Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How to Achieve Goals

Do you want to achieve your goals?  Really?

That may sound like a silly question, but it is not so silly.  The reason many people do not achieve their goals is because they don't really want to.  Not seriously.  Not passionately.

Very often, this is because they are the right goals in the first place.  Are your goals aligned with your inner values?  If they are not you will find it very difficult to achieve them, because deep down you will not really want to achieve them.  I suggest you read my article on alignment to find out how to identify your inner values and align your goals with them.

Once you are sure you have aligned goals make sure you write them down.  Next to having the wrong goals in the first place a big reason for failing to achieve your goals is because you have not written them down.  Until you do they are more vague desires than real goals.

Check your written goals carefully.  Are they long term, medium term or short term?  You probably have a mix of all three.  In fact you SHOULD have a mix of all three.  Sort them accordingly.  For each of the long term goals make sure you have a short term and a medium term goal as well.  The long term goals can be things people around you would say are unrealistic.  In fact, they probably should be or otherwise you are not aiming high enough.  The medium term goals should be things the people around you would probably say are ambitious but not impossible.  Those in the "short term" pile should be readily achievable.

Your short term goals should be SMART.  That means they are specific, measurable, agreed, realistic (even if it will be a bit of a challenge), and timed.

  • Specific means you cut out all the wooliness.  It is absolutely clear what that goal is.
  • Measurable means there is an objective measure that will confirm exactly when you have reached that goal.
  • Agreed means you have committed to achieving it.  A surprisingly large number of people do not do this, and those people rarely achieve their goals.  Consider it a binding contract you make with yourself.
  • Realistic, well it is pretty obvious what that means.  But make sure you don't dumb it down so it is too easy to achieve.  Make sure you really have something to aim for rather than a walk in the park.
  • Timed means you have a specific date by which you want to achieve this goal.

Medium term goals may also be SMART, but some of those elements may be missing.

Long term goals should not be SMART at all.  They may be completely unrealistic.  They may not be clearly defined.  I like to say something like "I achieve this or something better", as the universe may indeed have something much better in store for me.  Don't force yourself into a "contract" to achieve it, as firstly you may inwardly squirm and feel you cannot achieve it, and secondly as I have already said, the universe may have something better in store for you.

With your short and medium term goals, make sure they are leading you towards your long term goals.  Surprisingly often, people find their short term goals in particular are moving them in completely the wrong direction.  The word "alignment" is important here again.

Now that you know you have the right goals, have written them down, and have classified them you need to build that passion that will make you really want to achieve them.  Imagine what your life will be like once you have achieved a goal.  If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, imagine yourself in the clothes you will be able to wear.  Picture your beautiful or handsome body and the impact it will have on the people around you.  If it is to have earned a certain amount of money, imagine what difference that will make to your life, what you will be able to do with it.  Focus on the reason you want to achieve your goal and then really feel as though you have already achieved it.  Hold on to that feeling.  Doesn't it really make you feel good?

Create a vision board for your goals.  Use it like a kind of scrap book, putting in pictures and symbols of what it is you want to achieve.

Or even better, create a video with goal affirming music and pictures and written affirmations against the pictures.  This is an extremely powerful technique, far more effective than the traditional static vision board.  Sound difficult?  Well it isn't if you have the right tools to do it.  You can get a copy of those tools here:

Affirm your goals at least twice a day, when you wake and before you sleep, and preferably more often than this.  Your affirmations must always be positive and always in the present tense.  Do not say "I am not ill" - say "I am healthy".  Do not say "I will have a million pounds in my bank account" - say "I have a million pounds in my bank account".

As you achieve each short term goal, refer to your medium and long term goals and replace the achieved goal with a more ambitious one that takes you in the right direction.

If you implement all the steps I have outlined here you will have a really good strategy in place to achieve all your goals!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Graham ,
    Many thanks for sharing your blog on how to achieve goals...I do like the steps outlined to achieve them..

    Thanks n cheers for more tips to valuable life..