Achieve Your Goals
Achieving goals is simple. When you follow basic steps, you will continually move forward until the goal is met. Working toward a target helps you feel in control of your life. You will need time, money, materials, knowledge, and/or help from others.
- Long-range goals are usually accomplished in one to five years. Choose your most important long-range goal and write it on a worksheet. This may be your life’s purpose, or any goal. See Discover Your Purpose, page 24.
- Short-range goals are accomplished this month, this week and tomorrow. See “My Vacation” example below. These goals help you decide what you need to do immediately and encourage you to believe that your long-range goal is not overwhelming and is possible.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”
― Confucius, philosopher and teacher (551-478 BC)
SET SMART GOALS: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC, and TIMED. You must be able to believe your goal to achieve it. You may have to readjust if you discover you have trouble believing it. Simply downgrade it slightly. The more specific and measurable, the quicker your goal will be accomplished. Ask yourself:
- How will I know when I have achieved my goal? How will I know how close I am? What will the results look like?
Example: “My goal is to go on vacation on August 8th. I will know that I am close as my plans take shape on the schedule I have planned.”
- How do I know I am moving in the right direction?
Example: “I have set small goals. When these goals are met on time, I will be excited and anxious to move to the next step.”
- Do I have solutions to problems?
Example: “I don’t yet know where I am going, how much it will cost and where I will get the money. I will have to gather information and consider my options.”
- How hard am I willing to work? Your goal must compel you to work at it, for you to enjoy the process and stick to it when the going gets tough.
Example: “I need this vacation and will do whatever it takes to make it a success.”
- What am I willing to give up to reach my goal? This is another way of asking how important this is to me? Am I willing to give up time, money and fun to reach this goal? If not, it may need to be a lower priority. “I may have to plan for a vacation a year from now.”
Example: “I am willing to devote as much time as it takes to go on vacation this summer.”
- What degree of commitment am I willing to make? If you commit to your goal and you mean it, your goal is achievable. Don’t make a commitment unless you mean it. Don’t complain about not reaching your goal if you are not willing to do what it takes.
Example: “I am committed to making this vacation happen!”
- Who will I ask to help me, and what will I ask them to do?
Example: “I will start by asking my boss for the time off.”
- Will my goal affect others and how will I work that out?
Example: “I will have to find people to cover for me while I am gone.”
Intrusive, negative thoughts telling you that you can not reach your goal create doubt. It drains your energy and can stop you. Decide if the doubt is legitimate and what you need to do to remove it. If you choose a goal that is out of context with your life, your values, needs or it is unrealistic with what you believe about yourself, doubt will creep in. You will not be satisfied when your goal is reached. It must fit who you are. State your goals in words believable to you.
Example: “Every time I think it can’t happen, I see myself on a cruise in the middle of the ocean and I am relaxing on deck.”
WRITE YOUR GOALS in clear, concise terms. Don’t use words such as: a lot, more, much, less, most, etc. For example, don’t say, “I want to relax more.” State, “By August 8, I will be relaxing on vacation, away from my problems on board a cruse ship.” Write your goal in short sentences. It is stating where you are now and where you want to be. Read your long-range goal at least once every day.
LIVE YOUR GOAL. Create a picture to the smallest detail of what you want to happen as if it already happened.
Example: “I can smell the salt air and taste the delicious food.”
CREATE A SUPPORT TEAM. Be selective about who you tell. Some people will discourage you.
LIST POSSIBLE SETBACKS. Create a plan to overcome them. Be flexible and willing to take a risk. Be willing to give something up if you can see that it’s not working. Figure out another way to get what you want.
Example: “The dates for a cruise do not agree with my vacation. I’ll have to do something else.”
CONSIDER PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES CAREFULLY. Make sure every activity moves you toward you goal. Identify and prioritize critical steps and when they should be done. Delegate who should do them? Focus on results. Each activity should be considered based on your goal. “How will what I am doing help me get the results I want?” Do not do anything, no matter how much fun, or how beneficial it is unless it moves you toward you goals.
Example: “I would like to see a movie tonight with my friends, but I have not met my goal for this week and will work on that tonight.”
SET DEADLINES. Estimate how much time you need, and then double it. This helps remove discouragement. Avoid last-minute rush jobs. Time needed is based on resources, money and knowledge and the number of steps you need.
DO AT LEAST ONE SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY EVERY DAY. Don’t quit until you reach your daily goals.
“Discipline is remembering what you want.” ― Mark Twain
GOAL: go on vacation August 8. I will begin the process January 10.
Steps I need to take to reach my goal. (Each step may become a process in itself.)
1. Decide where I will go by January 30.
a. By January 5 get brochures.
b. By January 15 talk to a travel agent.
1. By January 12 call travel agents.
2. By January 14 go on line and check prices.
2. Decide how long I will stay on vacation by February 28.
a. By February 20 check with work and see how much vacation I have coming.
b. By February 26 check extra available money in my bank account.
c. By February 28 figure how much money I can spend or will need.
- Decide how I will get there by March 31.
- By March 15 check out plane fares and arrival and departure times.
b. By March 30 check out buses and trains.
- Decide what I want to do while I am on vacation by June 30.
a. By June 10 look on line for possible sightseeing tours and interesting things to do.
b. By June 20 ask my friends about their suggestions.
c. By June 31 look at more brochures.
1. By what date will I do this?
2. How long will it take to do this?
3. Other people to consider.
Example: “I am committed to play second base on the company softball team.”
4. Other people to help me. Who will feed the cat? Who will drive me to the airport? Who will water the plants?
Example: “I can get the lady next door to feed my cat and water my plants. I can park the car at the airport.”
Example: I have a report due. I need about three hundred more dollars. Everyone wants souvenirs. I have old luggage.
- Solve problems by…
Example: “I‘ll get Ted to do the report for me. I’ll Promise to do the next two reports for him. I can get a loan. I’ll tell everyone I’ll send nice postcards. I can borrow luggage.”
My deadline is June 30. The goal is reached. I am ready. I’m going on vacation August 8. My next goal is getting packed for the trip.
Changing your actions and habits will create changes in people around you. Be aware that they may have a hard time adjusting.
Reaching your goal is one of the best things that can happen to you. It is exhilarating and makes you feel alive. Now it’s time to consider your next goal.
“Life is like an ice cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.”
― Charlie Brown
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- What goal do you wish to accomplish?
- Why do you want this goal?
- When do you want to reach it?
- What steps do you need accomplished to reach your goal?
- Who do you need to include?
- What problems can come up and how will I overcome them?
[box type=”bio”] Betty Eddy is a published author and member of the Netiv community. Her work as a life coach has given her unique insight into self help. In her book “Untying the Knots of Life” she deals with concepts which guides the reader though self discovery. [/box]