Let’s face it. We have all been there. We are utterly enthusiastic about something we want to change in our life: live healthier, improve our relationship with our partner, write that book we have been contemplating about for years, learn to paint, enrol in a dance school, earn more money, start a business – you name it. If you are like most people, you set these intentions at the beginning of a year, aka New Year resolutions. Within 30 days, however, our enthusiasm often disappears, and our daily life takes over. We tell ourselves that we can build our dream later, someday when we are not so busy. Let me tell you, someday is never going to come.
So, what can you do to achieve the goals you set yourself? To live the life you imagine?
Here are ten steps I teach my clients to set goals successfully:
1. Be Specific
The more specific you are about a goal, the better. If it’s a revenue goal or a savings goal, for example, use exact numbers. If you are planning a trip, list your itinerary, the cities you would like to visit and which transport you will take. Plus, set a date you intend to reach your goal. If your default time frame is by the end of the year, it is most likely not going to happen. Write down the day, the month and the year and include some milestone checkpoints along the way. Then, schedule these milestones in your calendar so you can check in with yourself.
2. Do your research
You need to understand what it takes to achieve a goal. If you want to earn $1 million per year, then you will need to break it down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly achievable amounts and ways how to get there. If you want to lose weight, plan how many times a week you will need to exercise to reach your goal. A 30-min walk once a week is a great starting point but may not be enough.
3. Start from where you are
Be realistic. Going out and running a half marathon or full marathon on day one is probably not achievable for most people. Don’t be afraid to build up to your goal. Day one could be a walk or a shorter run.
4. Be consistent
Consistency is the number one thing to reach your goal. Consistent, conscious and repeated action towards your goal over time is vital. Hitting the gym or the yoga mat once is not getting you where you want to be.
5. Be accountable
Find an accountability partner and tell him/her about your goals. Think of a coach, a family member, a friend, a colleague, or your boss.
6. Have a compelling reason
If your reason for doing something is not strong enough, your goal will be harder to achieve. Take some time to reflect on your Why. Your Why has to be bigger than the goal itself. For example, ‘I want to be around to walk my daughter down the aisle, so I’ll lose weight and stop smoking’, or ‘I value my freedom and independence to create my own life so I’ll start my own business.’
7. Momentum Goals and Stretch Goals
Differentiate between two types of goals. Momentum goals are easier to achieve throughout the year, help keep you on track and provide you with momentum. Stretch goals are harder to reach and typically require more effort. It’s essential to have both. Otherwise, you won’t keep going, and you won’t stretch yourself to find out what’s possible.
What resources do you need to achieve your goal? Look at points 2 and 3. Do you need money? A particular type of education? Skills? A team? Marketing? Put this into a plan, and you will find a way to make it happen.
9. Visualise your goals
Vision Boards are a powerful tool to visualise your dreams and tell your story. They will help you gain clarity about your goals. Place your board in a spot where you can see it every day, and your subconscious mind will make your abstract ideas happen. In other words, a vision board will help you accomplish your goals.
10. Working on you
To achieve a goal requires lots of small steps; it’s a process. Throughout this process, you are going to hit all sorts of barriers be they mental, physical, emotional or energetic. Therefore, taking lots of smaller steps and being consistent will enable you to address these challenges effectively as they pop up. And believe me, they will. Don’t let them be an excuse to stop moving forward.