How To Set a Goal – And Reach It
You can’t reach a goal if you don’t set one. Furthermore, reaching a vague goal is pretty much impossible. The most successful people in the world set specific goals and make a plan to reach those goals.
While you are unique, this is a fact that you cannot avoid – if you want to reach any goal and be successful, you must actually set a goal first.
I hope that you’ve already defined what you want, to be successful this year and beyond. You’ve already identified the potential risks and/or consequences of attaining it. Now, you must create a plan for reaching it.
You can think of this as your blueprint to success. You’ve heard of those. Many people actually sell blueprints for success, and these may be useful.
But because you are unique, and your idea of success is unique – and your goal is unique, you really need to create your own unique blueprint.
This could be done in your own notebook. At the top write out your goal. Then, start with a rough draft. This should be a list of general steps that you need to take in order to obtain your goal.
Remember that this is just a rough draft, and if some of the things on this draft are vague, don’t worry about it right now. You will write the steps out more clearly shortly. For now, you just need a basic list to start with.
Once you have that list, put it into a logical order. What needs to be done first? What needs to follow that step? Here, you are tidying up, so to speak, so that you can more effectively plan and reach your goal.
Next, you are ready to write out a clear plan in your notebook. Write out the main steps that must be taken to reach your goal. Here, you want to be very clear and very defined.
For example, if your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, and exercising will help you to reach that goal, you can’t just put exercise as a step. You must clarify what exercise you will do, how often you will do it, and how long you will be doing it. Be very clear and concise. Specifically name each task that will bring you closer to your goal.
Once you have the main steps listed, in the order that they are to be taken, go deeper by breaking the main steps down. Break each step and sub-step down as far as you can, until you essentially have a real step-by-step list that you can work from to reach success. Don’t leave anything out.
Next, assign a timeline for each step and sub-step. By what date should this step be started and finished? You are now creating your own schedule for success goal achievement.
It may take some time to do this. Some people can do it in an hour or two, while others may need a week or two of planning. This is different for each person, and different for each person’s idea of success. Don’t worry about how long it is taking you. Keep working at it until you feel like you have an actual step-by-step plan that you can start to take action with.
Next, revisit the negatives – the risks or consequences. For each step, what can go wrong, and how will you address it if or when it does? Write this information down. You can call this your emergency plan, or Plan B, and you will be amazed at how helpful that plan is if the negatives do rear their ugly heads while you are working through your steps to success. Once you’ve addressed the potential negatives, put them right back out of your mind.
Get everything together in your notebook. You may need to list people that must be contacted for certain steps, or a definition of someone that you will need to find and hire. Again, write it all down.
If you make your goals plan on your computer, make sure that you print it out. Your notebook will be something that you need to have with you at all times. It’s easy to get off track if your goals are not in front of you at all times, and your notebook should always be with you – everywhere you go. This keeps it firmly in your mind.
Next, use a scheduling system that you can take with you. This may be a daybook or a calendar system on your computer. Either one works. You have defined starting and ending times for your steps. Incorporate these into your schedule – if you are doing this in a daybook, or in writing, use ink, not pencil.
With all of it written down, you may think that you are good to go, but the truth is that you aren’t. You need to read over the steps again. Stop at any step that makes you feel unsure. Think about why you are feeling unsure.
Is this something that you don’t know how to do yet? Is this something that scares you a little? Really think about it, and discover why you are feeling unsure about this step, and do whatever you need to do in order to feel sure that you can do it.
Fear – no matter what causes that fear – can be detrimental to success, and if you don’t address it now, up front, it may stop you in your tracks completely when you come to that step. Avoid that by addressing the fear now.
You may feel more secure by talking to someone else who has done it, by researching the step, or even by talking to a therapist about it. Do whatever it takes to get past the fear, and to feel secure about what you will need to do.
Are you feeling good about your plan? Have you researched all of the steps? Is this how you feel that your success will be reached? If so, you are now good to go. You can get busy working through your steps. You are on the road to success.
All you need to do now is start . . .