Setting goals is a fairly easy task. There are things we all want in life, and saying that we want them is just plain simple. So how do you take the desire for something and turn it into a reality? There are a few simple steps that will help you achieve your goal.
The steps are simple, but it takes perseverance to work toward and arrive at your goal. Whether you have a weight loss goal, a relationship goal or a business goal, the process for achieving each goal is the same. Dedication is the largest element in achieving success, and without it, true success is nearly impossible.
While dedication is key to achieving your newly-set goals, it is not the only thing required to get you to your destination. Here is our list of steps it takes to reach your goals:
- Set your goal(s): The first step to achieving your goals is setting them. This may seem like one of those “duh” steps, but it is very important. Be specific when you set your goals. Don’t set a goal to simply “lose some weight.” Set a goal to lose 40 pounds in four months. Give yourself a definite goal with a definite deadline. Be as specific as you can, so that you are working toward a specific number. Break it down week by week – to lose 40 pounds in four months, you would need to lose 10 pounds per month. Ten pounds over four weeks equals about 2 and 1/2 pounds per week. If you want to be promoted at work, what do you need to do to do that? Close 10 sales per week? That means you need to close an average of at least two sales per week day. Be specific, setting short-term goals within your long-term goals.
- Make a plan: Now that you have set your goal(s), it’s time to make a plan. Sticking with the weight loss example, if you have set a goal to lose 2 and 1/2 pounds per week, you have to make a plan for how you will do that. Will you substitute sugary snacks for fruits and vegetables? Will you vow to exercise three times per week? If your goal is to close 10 sales per week, figure out how many appointments you need to go on to do that. You have to make a plan that will make you achieve your goals. Continuing to eat Twinkies while watching TV will not make you lose 2 and 1/2 pounds per week or close 10 sales, for that matter, so be realistic with your plan! Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself!
- Get to work: Now that you’ve made a plan, make it work! You’ve set your goals and made a plan, now you have to start working toward your goal. You’ve already taken two huge steps toward achieving your goal. If your plan is to start working out, start today! If you want to trade an unhealthy snack for a healthy one, start that today too! If your goal is to close 10 appointments for the week, schedule as many as you can each day, starting today! Your biggest enemy in this battle will be putting things off until “tomorrow.” The longer you put things off, the longer it will be until you achieve your goals. Get started today and make it happen!
- Stick to it: This is probably the toughest step in the process. Attempting to stick to your goals can be challenging. After the first week or so, you will find yourself wanting to fall back into old habits. If you’ve been eating healthier or exercising, it will be even more tempting to eat that piece of cake or “take today off” from the gym. If you have been going on a lot of appointments this week and your favorite TV shows come on between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. tonight (your prime appointment times), staying in and taking the night off will sound incredibly appealing. At this point, you have to stick to your goal. If your goal is be promoted at work, you have to work toward it and be dedicated to your goal. You can’t afford to take nights off when you are working toward your goal. You have to stick to it. The longer and more consistently you stick to your plan, the quicker you will reach your goal!
Reach Your Goal: If you follow the previous four steps and really work toward your goal(s), you will achieve them. Staying focused and dedicated will ultimately lead you to your destination. Even though the journey may be a struggle and may require a lot of hard work, when you reach your goal, it will all be worth it. If you create a solid plan and stick to it, you will get there! Once you have reached your goal, you can relish in the satisfaction of having reached it… and then, you can set a new a goal!