How many of us think, “I want more” or “I want a better life.” Most likely, that thought has occurred to nearly everyone at some point. However, how many of us then take planned action to really make it happen? Unfortunately, not many.
No matter how lofty your goals are or how impossible they seem to others, planning is the only way to prepare and succeed. If you want to be one of those people that get what they want out of life, here are some guidelines you better be prepared to follow!
1. Decide What You Want. Some people get down thinking “I never get what I want,” but if you ask them what they want they can’t really articulate it. That’s usually because they haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Don’t worry, it happens to a lot of us. We’re just busy living life: going to work, going to school, buying the groceries, paying the bills, taking the dog to the vet, blah, blah, blah.
Get off that treadmill for one afternoon. Set aside 1-2 hours just for you! During that time, think about what you really want. Write down everything and then boil it down to your top 10, top 5, top 3, and number one thing that you want.
2. Reality Check. Goals should be realistic, but they need not be easy. So a goal to date Heidi Klum might not be realistic, but a goal to date a woman who has all the attributes and values you like would be more attainable. Maybe you long to go back in time or bring back a loved one who you’ve lost. That’s not realistic, but instead you could set upon a goal to live a life or find a person who embodies similar elements to what you had before. If your goal is to make $1 million dollars, break it down into shorter term goals that are doable. When you hit those short term milestones it will give you encouragement to continue on your journey. Lastly, remember that goals don’t have to be about getting things or people, they can also be about how you want to live your life on a daily basis.
3. Focus. Work on only your top 1-3 goals at any given time. When those are completed, move onto the next goals on your list. If you try to bite off more than you can chew, you won’t reach any of your goals. Go slow to go fast.
4. Write It Down. Each morning, write out the goals that you are working on. This may seem silly after a while, but it takes very little time and it is very powerful. Also, each morning, write out the actions you will take that day toward your goals. It doesn’t have to be a lot. A little bit every day will get you there.
5. Big Stuff First. Each day, complete the action steps that bring you closer to your goal before you work on the little mundane things of life. Checking email, laundry, bills, chores, errands, all that stuff will wait until later in the day. If necessary, go to bed an hour earlier and get up an hour earlier to free up some time for working on your goals. Eliminating some, most or all TV watching is an easy way to find more time. Eliminate activities that are not important to make time for what you really want.
6. Aim for Progress not Perfection. Don’t wait until you’re “good” at playing guitar before you play for people. Playing for people will force you to improve faster than if you just practice in the safety of your bedroom. Don’t wait until you have all the money needed before you start taking steps towards starting a business. If you start taking action, when money is needed you’ll be more likely to either figure out a way to do it with no or less money or figure out a way to find the money. So just start doing! Planning is good, but action is the only way to make things happen.
7. Learn. Take every opportunity to learn more about what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Read, attend classes, and join groups where you can meet others who have done what you want to do. And everything you learn, translate it into concrete things you can DO towards reaching your goal.
8. Take Action Every Day. Every day, no matter how small, do something that brings you closer to reaching your goal.
9. Keep It Simple. It’s very easy to get distracted by fancy things thinking they will help us reach our goal. Do you really need a new gadget to track your progress or will simple pen and paper do the trick? Do you need to buy an e-course that teaches you how to workout, or do you just need to get your butt out running each day? Any time you find yourself thinking, “Oh, that could help me reach my goal,” ask yourself “Is it really necessary for reaching my goal?” If not, move on. If you’re not sure, move on. You can come back to it later.
10. Feed Your Belief. Every day spend some time at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day visualizing yourself living, attaining, and achieving your goals. Close your eyes for 10 minutes or so and run a little mental movie in your head. See the things you want happening right now. Turn up the volume in terms of color, sight, sound, and emotion for more impactful results. This activity will “program” your subconscious to believe. Once your subconscious believes then it starts automatically prompting you to take actions that will help you reach your goal. “Automatic” is good because it lessens the need for will-power.
11. Track Your Progress. In a journal, your calendar, a chart, or a simple notebook keep track of your daily progress. Write down what you did that day along with any milestones reached that day. This will provide motivation to stick with it day in and day out. Fail-proof it by making it something you can’t forget or avoid doing.
12. The Power Factor. One of the most powerful things you can do to achieve your goals is to enlist another person’s help. So find a mentor, coach, teacher, or simply a goal buddy. Having someone that you “report” to, that supports you, guides you and pushes you will make your success all the more certain.
Wishing you great success in reaching your goals. Remember, if you set your mind to something and take action, You Can Do It!
What do you want? Who will be your goal buddy? What’s the first step you will take today?