There’s a high chance you’ve heard the phrase, “If you don’t know what you want, you’ll end up with whatever life gives you.” This basically refers to the importance of having goals in life and having a definite plan on how to achieve them.
But how do you go about identifying and setting your objectives, let alone achieving your goals in the first place? Of course, most of them will be buried in the deepest parts of your mind if you care to look.
And once you’ve determined them, here’s an overview of tips you can use to heighten the chances of achieving success in your goals and possibly make your dreams come true.
The importance of having goals
Goals bring focus and purpose to our lives. When you have goals, you can see the bigger picture, set priorities, and make important decisions more easily. You can become more productive in general.
Think about it: if you don’t have a goal in mind, how will you know where to direct your efforts? What is important enough to focus on right now?
Goals provide a sense of direction, so you can better manage your time and energy towards what really matters most.
Maximizing the chances of achieving your goals
Having goals is one thing, but achieving them is completely a different thing altogether. Whether you’re planning on retiring at 40 or you are eying on being CEO of 3 companies in five years, your success may depend on various factors, including your approach, dedication, drive, and attitude.
And if science is anything to go by, an alarming more than ninety percent of people fail to achieve their goals in life. But these tips could perhaps help you avoid becoming part of these frightening statistics.
1. Write it down
Nothing is more important than writing down your goals and your plan for achieving them. Identify potential obstacles and write down how you’ll overcome them. Write down the expected rewards and how you will achieve them.
Writing about your goals, plans and obstacles will help clarify for yourself what’s important to you in life so that when things get hectic or stressful, you can take a step back from things and remind yourself of what really matters most to you (and why). It keeps you on the course!
2. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
As much as hard work is an important element, achieving your goals requires being smart in your approach. It requires SMART goal setting, which means ensuring your goals meet the following criteria:
- Specific. A specific goal will give you an idea of what to actually do. For example, “lose weight” isn’t a good goal because it doesn’t tell you how much weight to lose or when. Instead, try “lose 10 pounds in two months.”
- Measurable. How will you know if your goal has been reached? If there’s no way of measuring success, it’s hard for anyone else (or yourself) to tell what needs improving and where improvement is needed most urgently.
- Attainable: Are your goals realistic? They should be, for you to achieve them!
- Relevant: The goals should be relevant to you, what you do, or what you stand for.
- Time-bound: Set yourself to achieve your objective within a specific timeframe and remember that proper time management can help you achieve your goals.
3. Find an accountability partner
One of the most important things you can do to achieve your goals is to find an accountability partner. This person will help keep you on track and be there for you when it gets hard.
A good accountability partner should be someone who is not only supportive but also non-judgmental and honest with their feedback. Their one job is to keep you accountable.
So, they should be willing to tell you when something isn’t working at all (even if that means saying “this isn’t working”) or if they see a way that it could work better.
It’s not their job or responsibility to fix your problems—just spotting them up front can save both your time and energy in the long run!
4. Set up some rewards for yourself
Rewards are a great way to motivate yourself. You can use them as a positive way to celebrate your progress and achievements, or simply as something that helps you stay on track when things get tough. It’s up to you!
For example, if you’re trying to save up money for something big, you could set up a reward system like this:
Every time I have $100 saved up, I’ll treat myself by getting my nails done at the salon.
Or maybe every time I buy groceries and cook dinner for myself instead of ordering takeout or eating frozen dinners from the grocery store freezer section once per week (something that sounds much more difficult than it actually is), then I’ll allow myself an hour-long Netflix binge session afterward.
Rewards don’t have to be expensive or elaborate—they just need to work for YOU!
5. Have a plan
Planning is essential to success. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish and make a plan on when you’ll do it. Planning is a process of setting goals and objectives, prioritizing them, and then determining the steps necessary to achieve them. If you don’t plan for your future, you will have little or no control over it.
Planning is also something that most people don’t do well enough or at all in their lives because they feel overwhelmed by the task, or they get intimidated by the amount of time it takes to plan effectively. But planning can be easy when you apply some basic strategies:
- Start small—have a goal-setting plan that works well for you and try it out this week;
- Make it simple—try keeping your objective list short (3-5 items);
- Be flexible—if things change along the way, there may need to be adjustments made, so don’t get stuck on something just because it’s written down on paper as the right thing to do.
6. Pause when you get discouraged
If you find yourself getting discouraged, take a break. Don’t think about how far you have to go or how far you have come. Instead, focus on the present and why this goal is important to you. Think about how good it will feel when your goal has been achieved and what that day will look like for you.
Think about all the things that matter in your life: family and friends, health and fitness, hobbies and interests – whatever helps bring joy into your life! When feeling down about your goals or frustrated by the lack of progress towards them, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else in life that makes you happy! This can lead one down a path where they question whether any of these “good things” are worth pursuing at all if they aren’t helping them reach their goals faster…
Take it one step – one day at a time and envision success as well as how it will make you feel
7. Don’t do the same thing expecting different results
According to the Law of Attraction, you attract what you focus on. Moreover, the same thing done every time will rarely produce different results—it’s “madness” to place your expectations this way.
If you’re not getting what you want, it’s time to look at the things that are keeping it from happening. For instance:
- Are there any areas in which your behavior needs improvement?
- Do your actions reflect a true desire for this goal or do they seem halfhearted or forced?
- Has it been a while since you’ve taken action toward achieving this goal?
Hopefully, this article will help you get a sense of how important it is to have goals and set a plan in motion to achieve them.
Above all, remember that your goal needs time and patience before you see the results, making it crucial to stay positive and focused!