Setting and achieving your goals

Do you struggle with goal setting? Actually, most people I know are great goal setters, but many struggle with achieving their goals. Let me share with you a 5 step process (and two bonus steps) that will help you follow through and achieve your goals. Here are the 5 steps:

  1. Set a measurable goal
  2. Develop a very clear picture of what it will be like when that goal is achieved
  3. Decide what you will give up
  4. Outline the steps that you need to take to achieve the goal
  5. Read your goals daily

Let’s take a brief look. If you want to get the full story, see my article here.

Set a Measurable Goal

Large? Small? What really matters is that you select something that can be measured. Be specific so that you know you have hit it and know when you want it. (I want to save $5,000 by June 30, 2012.) Write it down in order to be specific. Setting a measurable goal creates clarity for you, which gives your subconscious something to work on.

 A Clear Picture

Motivate yourself creating an emotional attachment to your goal. You do this by creating a clear mental picture of you completing the goal. Imagine yourself succeeding. Write it down (this is a theme…) Describe what is happening in your life, how others are affected, etc. We get the things we constantly think about. When we are emotional about a goal, you will think about it all the time, keeping your subconscious focused until you get the job done.

Giving Up Something

We all know you cannot get something for nothing; so decide what you will give up to get your goal. John Maxwell calls this The Law of Sacrifice. Your goal is probably more valuable to you than some of the things you have right now anyway. You also have a priceless treasure you will be giving to somebody, your time, which you cannot hoard, so why not give some of it to your goal, too. For many of us, that is the biggest sacrifice we must make is to surrender our unproductive time to the purpose of achieving the goal. I know that many of the goals I have failed to achieve in my life usually were the result of not committing my time and resources, such as they were, to doing whatever it took to getting the job done. (Why was that? Usually because I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted.)

Steps to Your Success

You might be thinking, “It’s great to have a goal, and it is fun to imagine accomplishing it. But how on earth will I get there?”

The good news is that you don’t have to know how to achieve your goal when you start, but you will have to develop a basic plan in order to get started. Say your goal is to climb Pike’s Peak and you’ve never been climbing before. You know that you will need to research climbing, perhaps take a class, assemble some equipment, etc. Write out your basic plan and then, very importantly, decide on a step you can take right now (however big or small) and take action immediately. Taking an action will start to give you confidence that you can succeed, beginning the process of conquering the fear you might feel starting something brand new.

Read Goals Daily

You have made a specific and measurable goal. You have established an emotional link to your goal. You are prepared to give something up, and you have a basic plan. You have even written all of these things down. Now, read the goals daily. Better yet, read two or three times daily. Fix them firmly in your mind. We get the thinks we think about constantly. Your subconscious does not want to be accused of being a liar, so it will help you figure out the steps and motivate you to develop the habits, knowledge, and skills needed to get the job done.


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