5 simple tips to achieve your goals [step by step]
This is not a magic formula to reach your goals. These are simple tips to achieve your goals, based on the experience of successful people who have reached their purposes through a personal system with similar steps.
It is likely that at the beginning of this year you have drawn some goals. It is also possible that you have achieved a couple of them or you are in the process of achieving them.
If you want to achieve goals it is important that you are willing to pay the price. And which one is it? It varies, according to what you want to achieve and how distant you are, here and now, from the point at which you aspire to reach.
Do you want to read this post in Spanish? Here is.
Step 1 – the previous work.
You may be very clear about your goals, but not everyone is so lucky. If your purposes are not clear or confusing, there is the first reason why you do not achieve them.
- Choose a quiet place where you can concentrate and minimize interruptions.
- Plan within your week a space of time to dedicate yourself to this.
- Be principled and respect that appointment with you. It is important that you strengthen your self-confidence.
- If you had goals for this year, check what they were.
- Point out how many you have achieved and how many were left pending. Those that remained pending in what area(s) of your life are related: with yourself, professional, relationships, financial, others.
- List the reasons why you think you have not succeeded yet. This can work as a self-assessment to detect patterns, limiting beliefs or factors that undermined our ability to achieve. Recognizing it in advance helps us avoid repeating the pattern, seeking support to overcome those limitations and prepare ourselves better.
Useful tips here: 3 simple steps to release your limiting beliefs.
Step 2 – Create your list and prioritize.
It was time to daydream and define the list of what are the goals you want to achieve in different areas of our lives.
Caution: we can want 100 things, however, studies in the area of execution establish that when you manage more than 3 key goals simultaneously, you get scattered, you lose focus and you achieve ZERO.
- Make a list that is not so extensive (about 20 points, if they are 10 better), of what is extremely important for you to achieve during the year.
- You know the pasta strainers that have multiple holes so that the water runs off and only the pasta is the one that remains. You are going to do a similar process. You will take your list of 20 or 10 and you will prioritize it, according to the value that achieving that purpose has for you.
- For example, if the list is 10 objectives, you will give the #1 to the most significant for you, that if you achieve it, as the only thing in the year, it would still make you feel very good. Then #2, #3 and so on.
- As we mentioned at the beginning of this point that the statistics are positive when you manage 3 maximum goals, you will take the first 3 of your list and those will be with which you will start the year; that will be the pasta that remains in the colander.
I say you will start because if you achieve one of these 3 objectives before the end of the year, you add the one that follows in the list. The essential thing is to handle only 3 important and large purposes, simultaneously.
The reason why many fail with their lists of purposes is that they are very extensive and try to handle almost everything at once. Focus and conquer. Only 3 at a time; If you achieve one, you incorporate the one that follows until you develop your goal achievement system.
At this point, if you find it difficult to list your purposes in order of priority, ask yourself these two questions: why is this important to me? And how will I feel when I achieve it? Many times the right questions are the best guide to find the answer.
Maybe these questions can help you to find your priorities: 23 reflections questions.
MORE SIMPLE TIPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Step 3 – polish the wording.
Here comes the other reason why many purposes remain halfway, the wording is poor and does not define the gap to cover. If you go back to the beginning of this post when we said, there are no magic formulas, we say that a lot depends on the distance between where you are now and where you want to go. That is what defines the price to pay.
A good goal lets us see clearly the gap or that path we have to go through and which we will follow up in step 4. This is what we call a SMART GOAL (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and realistic, Timely).
I share some examples:
Ambiguous purpose: Decrease or decrease measures
Clear purpose: reduce from 130 to 120 pounds, from January to May 2018.
The first purpose states that we want to lose weight but does not say how much or for what date. The second states that the amount to be lowered is 10 pounds and that we have from January to May to achieve it.
With the clarity of the second purpose, we can define a realistic plan, between food, exercises and other options, to help us get where we want. Another way of saying it could be to reduce 10 pounds in 5 months, counting from January 2018. It is clear that it is 10 pounds that we want to lower and the time limit to achieve it.
Summary: the wording of your goal should be simple, with some verb (in this case lower); it must say where we are now (of 130) and where we want to go (to 120). This distance, or distance, is what we call a gap. And you must have the deadline to achieve it.
One more fact that your goal is challenging and realistic. Challenging enough to inspire you, however achievable according to your abilities and resources.
Step 4 – define your strategy.
In point 3 you established the WHAT, that is, what you want to achieve. At this point, you will define the HOW you will achieve it.
If your purpose is, for example: to complete my master’s degree by December 31, 2018. The time limit is 9 months, from April to December and the gap is the number of subjects you have to complete and pass. If you still have 8 subjects you should see if it is realistic that you can take them all in those 9 months.
For the example of the master degree some strategies could be: enroll at least 3 subjects per quarter; meet the minimum attendance required; dedicate 6 hours each week for jobs and assignments; join a study group with good students.
If it were for the goal we saw in step 3 (to reduce 10 pounds in 5 months), some strategies could be: go to a nutritionist; do exercises 3 times a week, 20 minutes in each session; reduce portions in each meal; avoid sweets, sweetened drinks, etc.
Recommendation: make a list of possible strategies and choose the 3 (that’s the magic number) that you feel will help you fulfill the purpose you have more forcefully. That will be your 3-step action plan to achieve your goals.
Other useful tips here: Organize yourself for success – 7 ideas to organize yourself better in 2018
Step 5 – follow-up and celebration.
The last step is to follow up. This follow-up must meet some basic conditions.
It requires to be:
periodically – establish if it will be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly;
consistent – comply with the periodicity that we establish in the previous point;
visual – create our equivalent to an annotation board in which we record the score achieved; the pounds lost, the measures reduced, the qualifications won, the kilometers traveled, etc.).
There are 2 essential areas to which you follow up:
- For the purpose in general. Here we are measuring the gap. With the example of lowering your weight, you can weekly write down the lost pounds or the new weight. This will allow you to see clearly if you are achieving it or not. If you are achieving it, you celebrate! You do something significant for you to congratulate you.
- To the strategy. It is very important to have a visual record that allows us to see if we are complying with the established strategy. If I promised to walk 3 times a week, 5 km each time, it is important that I keep a simple record of this to make sure I am doing it.
Being also aware of compliance with the strategy and registering it visually, is what helps me to detect why I am not achieving or even approaching my purpose. Many times it’s because I auto-boycott my strategy; but only by following it up can you verify it.
If in spite of being fully complying with your strategy you are not achieving your goal, you return to point 4 because that indicates that you have to make adjustments or changes in the action plan.
For follow-up you can use calendars, cork boards, cardboard, post its or if you are very technological (a) I recommend looking for an app, an alternative is Goal Tracker & Habit List.
Celebrate our advances are very important and it is a way to give us of self-love. You can find other ways here: how to love yourself in 12 different ways.
Remember these suggestions do not replace the consistent work, discipline, and commitment that must also be to reach your purposes.
Live a simpler, beautiful and happy life every day. Thanks for visiting us!
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