In less than two months, a new year will begin. It is a season for new beginnings and the perfect time to set new goals and resolutions to get back on track. But why wait until January 1 when you can start now and finish the year on a high note?
For many people, laying out their resolutions may seem like a waste of your time; after all, it’s common knowledge that most resolutions get abandoned. However, it is possible to set small, attainable goals for yourself and rise to the occasion and meet them. The first thing you must accept is the undeniable fact that our time is precious and there are realistically only a few goals you can achieve in a year, so make sure to pick ones that are important to you. Whittle your list down to one or two things that you can truly believe in. When there is congruency between your goals, values, and purpose in life, it allows you to believe that bigger and better things can be achieved. Implement the following five steps and you’ll soon find yourself a master goal achiever.
Set an obtainable goal you believe in.
One of the greatest rewards in life is living up to the expectations you set for yourself. Excellence is a habit, and discipline to cultivate the skills to be a high achiever must also be developed. If you truly believe in the goal you set for yourself, then you must also believe in your actions and make it obtainable; this is the only way you can achieve it. If you’ve been promising yourself for five years that you will gain 50 new clients each month, make a promise that is more realistic. Start simple and build it up. If you know that, on average, you can secure five new clients a month, build up in small increments. Set a goal of increasing that number to 10, instead of jumping immediately to 50.
Put your goal in writing.
There are countless studies that reinforce the importance of writing down your goals if you are indeed serious about achieving them. You will never see results if you don’t keep yourself accountable and put it in writing. They say nothing is set in stone, but commit to adopting a ‘can do’ attitude. By putting your goal in writing, you are creating documentation of your desire so that you cannot just set it aside as a silly promise you made at midnight on January 1.
Make sure your goal is specific.
I like to use the acronym “SMART.” Every goal should be Strategic, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. A strategic plan, in business or in life, means developing a realistic timeline with measurable benchmarks for success. It means assessing the current situation, identifying strengths, weaknesses and threats, and identifying opportunities to succeed. The more vivid and clear you can make your goal, the better off you will be.
Review your goal daily.
Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t let yourself forget what your goal is. Take a moment every day to revisit it. Tape a note to the mirror, or type it out in the form of an online password. Add affirmations, strategic next steps, or other advice for yourself to review in the coming days. Get excited about what working toward that goal means. It is not only the sense of accomplishment you will feel upon completion that should be driving you, but the small steps along the way. Looking at your goal daily will help you stay committed to the work you have set for yourself. The harder you work on achieving your goal, the harder it will be for you to fail.
Take daily action.
Take at least one action every day that in some way progresses your work on meeting your goal. Make sure to schedule this into your day and focus on it. Every day matters, and everything you do today better positions you for the future. There are three easy steps to taking daily action:
Make a to-do list every day. Successful individuals prioritize tasks and stay disciplined.
Prioritize your list. Don’t do the menial chores like mowing your lawn or doing your laundry before the items that require critical thinking and focus. Your chores will get done, but not at the expense of the real work before you.
Schedule time for your goal. We schedule gym sessions and client meetings because they’re important to our wellbeing and livelihood; why not do the same to help accomplish a major goal? Block out just 15 minutes a day to start. Make sure that your high-pay-off activity gets its own dedicated time slot within your day, and make sure to completely focus on that task when the time comes.
When you follow these five steps, you will start to see progress, and soon you will become a master goal achiever. This will change your spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing. Achieving lifts your spirits and makes you more confident in your ability to succeed in other areas. Confidence changes your life. Once you have successfully committed to reach one goal, your commitment to maintaining that forward momentum will strengthen. The hard work you put in will help you gain skills that will come in handy for future goals you set for yourself. The best is yet to come!