5 Essential Steps For Successfully Achieving Your Goals
Written by: Kavata Kithome
The beginning of the year is a great time to re-establish your goals. You get a chance to get the wheels turning towards the direction of change.
You’ve probably vision boarded, journaled, dreamed and maybe just simply thought about what you’d like to achieve this year.
Did you know that 81% of resolutions fail? Some of us even start losing momentum within the first week of January. One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their goals is that they get busy with day to day living and forget about them!
Tony Robbins said “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” The key is not to forget about them; you have to work at our goals every day.
Often times, the smallest changes lead to the biggest results. I find that making small adjustments towards your goals every day makes them more achievable and attainable and isn’t that what we all want?
With that in mind, I have 5 foolproof steps to make sure you make your goals HAPPEN this year:
#1. Assess And Reflect
I find this part to be the most important. Because the only way you can genuinely decide what you want in the future and how you’ll get there is to know where you are right now and what your current level of satisfaction is.
Take the time to think and write down your current situation, then ask this question on each key point, “Is this okay?”
By doing this, firstly, you give yourself an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your vision for your life. Secondly you are able to see where you are and decide where you need to go. This by far is the most important step for me.
The beauty in this step is that you can continue to do this monthly, weekly, or even daily (for those high achievers). It is sort of like a progress check.
Take a couple of hours this week to evaluate and reflect. See where you are and write it down and as the months progress, continue setting aside a regular time of assessment and reflection. You will see just how much ground you’re gaining – and that will be exciting!
#2. Define Your Dreams And Goals
One of the incredible things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable aspiration for a better life, coupled with the ability to establish and set goals to live out that life. We have also been given the ability to not only dream, but also pursue those dreams and not just pursue them, but also lay out plans and strategies to achieve those dreams. Take a moment to fathom just how powerful you are!
Armed with your power, think about your dreams and goals and decide what you really want. This is so important! To quote Tony Robbins, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
Take time to be quiet. It is when you do this that your heart is set free to soar and take flight on the wings of your own dreams. When you are quiet, think about what really thrills you, what really gets your blood moving and what you would love to do.
What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy?
Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, you are always moving toward action – not just dreaming.
#3. Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.
My parents have always encouraged me to be goal oriented. Having a goal and plan in mind has always made attaining my goals much easier. And when life took a toil, I could always refer back to my plan and keep my eyes on the prize.,
When my father first introduced me to the S.M.A.R.T. acronym, I was probably fourteen and it blew my mind. It means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. This system has been around for a long time, because it works!
- Specific: Goals need to be very specific. They are no place to be vague or ambiguous. Remember ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.
- Measurable: Always set goals that are measurable. I would say “specifically measurable” to take into account the principle of being specific.
- Attainable: One of the detrimental things that many people do – with good intentions – is set goals that are so high that they are unattainable.
- Realistic: The root word of realistic is “real.” A goal has to be something that you can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in your life. There are some goals that are simply not realistic. You have to be able to say, even if it is a tremendously stretching goal, that yes, indeed, it is entirely realistic (possible) – that you could make it. This is in no way to say it shouldn’t be a big goal, but it must be realistic.
- Time Sensitive: Every goal should have a timeframe attached to it. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end – a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it. As time goes by, you work on it because you don’t want to get behind and you work diligently because you want to meet the deadline. You may even have to break down a big goal into different parts of measurement and timeframes – that is okay. Set smaller goals and work them out in their own time. A S.M.A.R.T. goal has a timeline.
Once you have smartized your goals, then the fun part begins. I like to do a mind storm. This is a creative thinking technique that can trigger ideas and breakthroughs and can be a shortcut through years of hard work. It’s like magic. Here is how it works:
Tools: Paper and a pen
Setup: Write the problem / challenge / goal at the top of the page.
Note: The more specific you are, the better the results you will get.
Action steps: Begin to generate ideas or answers to your challenge. Keep going until you have at least 20 answers or ideas.
Key points: Your first answers will come easily. Keep pushing until you have reached at least 20. Just let the answers and ideas flow. While solo brainstorming or mind storming, you set the judgmental mind aside. That means telling that spiteful inner critical voice to shut up! You’re just working with the creative mind. Ideas can be whacky and crazy. It doesn’t matter.
Afterwards: Once you have your 20 ideas, go back over them and choose the one that feels right to you. Trust your instincts with this. Your unconscious mind is a wonderful guide if you relax and trust it.
Optional: When you have chosen your idea, you can put that at the top of another page and do mindstorming to generate 20 ideas on how you could implement that idea.
This is very helpful with the next step in the process.
#4. Make An Action Plan
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. Those who have followed Tony Robbins teaching may know about the RPM (rapid planning method) that boasts to be the results-focused life planning system designed to help you envision any goal and take steps to make it real.
I like to think of this part as the meat and potatoes, because it keeps you on target. By writing out the individual steps and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you are able to see the progress you are making towards your goal. I have found that the RPM and mind storming are very helpful in mapping out my goals.
It is important to have compelling goals that will motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough. I think Tony Robbins said it best, “people are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.”
#5. Have Accountability
This part of the process is like the cherry on top of your sundae. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. A goal isn’t as powerful if you don’t have one or more person who can hold you accountable to it.
Having a coach or mentor can be very helpful, but sometimes that may not be very feasible. Telling a trusted person about your goals can be more than enough to help keep you accountable. This person cannot be your enabler, but a person who keeps you accountable by asking you to “give an account” of where you are in the process of achieving that goal.
I am fortunate to say that both my parents are my accountability partners. Who is your trusted person that will keep you on track to achieving your goal?
As you go about 2017, remember that quality questions create a quality life. A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. To help you get started on your goal setting, I challenge you to schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cellphone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen and your thoughts.
Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish, remember – you’re dreaming! Try the RPM or mind storm. Let the thoughts fly, take careful record and make a plan for the week to take action. Then assess your progress and make adjustments where necessary and if you need an accountability buddy, leave me a note in the comments below – I’d love to help you out!
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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