How many times have you heard that being successful is all down to setting goals? It may come as no surprise to you to learn there is a lot more to success than just setting your goals. In this article, I show you why many people fail to achieve their goals and how to be successful with whatever it is that you want to achieve in your life.
1. What is a goal?
A goal is a target which is achievable in measurable attainable steps. It is more than just a desire or a need, and has an existence of its own. A desire or a wish is less tangible, and often just fleeting. Who does not desire or wish to win the lottery? A goal is a desire, wish, or need, but it is achievable by actions you can take. It is more than a mere wish or desire.
2. How to set a goal?
Setting a goal is a process which starts with an achievable need or desire. First you must decide on the following:
- What do you want?
- Where do you want to be?
- Your status, career or qualifications?
A goal can relate to any desire, wish, or need, achievable by actions you can take.
You then break down the goal into small individual steps or actions. Achievable goals are goals where you can influence their realisation and measure your progress towards them. Achieving long-term life-changing goals is a process of achieving, step by step, short- and medium-term actions.
3. What actions are required?
Goals require action on your part. You first need to decide what action is required to achieve the goal. Your first action is always to always write your goals down. Putting pen to paper – and this is one time when a real pen and paper are required – gives your goals an existence of their own.
Writing a plan is an essential step in achieving your goals. Without it, you will (over time) amend the long-term goal to fit your reality. You will eventually reduce the goal to a wish, and wishes only come true by chance.
4. Analyse the results
You then need to analyse, and work out in detail, how you are going to accomplish each individual goal. This means writing a detailed plan of what tangible actions are required to achieve each individual goal. These actions then become smaller shorter term goals leading to major longer term goals.
5. What steps do I need to take today?
Everyday, ask yourself, “What steps do I need to take today?”. By now, it should be all planned in advance, so check your plan and make sure you take each step everyday. If you discover additional steps are needed, add them to the plan.
6. Review your achievements every week and month
Every week, review your progress for the week. Check what you have done and what you may have missed. Adjust your plan for the next week or month.
Your plan should always take into account what you will do today, tomorrow, this week, next week, before the end of the month, in the next 3 months, 6 months…? Always write down your results.
7. What if things go wrong?
Goals are difficult because they move you outside your comfort zone to do things differently. To be successful, you have to face your own fear of failure and take risks. Setbacks are part of the process, accept them graciously. Adjust your plan and catch up right back after.