Every year, like a right of passage, millions of people make New Year’s goals. And sadly every year in a matter of weeks many of those goals are discarded.
I am sad to say that I am one of those people. Or, at least I have been in the past. This really bothered me. I would ask myself, “Why do I fail in my goals?” “Don’t I want to improve myself and my situation in life?”
When I couldn’t find satisfactory answers to those questions I would often find my inner voice questioning if it was even worth it to try to set goals. After all why try if I was just going to fail? I went through this sad cycle for way too long until I was shown that there was a reason I often failed at my goals. The reason was that I had never learned all the steps to setting successful goals. Yes, there are steps. And yes, if you want to be successful, you need to follow them.
Here are a list of 12 steps for successful goal setting that have made all the difference in the world in my life:
1.Actually set goals.
I know that this one sounds like a given. Yet how many of you (like my old self) fail to succeed at bettering themselves and their life simply because they have talked themselves out of taking this first step? How many have bought into the lie that goals are a waste of time because they are doomed to failure?
2. Set attainable goal.
Setting a goal to read 1,000,000 books this year when you don’t even know how to read isn’t realistic.
“Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight. ” -Denis Waitley and Remi Witt
3. Set goals that inspire you.
If your goal is not inspiring, then where will you muster the discipline and determination to keep going when it gets hard? The best way to create a goal that will inspire you is to think of the WHY. Why do you want to succeed in your goal? Why do you desire to change?
4. Be specific
If you are not specific in your goals how can you track them or even know if you have achieved them? A key to being able to be specific is to visualize. Take the time to visualize what you desire. What does it look like? (details, details, details) What do you look/feel/act like when you have your desire?
5. Break down large goals into mini goals.
If your goal is to learn how to read, then mini goals could be to invest in a recommended reading program (or hire a tutor…), or to set aside a set amount of time to practice reading,
“Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.” -Don Lancaster
6. Decide on deadlines, and benchmarks.
Setting up deadlines and benchmarks are important part of goal making, for it makes it possible to measure our progress. it also creates a delicious sense of urgency.
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” –Paul J. Meyer
7. Write your goals down.
If it isn’t recorded then it isn’t real. If you don’t write your goals down then they aren’t goals they are wishful resolutions soon to be forgotten.
8. Place them somewhere visible.
The idea behind placing your goals in a visible spot is to keep the goal at the forefront of your mind. This way you don’t just forget or ignore what you are supposed to be working toward.
Click Here to download this Free “My Current Goals are Printable”
9. Share your goals with someone you trust.
This is all about accountability. I don’t know about you, but I have found that when someone else knows about my goals and checks up with me periodically I am more likely to keep on track.
10. Return and report.
This step goes along with the last. Here is where you actively and regularly return and report (share) your progress and setback with your trusted friend.
11. Celebrate each benchmark and achievement.
The best part of breaking up your goal into mini goals and benchmarks (other than to better measure your progress) is to give you the opportunity to celebrate each mini success. When you take the time to recognize and celebrate each and every benchmark and mini goal your confidence grows and with that your faith that you can reach higher goals.
12. Don’t give up
You will have set back. accept that, and expect that. Just don’t let it stop you from moving forward. You only truly fail if you give up and stop trying.
Knowing and applying these 12 basic steps has made a world of difference in my life. What has helped you to be more successful in your goal setting?
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