Don't let your goals and resolutions fall by the wayside. Chances are that to achieve your dreams and live a life you love, those goals and resolutions are crucial. Goal setting and goal achievement are easier if you follow these six steps for effective and successful goal setting and lifelong resolution accomplishment. See how effective this recommended path is for you.
Deeply Desire the Goal or Resolution
Napoleon Hill, in his landmark book, "Think and Grow Rich," had it right.
"The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat."
So, your first step in goal setting and achieving your dreams is that you've got to really, really want to achieve the goal.
Visualize Yourself Achieving the Goal
Lee Iacocca said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
What will your achievement feel like? How will your life unfold differently as a result of your achievement?
If the goal is an object, a trip, or anything that can be visual in nature, some gurus of goal setting recommend that you keep a picture of the item or destination where you see and are reminded of it every day. If you can’t picture yourself achieving the goal, chances are you won’t.
Make a Plan for a Path to Follow to Accomplish the Goal
Create action steps to follow. Identify a critical path. The critical path defines the key accomplishments along the way, the most important steps that must happen for the goal to become a reality.
Stephen Covey said, "All things are created twice. There's a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation of all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you've thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end inmind."
Commit to the Goal by Writing It Down
Lee Iacocca said, "The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen."
Many professional consultants and coaches agree completely and recommend this step to accomplish your goals. Write down the plan, the action steps, and the critical path. Somehow, writing down the goal, the plan, and a timeline sets events in motion that may not have happened otherwise.
It is as if you are making a deeper commitment to goal accomplishment. You can’t fool yourself later. The written objective really was the goal. People have pulled written goals out of their desk drawers years after writing them down only to discover that they have achieved them. Written goals are powerful.
Check Your Progress Frequently
Whatever you use, a day planner, an online calendar or notetaking system, a smartphone, or a handwritten list, make sure that you check your progress frequently. People have been known to start their day by looking at their goals and then, scheduling time or action steps to move closer to the end they have in mind. If you’re not making progress or feel stymied, don't let your optimism keep you from accomplishing your goals.
No matter how positively you are thinking, you need to assess your lack of progress. Adopt a pessimist’s viewpoint; something will and probably is, going to go wrong. Take a look at all of the factors that are keeping you from accomplishing your goal and develop a plan to overcome them. Add these plan steps to your calendar system as part of your goal achievement plan.
Adjust Your Plan if Progress Slows
Make sure that you are making progress. If you are not making progress, hire a coach, tap into the support of loved ones, analyze why the goal is not being met. Don’t allow the goal to just fade away. Figure out what you need to do to accomplish it.
Check the prior five steps starting with an assessment of how deeply you actually want to achieve the goal. The more deeply you want to obtain it, generally, the more motivated you will feel in the face of both optimism and pessimism.
The Bottom Line
This six-step goal setting and achieving system seems simple, but it is a powerful system for achieving your goals and resolutions and even living your dreams. You just need to do it. Best wishes and good luck on your journey to accomplishing your life goals and resolutions. Enjoy the journey.