Goals are not easy to accomplish for many of us. Common sense dictates and research indicates that, with some simple and straightforward effort, you can increase the chances of success by an amazing margin. Many of us struggle to accomplish our goals and objectives because we don’t follow common sense, and we don’t use good processes as we pursue our dreams and goals. Typical obstacles are “unrealistic or impossible to achieve” goals, vague objectives, lack of passion and commitment, unwritten goals, a lack of planning, an absence of vision of the goal being achieved, or an inability to measure progress. These can be easily overcome with a bit of effort and proactive planning!
Write Them Down — The simple act of documenting your goals will increase the odds that you will achieve the goals by high double digits. Get them down on paper or on your mobile device and look at them regularly!
Commit — Make a commitment to achieving the goal and publicize your commitment to your team, your friends, or your family. This too will affect a double-digit increase in the likelihood that you’ll achieve the goal.
SMART — All goals should be SMART Goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific > Measurable > Attainable > Relevant > Time-Bound. If your goals are set up to meet this standard, they are much more likely to be accomplished. For example, “I want to lose weight”, doesn’t meet the test. On the other hand, “ I want to work out three times each week, eat a low-sugar/low-fat diet and lose 10 pounds by December 31”, is much more likely to meet the SMART test. Only you can say what is truly relevant and attainable.
Measure — You have to measure your progress along the way to your accomplishment and celebrate hitting each milestone. This makes it much easier to stay motivated long enough to achieve the final victory! Remember to keep a few goals that are meant just to make life fun! There’s nothing wrong in that.
Visualize — They say a picture is worth a thousand words, don’t they? Why not make your goals visual? Concentrate on turning concepts and goals into vivid mental pictures that will help you connect on an emotional level with the process of achieving the goal. Think about it, what could add to the chances of reaching your goal more than being able to visualize a scene that features your joy in achieving it?
FEAR — Don’t let fear stop you, ever! Most of the time, we’re not afraid of things that are likely to happen, and our imagination makes them seem far more foreboding than they turn out to be in real life. If you feel yourself beginning to back away from an important goal, have a talk with yourself! Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I fall short on achieving this goal?” Then ask yourself, “Which is worse, falling short or never trying?” Then get back to work!
Motivation — Consider your motivations carefully when setting and pursuing goals. Each of us possesses multiple types of motivations and tapping into all of those is a great approach to increasing your drive to reach the finish line in the victory. Each of us has intrinsic motivations, extrinsic motivations, and personal motivations that need to be put into the gumbo to deliver a strong maximized commitment to reach the goal! The key is turning your goals into something that you have a burning desire to do, rather than something you MUST do grudgingly. Enthusiasm and commitment are crucial and critical elements in seeing your goals through to the end, particularly if they are long-term goals. Leverage your passion and get them done!
Finally, as I help people to get more of their goals met, one of the most helpful approaches I’ve seen is to help them to see the process differently. Achieving goals, especially challenging goals is not easy. The process is challenging, and you need some mental toughness to get to a successful conclusion. Expect that! See the challenge and embrace it. You cannot stay entrenched safely in your comfort zone and expect to deliver ambitious results, doesn’t happen most of the time! Recognize that if you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable as you work on challenging goals, you will increase your chances dramatically! When we are forced to learn new things, and try new approaches when we’re not sure in the middle of the process whether we’ll ultimately succeed, we are in the uncomfortable zone. To achieve anything that creates lasting value, something that makes us proud because it was not easy to accomplish, we need to tap into the significant challenge and embrace the struggle.
Getting scientific as well as artistic in your approach to your important goals will increase your chances of enjoying success consistently. It’s a bit like backing up the odds at the craps table of life! Enjoy the journey, and let me know how it goes…