take advantage of our laziness. But the truth is, anything worth having takes time and effort. Whether you want to run a marathon or win a million dollars, think long term.
2. Intense bursts of effort
Every January, the gyms fill with people with a New Year’s resolution who want to get in shape “this year.” They train for hours, use all the machines and work halfway. Keeping up is crucial to achieving your goals.
3. You are a perfectionist
We often wait for the perfect moment, feeling, or opportunity to act. But because life is inherently imperfect, waiting often turns into procrastination. The time may never come, but that’s no reason not to do anything. If there is a goal to achieve, don’t wait: the best time to act is always now.
4. You punish yourself
What happens when we do the “wrong thing”? Drunk-call an ex; eat 12 muffins three days on a diet; buy a pink flamingo with our rent money? We punish ourselves. Why did I do that? And once you start thinking this way, it’s easy to make more bad decisions. Instead of punishing yourself for bad decisions, remember that you are only human. We all make mistakes; successful people just don’t think too much of their own.
5. You relax too early
When you start to make progress, it is tempting to loosen up and relax. The problem is that thinking this way gives you an excuse to hang around. Once you have a sense of accomplishment, there is little motivation to keep going. So don’t relax. Always commit to keep going until you succeed, and strive to stick with it when you do.
6. You need the approval of other people
Humans are social beings; we want to be loved and accepted. This is why being admired for your achievements is a great feeling. But relying on the approval of others for motivation and direction is dangerous.
No matter how motivated and disciplined you are, you will have days off. When they come, the temptation is to stress out. “Why am I feeling so tired today? I need to feel energized right now. Man oh man what do I do? This sucks! “The solution is acceptance.
You may also be interested in: Self-Motivation Techniques