Do you set goals but fail to achieve them? If your answer is a yes, most likely you are doing it wrong. You see, goal setting works if you work on it correctly. And it can help you achieve what you truly want in life.
Most people have goals they wanted to achieve in life. But unfortunately, most people fail at them. And for those who failed, they’re not doing it the right way. And in this article, I’m going to share with you the 7 steps that you can apply to accomplish your goals more effectively.
1. Identify your goals and write them down
You may think that this is ridiculous or that you already know what you want to achieve. But trust me, most people fail because they are being too vague and are not clear enough with their goals.
If you are serious about achieving what you want, you must make it crystal clear. Don’t just think about what you want, make it a vision, think about it every day, and more importantly, write it down onto paper.
Do you know that studies have proven that people who write down their goals tend to have a higher chance of achieving them? Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor confirmed that the practice of writing down goals help improved the probability of reaching them.
Hence, put your goals onto paper. And if you want to take it to another level, write down your goals every day. Don’t just think about your goals, write them down.
2. Break it down into smaller and actionable steps
For most people, their goals are big and far into the distant future. And this actually makes them feel overwhelming. How can you make a million dollars when you don’t even make a thousand dollars yet? The answer is to break down your goals.
Your goals are good in guiding you and showing you the direction that you want to go. But when it comes to achieving them, you must break the goals down into smaller actionable steps that you can work on each day.
In other words, you must create an action plan that will get you the results that you want. You can’t just rely on your goals to get you what you want. You need an action plan.
So create your plan and write down all the necessary steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
3. Schedule and time-block your actions
Now, if you don’t schedule and time-block your actions, nothing will happen. People procrastinate and don’t follow through their plans because they don’t schedule their work.
Like a meeting, you will block your time for it because you don’t miss it out. You will postpone your work or reschedule your tasks because you have an important meeting with your boss, right?
Apply the same concept to your action commitments that will get you to your goals. Block your time and schedule the tasks that you need to get done on your calendar. This way, you will make sure you will never miss them and do them.
For instance, if your goal is to lose weight and your action plan is to exercise twice a week, block your calendar for your exercise session. Make it your priority and reject all other tasks or activities.
4. Create a scoreboard to measure your progress
Don’t just focus on your goals, you must also focus on your progress. If you think about it, it is your progress that will get you the result, not your goals. So create a scoreboard to track and measure your progress.
First, having a compelling scoreboard shows you where you are right now and what you need to do to achieve your goals. Second, a scoreboard can motivate you because it serves as a visual cue to your goal.
And third, your scoreboard tells you a lot about your progress. You know if you are working toward or are moving away from your goals. Without a scoreboard, you will lose sight of your progress and eventually, miss out on your goals.
One of the most important keys to achieving your goals is to hold yourself accountable for your actions. When you are not committed to your goals, you will choose to procrastinate and do something else rather than working hard on your goals.
Therefore, get an accountability partner. Find someone who is supportive and can keep an eye on your progress. Each week, create a simple progress report and send it over to him or her.
By doing so, you build up the commitment towards your goals and you are making yourself accountable for your progress.
Don’t just say that you will do it. Get someone else to check on your progress from time to time, and this will make sure you get things done.
6. Take consistent action
Success will not fall from the sky. In order to achieve your goals, you must take action and stick to your plan. If you are not doing anything, don’t expect to see any result.
Most people fail at their goals because they don’t take the necessary action to get there. They choose to procrastinate and do what is convenient rather than what is necessary.
The key is to be consistent. You don’t have to work 24 hours a day. You just need to be consistent. I like this quote from John Maxwell, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily agenda.”
Remember, the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. If you take a sharp ax and take five swings at a tree, no matter how big the tree, eventually it will have to come down.
Consistency is key. You don’t have to take big and bold action, you just need to do it on a consistent basis.
7. Review your performance at least every month
Now, once you have taken some action, you will get the result. If you succeed, great, but if you fail, don’t worry too much about it. You just need to review your performance and progress each week or month and make the adjustment.
You can’t tell if what you do is working if you don’t do a review. You can only know if you are moving toward or away from your goals when you review your progress.
This is why it is important to check on your progress from time to time. And if you are not getting the result you want, change or improve your strategy.
Do understand that you may need to try more than once to achieve your goal. Like fighting in a battle, you may need to fight more than once to win. So don’t give up and keep improving your skills and knowledge.
Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, StunningMotivation.com.
You can also download his guidebook, Active Goal Setting and make your dreams a reality. Or simply follow him on Facebook.