Goal Realization. It’s All in the Follow-Through.
Goal setting is one thing, following through is quite another.
How many of us have set a goal or a New Year’s Resolution to eat better, exercise more, and become all-around more dynamic and healthy people?
We start off with high hopes and loads of motivation, but soon enough the minutia of everyday life seems to interfere and make our goal increasingly difficult to achieve.
The truth is that articulating your goals is an important first step, but actually achieving them is the real stuff of life.
There is no feeling quite like setting a goal, and then setting upon steadily achieving it.
In fact, most people who have been successful at setting and achieving their goals will tell you that the process is more important than the final result. That old saying, it appears, rings true: the journey really is more important than the destination.
For it is in the journey, process, or whatever you would like to call it, that you learn how to work. In the process of achieving your goals, you will have to confront your greatest strengths and weaknesses, you will find out who your real friends are, as opposed to people who would prefer to drag you down.
If you’re ready to set off on your own personal journey to achieve your goals, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Perhaps the first thing you can do to set off on realizing your goal is also one of the simplest things you will do.
Take out a pad of paper and pen and write down your goals.
Do you want to lose ten pounds by March?
Open a new restaurant?
Go to graduate school?
Make a million dollars?
Make a list. Be bold and think big. Remember that no one will see this list except for you.
This simple step, that is the act of writing things down, can be a surprisingly powerful tool on the road to achieving your goals. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple step.
Most people have goals, but they are usually rather hazy, hovering at the margins of their minds, never quite coming into fruition. Writing your ideas down forces you to confront your desires, to be specific about what you want, and how you can go about achieving your goals.
Simply articulating your goals is quite powerful, but that is only the first step on your journey.
In order to realize your goals, you will have to master the art of commitment. Commitment is something you can decide to do. It is something you can cultivate through the steady process of your work.
If you pursue the right kind of goals, commitment will be less of a problem.
What are the ‘right’ types of goals?
The right kind of goal for you could be the goal that you have carried with you for a long time, maybe all your life. Something you haven’t been able to get yourself to do yet, but can’t seem to let it go.
It is something you have always wanted to do, but resisted pursuing because you were afraid of falling flat on your face, or maybe you considered yourself too busy, too short on resources.
Say yes to yourself…
The truth is that no matter how you rationalize it, there is no valid excuse for not pursuing your goals. Life is about working towards what you want or need to be happy. Go with it.
YES. Say yes to yourself…
Once you decide on your goals, you consciously decide to do whatever it takes to achieve them.
With this decision comes the work of commitment. If you are pursuing goals that truly matter to you, the commitment part will be easy. Build your burning desire to the point that you couldn’t stop if you wanted to.
Even the most committed dreamer will come across roadblocks. For those moments of doubt, confusion, or just plain tiredness, there are certain strategies you can use to get you through these rough patches.
Remember that rough patches are temporary to those who are commited, and determined to succeed. Also, remember that everyone goes through periods where his or her goals appear insurmountable.
But achievers don’t let it stop them from moving forward.
Achievers regroup and find a way around, over, under, or through these temporary obstacles and they overcome them.
Give yourself a well thought out deadline, especially if you tend to procrastinate. Giving yourself an allotted amount of time to achieve your goal can be a great motivator for some.
Take out your calendar and choose a date that gives you a reasonable amount of time to accomplish your goal, and see yourself actually doing it. Belief is critical, you must believe you have what it takes to see it through all the way to your goal.
Many times, the pressure of having a deadline hanging over your head can be just enough to keep you moving forward. I know that having a set deadline carved in stone has helped me continue past plateaus to the win.
Visualize your successfully accomplishing it. Don’t say, “I will go back to school sometime in the next five years,” or “I will lose ten pounds by summertime.” Be specific! Use powerful affirmations of your determination and commitment and repeat them as often as you need to.
I used to look at myself in the mirror and proclaim, “I see power. I see courage. I see power. I see courage. Use whatever works to keep yourself positive.
Proclaim yourself, “I will go back to school in the fall semester,” or “I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st.”
You are much more likely to realize your goal if you are specific and give yourself a reasonable but firm deadline.