Legend has it that there are those who walk among us with otherworldly abilities. They possess enchanted scrolls scribed with secrets of superior organisational skills, and are able to harness motivation beyond the realms of any regular goal-setter. According to ancient folklore, they are immune to Mondayitis. They can set goals on days other than the 1st of January; and, incredulously, they can achieve them.
Not me. Some days I squeeze moisturiser onto my toothbrush or attempt to get out of my car still strapped in my seatbelt; however, the secrets of these magical and mysterious beings have finally been revealed, and perhaps now we all have a chance of finally achieving those ever-elusive goals.
What do you want?
To start with, ask yourself one question: what do I want? Be specific. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve essentially lays the foundation for being able get there. No matter what the goal is, the key is to be specific. For example, setting vague goals such as ‘I want to get fit’ does not clearly define exactly what ‘fit’ means. Instead, try something like ‘I want to lose 10kg’, or ‘I want to compete in the next big marathon’, that way your vision is clear and your goal actually becomes realistic and attainable.
How will you get there?
Great, you’ve set a goal! Now what? Well unfortunately, achieving a goal involves a little more than just dreaming about it, and this is the part where you work out how the heck you’re going get there. This is possibly the most crucial step in the process (and also where most people fall off the wagon), because without a plan you have no measurable way of knowing if you are on track to reaching your target. Sit down and map it out. Figure out what changes you need to make and give yourself a realistic time frame. Making sweeping statements like ‘I want to be a millionaire’ (I mean, good on you for being ambitious!) is just wishful thinking if you don’t back it up with a measurable plan of action for how exactly you’re going to pull it off.
Write it down.
There’s something about seeing your goals etched in ink that suddenly gives them a whole new sense of gravitas. They transcend from a safe little bubble in your mind into something real and tangible that can hold you accountable for your actions. Mentally, you are now committed. Writing it down can be as simple as a line on a blank page, folded up and tucked away in your wallet or somewhere close by, or creating something visually exciting, like an inspiration board with a collage of pictures and quotes that personally motivate you to achieve your goal.
Stick it out.
Here’s the part that nobody wants to hear: goal-setting is not a means to and end; it is an ongoing process. This means that all that thinking and planning and preparation you just did is good for absolutely nothing if you don’t stick to the plan. Be prepared to work hard for it; if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Remind yourself why you started, why it’s worth the effort, and review your progress regularly. Life sometimes has a way of interfering with even the most well-laid plans, so it’s also important to be flexible in your mission – as long as the value, intent, and necessity always remain high.
Work towards it every single day.
And finally, the best way to make sure that you reach your goal is to do something every single day. Something that that brings you one step closer to achieving it. Even if it is just one little thing. Whether you spend five minutes or five hours on it. Just make it a habit (and a priority) to take action every day. Remember, the earlier you start, the bigger the changes become over time; and the more time you spend working on your goal, the faster you will achieve it.
Goal setting and achieving doesn’t have to be something that only an elite few are privy to; we are all capable of doing anything we put our mind to if the want is strong enough. The ability to pursue your goals is not relevant to how talented you are. Nor how rich you are, or smart you are: if you can dream it, you can do it.
Remember, hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard; and if your dreams don’t scare you just a little bit, they aren’t big enough!
- It’s no coincidence that all successful entrepreneurs exhibit similar behaviours. This is because they all possess the one key component integral to business success: good habits. New research suggests that it takes, on average, 66 days to develop a new behaviour (but results will vary). Imagine that! There’s only 66…