6 Steps to Setting Achievable Goals
Planning is a deliberate action effort; this must be done systematically and with care to not get too far ahead of yourself. The best thing to do is to sit somewhere quiet where you can focus on what is important to you.
Identify Your Goals
The first thing you need to consciously be aware of is what exactly you want to achieve, this requires writing down your goals. Write down specific, clear goals that motivate you. The key factor is that you should not think too far ahead. Start with something you would like to do over the next 3 months or less.
Make a list of all the things that excite you, make you happy, and fill you with purpose. This is going to be your starting point, but do not stop there, continue exploring different things in your life that you may want to change. After doing this for a while without setting any expectations on how you will achieve these goals, you will start to gain some clarity as to what it is you want to be doing and the how will come later, the excitement comes from finding your purpose and passion.
Outline the Steps To Reaching Your Goals
Then write down the steps you need to take to achieve each one of these goals. Make the steps clear and break them down to the daily and weekly steps that needed to get you closer to these goals. Setting a goal is crucial, but accomplishing the goal is even more important. One of the most effective ways to help you achieve your goals is by visualizing the steps and the feelings you will get by accomplishing each step you take towards reaching your goal. After visualizing every detailed step, write them down, simply and clearly. This helps solidify the concept in your mind and makes your goals a real thing that you are striving for.
The third step is to commit yourself to it like you do with every other commitment you make: like you commit to going to work and get up and do that whether you feel like it or not. This may be difficult for some, but it is important to make a contract with yourself and putting it in writing is a very effective action step. We hold ourselves to exacting standards when we have contracts with other people, yet we do not give the same importance to the contracts we make with ourselves.
These contracts can be a simple verbal promise to do something better in our life, but if it is lower on your priority list it gets set aside and never completed.
Break Down Your Goals
If you set your goals are set for 3 months, the best way to get this done is to break them down into weekly steps to stay focused, as well as minimize distractions. Breaking down large long-term goals into smaller short-term goals that are easier to deal with makes it easier to focus all your energy on that one small goal that leads to the next, and so on. For example, if your long-term goal is to lose 50 pounds, the short-term goals will be to lose 10 pounds a month or 2 pounds a week, etc. This is a far easier goal to accomplish and keep up with than only looking at the 50 pounds.
Enjoy the Satisfaction
Remember, it is a process and a journey and the destination is the goal. Just like with any journey, we take a moment to say that we are getting closer to the destination and don’t just stop and turn back because we have not reached the destination after we get to the first stop from where we started the journey. Be persistent but also take time to look at how far you have gone even of it is only one step from where you started, this requires consistency, patience, and diligence.
After each small goal is complete, make sure to take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing each step towards your goal. It will keep you motivated and excited to move on to the next step and eventually the next goal. The small achievements are what get the larger goals accomplished. Taking a moment to congratulate yourself and enjoy the moment of having done the smaller steps will make getting to the larger goals easier.
Be Flexible With Your Goals
If, at any time, a certain step is not getting you where you need to be, change the steps. If the goal ceases to be compelling and captivating, or you can see that it is not feasible with the time frame and steps you have set, consider changing it up or breaking it down a little more or just changing it. If the goal is no longer important to you, there is no point in aimlessly pursuing a goal that is not going to give you the satisfaction that it was set to give.
If it is frustrating and no longer motivating, take the time to sit down and think of the reasons why this particular goal is making you feel indifferent. Additionally, you will need to modify and adjust your goals regularly to reflect the growth of your life experiences. Keep in mind that flexibility is key, because on the road of life you must learn to change lanes. Your goals are set with the limiting beliefs we have at that time, when those beliefs fade away or change, we must also upgrade our goals to reflect the new beliefs we have.
Once you have your comprehensive plan, follow through is the next crucial step. As you work through each step, even the small ones, cross it out on your piece of paper or wherever you have it. Always make sure to have a visual reminder of the goals and the list somewhere that you can see what needs to be done and what has been done daily.
Writing things down on paper makes the goals seem more tangible and crossing them out gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment and fulfillment so that you stay motivated to move on to the next step.
The trick is to think big, then work your way backwards until you reach the smallest goal you can set for yourself; be it a weekly or a daily goal. Remember, no goal is too small or irrelevant. Each one is a stepping-stone to lead on to the next one, then the next, and so on.