Another Guide to Setting & Achieving Your Goals

Guide to Setting & Achieving Goals

Understanding the significance of setting goals is crucial for achieving success in any endeavor. Do you currently establish goals for yourself? 

Research reveals that a staggering 90 percent of individuals do not have written goals.

Consider this analogy: imagine going to the supermarket without a shopping list. You wander through the aisles, impulsively grabbing items that catch your eye.

When you return home, you realize you’ve forgotten half of the things you needed, resulting in wasted time and money on unnecessary purchases.

Similarly, setting goals without documenting them is akin to shopping without a list.

Setting goals is a common trait among successful people, whether they are athletes, business owners, or individuals who have achieved long-term weight loss.

Many individuals work diligently, yet feel like they’re drifting aimlessly from one day to the next.

One of the key reasons for this lack of direction is a failure to contemplate their desires in life and establish concrete goals.

It’s comparable to embarking on a journey without knowing the destination – not a wise choice.

Goal setting holds immense power. It allows you to envision your ideal future and identify the motivations driving your efforts towards that vision.

Goals serve as the roadmap to your desired future.

Creating this roadmap involves a process that helps you determine what you truly want in life, where you aspire to go, and the person you strive to become.

When you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can direct your energy towards achieving the desired outcome.

Establishing goals enables you to promptly identify when you’re veering off track or being swayed by distractions that hinder your progress.

Now, let’s delve into how you can set achievable goals and avoid potential failures.

This guide, the No-Nonsense Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals, aims to simplify the process and provide easy-to-implement strategies.

Prepare yourself, as this guide will propel you towards setting goals for meaningful change.

In this guide, you will learn:
– The importance of setting goals
– Common reasons behind goal failures
– Effective techniques for goal setting
– Insights from experts in the field
– Strategies for following through on your goals

Before we delve deeper into the art of goal setting, let’s explore additional reasons why goals are crucial for success in all aspects of life.

Why You Need Goals

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”– Fitzhugh Dodson

Setting goals is often the first step towards achieving success. It is the driving force that propels individuals towards what they desire.

Unlike those who lead a passive life, lacking any goals, individuals who set goals are able to move in a focused direction.

By having clearly defined goals, written down with specific deadlines, people are reminded of their inner desires and motivations.

Goals serve as a constant reminder of why certain actions are being taken and act as a guiding path towards progress.

Having big dreams can be overwhelming and discouraging, but setting goals can break down these seemingly impossible dreams into smaller, manageable steps.

This allows individuals to clearly see what needs to be done at each stage of their journey. Moreover, concrete goals provide a sense of accountability.

By documenting goals and creating a timeline for achievement, individuals are able to evaluate their progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Looking back at goals set in the past can serve as a humbling reminder of any wrong turns taken and highlight the need for redirection.

Goals play a crucial role in fueling ambition and self-belief.

They provide a plan for life, inspire individuals to aim for what they once thought was impossible, and give a sense of purpose.

For instance, setting a goal to achieve something that may seem like a distant dream helps individuals visualize their progress and instills confidence in their abilities.

In addition, goals help individuals gain clarity on what they truly desire. Often, people set goals that do not align with their genuine wants and needs.

By setting vague goals, individuals may miss out on pursuing their true passions or finding the right environment for personal growth.

Setting specific goals forces individuals to reflect on their desires and make adjustments as they gain perspective on what truly brings them happiness.

Ultimately, goals are indispensable for success in all aspects of life.

They serve as a roadmap, guiding individuals towards their aspirations and helping them live life to the fullest.

Personal, spiritual, and professional success all rely on the use of goals to navigate the journey towards a fulfilling life.

Why Goals Fail

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” ~ Henry Ford

Setting and achieving goals can be a challenging task, as many of us often fall short. There are several key reasons why this happens.

One common issue is setting vague goals, which can lead us to prioritize the wrong things.

For example, instead of focusing on writing a book within a year, we may find ourselves distracted by less important activities like spending excessive time on social media or engaging in unrelated conversations online.

To overcome this, it is crucial to make our goals a top priority.

Another obstacle we face is listening to the wrong people.

Sometimes, the individuals we surround ourselves with may steer us in the wrong direction, motivated by their own fears or jealousy.

It is important to be mindful of such influences and seek guidance from those who genuinely support and encourage our ambitions.

Our own selfish tendencies can also hinder our progress.

Whether it’s a reluctance to change bad habits or a sense of entitlement without putting in the necessary work, these selfish acts can impede our journey towards achieving our goals.

Procrastination and making excuses are common pitfalls as well. We often find it easier to come up with excuses rather than taking action.

These excuses may stem from fear, uncertainty, or laziness. We may fear failure or success, or worry about what others will think.

Additionally, stepping out of our comfort zone and tackling the tasks required to reach our goals can seem daunting.

However, it is essential to recognize that excuses only hold us back and prevent us from making progress.

Negative thoughts and fears can also cripple our efforts. We tend to amplify our fears and underestimate our abilities.

The fear of failure or success can extinguish our dreams before we even take the first step.

Believing that things won’t work out or fearing the potential changes that success may bring can restrict our motivation to work on our goals.

Overcoming these fears is crucial for building self-confidence and propelling ourselves forward.

A lack of a higher purpose, or a weak “why,” can also undermine our motivation.

It is important to understand the significance of our goals and the reasons behind setting them.

If we pursue goals solely because of external expectations or to keep up with others, we may lose our drive and waste valuable time, money, and energy.

Therefore, before setting goals, it is vital to determine our true motivations and ensure they align with our values and aspirations.

Attempting to juggle too many things at once can spread our attention too thin, preventing us from developing expertise and passion in a particular area.

Discovering our strengths and passions and focusing on them before moving on to other endeavors can lead to greater success and fulfillment.

Having a well-defined plan is crucial for achieving our goals. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.

A plan serves as the roadmap that guides us from point A to point B.

By identifying the necessary actions and steps required to achieve our goals, we can set priorities and create a clear path towards success.

Commitment and responsibility are essential factors in goal achievement. It is easy to lose sight of our goals and give in to excuses or temptations.

However, by remaining fully committed and accountable, we can stay on track and overcome obstacles that may arise.

Lastly, overcoming detrimental habits is necessary for reaching our goals.

We may have a tendency to give up when faced with challenges, opting for the easier route instead.

Whether it involves changing our eating habits, increasing our exercise routine, or putting in extra effort, breaking these negative habits is vital for progress.

While there are numerous reasons why we may struggle to achieve our goals, one of the primary causes is simply failing to set goals in the first place.

Even informal goals are better than having none at all. Often, a lack of action and follow-through stems from fear.

Recognizing our fears and committing to work through them is a significant step towards accomplishing our goals.

Successfully Setting Goals

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Larry Elder

Failing to achieve our goals often seems easier actually succeeding. You question the purpose of setting goals if they are bound to fail.

However, a few key steps, you can effectively achieve your goals.

Those who triumph in reaching their goals share certain common practices. Firstly, it is crucial to believe in your goals.

Setting goals that you genuinely believe are within your reach is essential. They should be slightly beyond your current capabilities.

Visualization is another powerful tool. Imagine yourself having already accomplished your goal.

For instance, if your aim is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, envision yourself fitting into a smaller-sized outfit.

Putting your goals into writing holds significant importance. This step not only keeps you on track but also sets your intentions in motion.

Start by documenting your main goal, and then break it down into smaller steps that will lead you to your ultimate objective.

Henriette Anne Klauser has extensively explored this concept in her captivating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen.

Commitment is key. Every day, take some action towards achieving your goal. It doesn’t have to be a major step; even small efforts count.

It could be as simple as drinking an extra glass of water or walking an additional block.

Maintaining focus is crucial as well. Limit the number of goals you set to a maximum of five.

It becomes challenging to concentrate on more than five items simultaneously.

Instead of including multiple goals under each main goal, concentrate on a few objectives that you can easily recall from memory.

Creating “SMART” goals is a proven method when setting your objectives. This popular acronym encompasses five specific criteria that your goals should meet.

Firstly, they need to be specific, clearly identifying what you want to achieve.

For example, instead of setting a goal to “write a book,” make it more specific like “Write a book proposal for The Family Life Manifesto.”

Secondly, goals should be measurable, allowing you to determine whether you have successfully achieved them.

For instance, a goal of “earn more than last year” is immeasurable, but “Earn $10,000 more this year than the previous year” can be measured.

Thirdly, goals should start with an action, such as “run,” “finish,” “quit,” or “earn,” instead of using a to be verb like “be,” “have,” or “am.”

For instance, replace “Be more active” with “Run 2 miles every day.”

Fourthly, goals should stretch you out of your comfort zone but remain realistic enough to be attainable within a reasonable timeframe.

Lastly, goals should have a specific date for completion, whether it’s a year-end deadline or a closer date.

For example, “Lose ten pounds” lacks a specific time frame, whereas “lose 10 pounds by August 31” provides a clear deadline.

Once you have committed to a goal, create a plan of action to achieve it. Breaking down the main goal into smaller steps can help you identify what needs to be done.

Start from the end goal and work backward to determine your course of action.

Regularly reviewing your written goals is essential for staying on track and determining your next steps.

You can choose to review them daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what works best for you. Let your goals inspire you and guide your daily tasks.

Goal-setting is not merely helpful but essential for achieving happiness and fulfillment.

Those who consistently make progress towards their goals often lead happier and more satisfying lives than those who simply drift through life.

Successful goal setting serves as a guiding force that leads individuals to the realization of their aspirations.

Tips from the Experts

It’s one thing to tell you that you need to create concrete goals. I mean, who am I to tell you they work?

I searched out some experts who have used goals to make a success of themselves.

Here are some of their tips on setting and achieving goals.

Focus and concentration are the keys to success.

Focus means that you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish and concentration requires that you dedicate yourself to doing only those things that move you toward your goal.

Brian Tracy is a top sales trainer and personal success authority.

Set ‘bumper goals

– so that if you finish Benchmark A, B or C – you STILL have a win and can stop or celebrate!

This gave me a ‘game’ mentality and I was actually curious to see which goal I would hit first! Maybe I’m a geek, but it made my task more fun!

Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive is a best-selling author, international speaker, award-winning podcaster, and radio guest.

“Even though you have a goal in mind that you will work tirelessly for, remember that you are human and that everyone needs a rest.

You know that statement that says to adjust your oxygen mask before helping others?

That is absolutely true—get your oxygen before you can give to those around you.”  Mally Roncal is a makeup artist and founder and president of Mally Beauty.

Never feel you’ve reached your goals. Don’t ever give up on your dreams, and work toward making them a reality.”  José Eber is a celebrity hairstylist.

I block out several hours every week on my calendar for ‘creative time.’ I turn off my phone and spend time writing and researching.

I think it’s really important to do these weekly sessions because they provide clarity about my brand and where I want it to go; this practice can help with any goal.”

Emily Morse is a sex therapist, relationship advisor, and author.

“Goals such as ‘eat more healthfully,’ ‘exercise more,’ or ‘get more fun out of life’ are vague.

Make it clear to yourself what you’re expecting from yourself.

Goals such as ‘bring my lunch to work every day,’ ‘take a 20-minute walk after work,’ or ‘make a lunch date with a friend every Friday’ are easy to measure.”  

Gretchen Rubin is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project.

Some goals must be BIG to make you stretch and grow to your full potential.

Some goals must be long-range to keep you on track and greatly reduce the possibility of short-range frustrations.

Some goals must be small and daily to keep you disciplined. Some goals must be ongoing.

Some goals (i.e., weight loss, sales success, education, etc.) may require analysis and consultation to determine where you are before you can set the goals.

Most goals should be specific.” Zig Ziglar was a long time motivational speaker.

“A key thing with goals that I learned from Facebook is to only have one goal for a specific period of time.

It helps with saying no to other distractions you will face during the year.”

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo, a company that connects businesses with great products that will help them succeed & writes the OkDork blog.

“Using my list of priorities as a guide, I focus on one step at a time.

New ideas may be considered, but if they could get priorities out of order, they have to wait their turn.

I generally jot those ideas in a project file, and then return focus to the task at hand.”

Kathryn Aragon, is an award-winning copywriter, content marketer, consultant and product creator.

She is also the editor of The Daily Egg, Crazy Egg’s conversion optimization blog.

There you have it. Straight from successful people the tips they use to reach their goals. Follow their examples to achieve your own successful goals.

Following Through to the End

A goal properly set is halfway reached. ~ Zig Ziglar

It’s common knowledge that setting goals is important, simply creating them won’t yield any results unless you take action.

Fulfilling your dreams requires more than just wishful thinking.

Whether it’s learning a new skill, pursuing further education, or making changes to your eating habits, specific steps are necessary.

By mastering the art of setting strong goals and devising a plan to achieve them, you acquire a skill that will benefit you for a lifetime.

Here are some strategies to help you follow through on your goals:

1. Differentiate between short-term and long-term goals.

Start by writing down your goals and assigning a specific timeframe for their achievement. Your goals can range from one month to several years.

For instance, a short-term goal could be losing 5 pounds in two months, while a long-term goal may involve saving $300,000 over five years to build a home.

2. Seek an accountability partner.

Find someone who believes in you and can hold you accountable when you veer off track or feel like giving up.

An accountability partner acts as a coach, guiding you and ensuring that you follow through on your commitments.

They provide the necessary motivation and give you a gentle push when needed.

3. Visualize your goals at every step.

Take time to imagine what it would be like to achieve your goals.

Engage your senses and picture every detail – how it feels, what you’ll be doing, and even the sights, smells, and tastes associated with it.

If necessary, create visual representations or cut-outs that symbolize your final goal.

This visualization will boost your motivation and serve as a reminder of why you’re pursuing your goals, especially during challenging times.

4. Break down your goals into smaller steps.

Make each step manageable and less overwhelming. Instead of tackling monumental tasks, divide them into smaller, achievable actions.

Physically mark off completed tasks from your breakdown list.

For example, if your overarching goal is to lose 20 pounds through healthy eating and exercise, start with simple tasks like incorporating one fresh vegetable into each meal or walking for 5 minutes.

5. Regularly review your goals.

Set aside time each month to assess your progress. This helps you stay on track and allows you to reevaluate the importance of certain goals.

If you find that a goal no longer aligns with your aspirations, it’s okay to shift your focus and redirect your efforts accordingly.

6. Be consistent.

Work on your goals every day. If necessary, make adjustments to your habits.

Identify and change any old habits that hinder your progress, while actively cultivating new habits that support your goals.

7. Reward yourself when you achieve milestones.

Take the time to celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

Recognize and appreciate the progress you’ve made, as it will motivate you to keep pushing forward.

8. Practice self-forgiveness.

If you stumble or veer off track, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, be kind and forgiving. Acknowledge the setback, learn from it, and then refocus your efforts.

In all aspects of life, following through is crucial.

Just as you wouldn’t stand someone up after asking them on a date, it’s important to honor your commitments to yourself.

You can achieve this by seeking support from others, breaking down your goals into manageable steps, and always remembering the underlying reasons driving your pursuit of those goals.

What to Do Next

In the end, successfully setting goals can help you find and follow what really matters to you.

Take the time to really think about what you want out of your life, your business, your health.

Then write out the goals you want to achieve in the short-term and in the long-term. Make them just out of your comfort zone to help you stay motivated.

Get others who are committed to helping you succeed on board. Ask them to be your accountability partners.

Break the goals down into smaller steps.

Finally, be aware of the reasons we often fail at reaching our goals.

Make sure you really want what you’re reaching for and you have a definite reason why you are pursuing it.