The number one reason that people don’t get to accomplish any goal is that we quit. This sounds so obvious but many of us don’t seem to realize it when we set out to achieve a goal. When we set a goal, do we ask ourselves, “Will I quit before the goal is accomplished?”
I think that that is the most important question we can ask ourselves before we set any goals. If our answer is not a 100% no, then we’re really not ready and will most likely to quit. Any worthy goals that we want to accomplish, whether it’s to lose weight, stay in shape, become rich, start new business, etc., they all require some level of discipline and resolution from us. Otherwise it’d be so easy that we wouldn’t need to bother setting goals. If we don’t discipline ourselves and give the necessary level of commitment to a goal, it’s almost certain that we will never get to achieve it. In another words, we’re just not serious enough.
But how do we make sure that we will never quit on our goals? One key method is that we need to understand a simple fact about goal achievement, which is that keep trying IS making progress. Often the most likely time when we decide to quit on a goal is when we don’t see any progress, even though we may be still trying hard to make it happen. If we don’t see much progress, we get frustrated and discouraged, and this can very easily lead to less trying, which results in even less progress, and we get more discouraged. So it turns into a vicious cycle until to a point where we simply give up on a goal.
The way to break this bad pattern is to change our belief and keep in mind that our keep trying is making progress. When looking back on a goal we accomplished before, we often see that at certain point when we were not making much progress on the surface, we still kept at it and we finally came through. Those things that we did that might not seemingly make any progress are indeed part of the entire process, without them we’d never have accomplished that goal. That’s why people say that setbacks and failures are just stepping-stones on the path to the ultimate success.
Therefore, remember that the only requirement for achieving any worthwhile goal is simply to never quit, never give up. We only need to remind ourselves that as long as we are still trying, we ARE making progress. As long as we’re making progress, what goal can’t we achieve?
First I’d like to thank everyone who has been a user of GoalsOnTrack. It’s been a great year, and without your support and encouragement this site would not have been possible. I look forward to a great 2010, with more new features and improvements with GoalsOnTrack.com. Wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy new year!
In this short video I showed you how to use GoalsOnTrack to manage and organize your goals with categoreis, and make long term and short term plans.
I’d like to share with you a very clear and informative PowerPoint presentation that teaches how to set goals in a SMART way, created by Teachers At Risk
We all know the importance of setting goals for ourselves, but many people haven’t realized the great value a good goal setting tool can provide. Selecting a right tool or system, not only can help you organize and clarify your goals, but most importantly, it can significantly increase your chance of reaching them more quickly and easily.
Select tools based on your goal types
The first step in deciding on a goal setting tool is to identify what kind of goals you are setting. Is it a personal development goal, a business goal, a career goal, or a health or fitness goal? Different goals call for different goal setting methods, so you will want to select tools that are specially designed for your type of goals. Sometimes it helps to use different tools for goals of different types.
Select tools that are easy to use
Secondly, it’s vital to select a goal setting tool that is easy to use. This can’t be over emphasized. A goal setting tool is to help you focus on your goals, on how you can achieve your results, not on anything else. If a system is too difficult to use, you’d do better without it.
However, “easy to use” does not have to be simple. A lot of people think that a pen and paper based system is easy to use, but they don’t realize it doesn’t support many of the important things required to manage your goals. It may seem easy at first, but it usually becomes very tedious and cumbersome after a while, and can be a major stressor for your goals.
Select tools that help you set SMART goals
A goal that is set based on SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) has much higher possibility of being accomplished. Choose a system that helps you set goals in a SMART way and you can take advantage of all the benefits this principle provides.
Select tools that support taking actions
Also important is that a good goal setting system must support you in taking massive action. Without action, no matter how smart a goal is set and managed, it will never be achieved. It’s that simple. We must take action, massive action if so required. So make sure your chosen system has great task management features.
Select tools that help you review progress
Another important feature from a good system is the function to help you review your progress and to keep things on track. This is usually accomplished through an integration of goal and task management, and a journal feature. Keeping a journal for your goals is a great way to help you stick to them and also motivate yourself.
Select tools that help you visualize goals
For certain goals, visualization is a great motivator. Whether you believe in “The Laws of Attraction” and “Creative Manifestation” or not, to be able to see your goals’ outcome, and to constantly keep that vision in mind are always helpful in motivating yourself to reach them. Pick a tool that has a vision board function and makes it easier for you to do visualizations.
Select tools that help you build habits
Finally, choose a system or tool that can help you form new habits. Many of our goals require a change in our behavior and thought patterns. This can be done through forming great habits that help make these changes happen more easily.
No matter what goal setting tool you choose, don’t get discouraged if a particular tool doesn’t seem to work for you. Just find and try another tool. It’s all part of the process in ultimately reaching your goal, especially for those hard and difficult ones. The most important thing is to keep trying and never quit, and always know that as long as you don’t quit, you ARE making progress.
I’ve created a short tutorial video to help you understand how to track your goal progress with GoalsOnTrack. Please check it out below.
If you have more questions regarding goal tracking, please let me know, or check our help page at http://www.goalsontrack.com/index/help, where you will find FAQs and GOT user manual.
Most of goals we set for ourselves require us to follow certain good habits. For any goal to be achieved, there are usually two types of results we get. One is that our status or circumstances are changed in certain way, and the other is that some actions have been taken. Forming good habits can make both results become reality much faster and easier on our part.
For example, to get into a better physical shape, it requires changes in our body mass. By forming good exercising and eating habits, we can accomplish that goal faster. To reach a certain financial goal, we often need to take some actions to make things happen. By building good habits, we can set out to do the required things automatically, without the concerted effort every time we need to do them. Having good habits is a great help for reaching our goals.
Before we set out to build some great habits, first we must find out the existing bad habits we have that are stopping us from achieving what we truly want. Otherwise, they will always be there pulling our legs while we are striving to press forward.
Suppose our goal is to improve our health, now what are the bad habits we have that are sabotaging this goal? Is it eating too much ice cream? Or it is spending 4 or 5 hours per day in front of TV? Or is it that we tend to lose temper too quickly?
Another example, if our goal is to start a home business, what are the things we do that are keeping us away from that goal? Is it the poor spending habits that prevent us from saving the required startup capital? Is it the procrastination habit that stops us from taking needed actions? Or is it the pessimistic thinking habits that drain our confidence in the new business? Once we’ve identified what these habits are, we will then be ready to really attack them.
One of the most effective ways to remove an old habit is to replace it with a new habit. Of course, this new habit must be something that can help us move closer to our goal, or at least not pull us away from it. I used to smoke a lot, and I tried many times to quick, but it never seemed to work, until one day I replaced the habit with drinking coffee. (Of course, if you’re already drinking coffee you may want to find something else to try) The point is, forming a new habit to replace an old one is often easier than to eliminate it independently, in a sort of cold turkey way.
Once we’ve dealt with those old habits, we should begin to find and build some new habits that can boost our motivation and productivity for achieving our goals faster. There are many good habits can help one achieve various kinds of goals. Some are quite obvious, while others may need a little experiment to find out if they’re really helpful or not. But all in all, building great habits is a sure-fire way to increase the chance of accomplishing our goals.
We’ve created a short video demonstrating how to use our newest feature on GoalsOnTrack, the Habit Tracker. Please let me know what you think.
I am excited to tell you that we’ve launched a new habit tracker feature in GoalsOnTrack. There is now a new tab called “Habits” on the main navigation bar. On “Habits” page, you can now add new habits, and track them by placing checkmarks on the weekly calendar. The small icon before the habit name indicates how strong that habit is, based on the number of checks you’ve marked so far.
To form a new habit, that is, to see it showing 100% strength, you will need to mark 21 consecutive checks within the last 21 days for a daily habit. This is based on a theory that we tend to form a new habit by doing it for 21 days in a row.
Your habit doesn’t have to be a daily one, it could be twice a week, or maybe once a week. The same formula applies. Instead of 21 days, the new habit forming period could be extended to the number of times per week multiplied by 21. Once a habit is formed, you can mark them as “Formed” and continue to work another one.
Forming good habits and keeping them followed is a great way to get you to do things that are required to achieve your goals. Please give it a try and let me know how it works for you, or simply what you think.
If you’re interested in learning more about building habits and how to get motivated, etc., please check out Zen Habit’s recent post, 20 Key Questions on Motivation and Habits, Answered. It has some great ideas from how Leo built his own habits.