Now that a new year has begun, many of us are assessing our accomplishments and planning for the months ahead. Others are formulating and working on their new year’s resolutions. The only effective strategy to achieve your goals and maintain your accountability throughout the year is to create a plan. In this article, we are introducing a simple seven-step formula for setting and attaining your goals.
Before we introduce the seven steps, we would like you to discuss a couple of vital facts about achieving goals. First of all, what you get by reaching your goal is not as important as what you become. Throughout the journey, you will develop skills and habits that will last you a lifetime. Life is a journey, and we need to pause on the journey to realize that the end of the journey is not what is most important. The knowledge, experience, and relationships we develop along the journey are just as important.
A goal’s attainment is much easier if you receive encouragement and help from others. Be sure to share your goals only with those who share the vision and can provide the support needed.
A goal has to stretch you out of your comfort zone. The larger the goal, the more it will require you to dig deep and use your resources. The goal needs to be specific and create a feeling of passion within. This passion will enable you to work harder when you hit a bump in the road. It also needs to be YOUR goal! It needs to be a clearly defined target that you are constantly focused upon.
Here are the seven steps:
- Identify your goal.
- Set a deadline.
- List obstacles.
- Identify people.
- List skills.
- Develop a plan.
- List benefits. (What’s in it for me?)
1. Identify the goal.
The most important step when setting out to achieve a goal is, first, identifying what that goal is. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to make sure you’re setting, “S.M.A.R.T” goals. This acronym is a great starting point to not only helping you identify the goal, but also setting into place the small actionable steps in place to help you achieve them. “S.M.A.R.T” goals refer to goals that are:
With these parameters in mind and the following six steps that are described in this article, you will be able to keep your goals visual, top-of-mind, and increase your overall rate of success.
2. Set a deadline.
When you set a deadline, your subconscious will begin to work toward the goal. If there is no urgency, then you will always find an excuse not to hit the goal. When a deadline is set and a timeline is established, you begin to pave a path toward the achievement of your set goal.
3. List obstacles.
Do you struggle with things like not having enough time, having too many expenses, or having fear and uncertainty surrounding your goal? You’re not alone. The difference between someone who achieves their goals and someone who doesn’t isn’t the fact that they don’t face obstacles, it’s the courage to identify their obstacles and address them. Think of ways to reach out to your obstacles and discover ways to beat them. Where there is a will, there is a way!
4. Identify people.
Big goals are often a team sport, and the team with the strongest members wins! It’s helpful if the people who are most important to you in your life are in support of your goals. Having support from the people around you is what often separates those who don’t achieve their goals from those who do. Consider searching or reaching out to potential business partners and educators who can help you begin the journey.
5. List skills.
If you haven’t thought about what your strengths are in life, now is a great time to do so! Take some time to dive deep and discover what were the strong areas of your life. For skills that you wish to strengthen, it is imperative that you focus on those as they will be essential to helping you reach your goal. This is not the time to go easy on oneself. It’s important to understand what you already bring to the table, and equally important to evaluate which skills may need some work.
6. Develop a plan.
Planning long-term goals often require breaking your goals down into achievable steps that you can implement over time. It’s one thing to establish a goal, but to truly be successful in hitting your goals, establishing techniques and an actionable plan should be on your to-do list. Having your goals fully outlined, with the next steps identified, and regular accountability check-ins established to track your success and make sure you’re adhering to your timeline will make you unstoppable.
7. List benefits.
There has to be a reason why you want to achieve your goal. What’s in it for me? Do you want to earn additional money to help pay the bills? Do you want to be engaged in a new business?Are you looking for a welcome change from your routine and current reality? Visualize how your life would look once your goal is achieved, and carry those benefits with you to the finish line.
Begin the New Year with a list of goals. Follow the seven steps above. Always write down your goals and post them somewhere you can see them. Create a dream sheet, vision board, mind map, etc., essentially a list of tasks and things that you want to achieve (take a trip to Italy, hit x amount of pounds, etc.). Don’t be afraid to make your goal BIG. Finally, don’t be afraid to change your goals if they don’t suit you.
What are your biggest goals this coming year? How do you plan on achieving them?