Success has never been achieved based solely upon talent, circumstance, brains, or even courage. It is obtained when specific goals are combined with an organized plan, commitment to that plan is combined with a belief that it is possible, and daily action is combined with continual persistence despite the inevitable failures that will occur along the journey. Because one of the underlying reasons as to why people fail is that they do not know how to set and achieve goals, then understanding the formula above is critical in order to realize and accomplish any of our goals, dreams, and successes in life. Never forget, however, that understanding and implementing are not the same – the later is much more challenging and necessary.
Successful individuals understand how to set goals, and they implement what is necessary to achieve their goals.
Below are 15 tips relating to setting your goals that are necessary to achieve your dreams and personal successes:
1) Dream Big: The great Michelangelo once said: “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” You can become and accomplish anything – but in order to achieve that ‘anything’ you have to not only dream big, but also ensure that by setting your goals big you can then become and accomplish big things.
2) Written Down: Put pen to paper and write your goals down thereby making setting your goals real.
3) Completely Committed: Emerson was not lying when he said that the world makes way for those individuals who know who they are and where they are going. In order to set your goals, you need to determine your goals, write them down, and then completely commit to them every day. Never forget that complete commitment entails doing whatever necessary to accomplish the goal – despite the work required, criticism from others, or potential failures along the way.
4) Reviewed Daily: After writing down your goals, put them in a place to be looked at and re-committed to every day. Therein is the secret for success – not just setting your goals and looking at your goals each day, but completely re-committing to them every day. This practice should also suggest the absolute necessity of daily planning. Reviewing your goals should coincide with going over your calendar, establishing specific to-do’s for the day, and actually writing down an agenda every day – and sticking to it.
5) Revised Often: The end goal should rarely change, but the specific plan and daily actions on how to accomplish that goal may need occasional revising.
6) Specific Action Plans: Goals are not enough. A detailed, written, organized, and specific plan is absolutely necessary. Setting a goal is merely a futile hope if the end result is a dream with no specific daily action plan of what is required to accomplish it.
7) Short-Term vs. Long-Term: Long-term goals are the hope, the dream, and the accomplishment. Short-term goals are the daily actions, the specific plan, and the reason long-term goals are achieved. Both are critical. Never forget, however, that those who accomplish the long-term goal are those who persist despite the short-term challenges, effort, and even failures.
Daily To-Do List: After your short-term goals have been established, perhaps the most important document and element necessary for the accomplishment of your goals is a daily to-do list. Each day you will plan your day’s activities and schedule, and part of this process will include placing 5 activities on your daily to-do list. Because you are committed to your goals, you will not retire for that day until each activity has been accomplished. It is vital, however, that everything listed on those 5 daily activities will contribute to and eventuate in the accomplishment of the goal. It is not enough to fill your day with activities if they are not revenue producing, accomplishing a short-term goal, or will eventually result in the long term goal being realized.
9) Fears, Doubts, & Failures: Like everyone, fears will arise and others will doubt you as you pursue your goals. Remember that the only limitations in life are the one’s we create, believe, and nourish within our own minds. If and when failures happen, as they often do, view them as learning experiences, what not to do, and getting one step closer. Keep in mind that the road blocks, detours, and dead-end streets along the journey only become difficulties when we take our focus, commitment, and eyes off of our goals.
10) Reachable & Realistic: As important as it is to dream big, be reasonable. Setting your goals high enough will ensure that it is not a challenge to you, but also not so unrealistically that you become unmotivated and discouraged.
11) Measurable & Deadlines: After your goals have been written, specified, and organized, you also need to track and measure them. Create a system or spreadsheet that specifically tracks your progress. Ask yourself ‘how much’ and ‘by when’ and stick to the plan. Because successful people review their goals daily, they not only look at and re-commit to the goals, but also assess where they are at, what else needs to be done and by when, and then they do what is necessary to stay on track and schedule.
12) Punishments & Rewards: Hold yourself accountable. As you establish short-term deadlines, if you hit your short-term goal, reward yourself. However, if you do not, establish a punishment – and stick to it.
13) Vocalize & Share Your Goals: Commit to vocally reading / reciting your goals daily. In addition, review them mentally all the time. Perhaps most importantly, inform others of your goals, which automatically makes you more committed to achieving them. Ideally, a spouse, family member, or friend will also commit to holding you accountable, tracking your progress, carrying out punishments and rewards, and helping and encouraging you along the journey.
14) Law of Attraction: You absolutely must surround yourself with individuals who will inspire, encourage, and support you in your desire and pursuit of your goal. Doing so will attract like-minded people who will not only encourage but also help you achieve your goal.
15) Do Not Quit: The accomplishment of our goals requires belief, action, and persistence. However, difficulties and failures will happen. Never forget that the majority of personal successes in life have been accomplished after the individual determines to not give up when they experience a failure. Because you originally were completely committed to your goals, you are not only willing to put in the necessary work required for success, but are completely determined that regardless of what happens along the journey to your goals and dreams – you will never quit.
So make setting your goals a priority today and with focus and determination success will surely follow.
By Leon Ho
Found through Be Excellent Blog, recently ThinkTQ.com announced the results of 2005 Goals Study. They considered 10 important key actions that once taken will make you closer to the goal. They also compiled how often and well people take these action items. The key actions are pretty neat. The results are shocking:
- Make all your dreams real by first identifying and then focusing on specific, tangible targets for what you want.
- Maintain at least one clearly defined goal for every major interest and role in your life.
- Set your goals so they are directly aligned with your life’s mission, purpose and passion.
- Create goals high enough to ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action.
- Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail.
- Absolutely, unconditionally commit to hitting each of your targets.
- Share your goals with others for mutual accomplishment.
- Set a whole series of related daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and completion dates.
- Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how terrific it will feel when your goals are actually realized.
- Take an action step toward the attainment of at least one goal every day.
In their sample size of 32,896 users who took the survey, the results are not promising. Only a maximum of 33% users consistently take the action item. Maybe most of them do not know how to achieve their goals, or they never plan their goals. Without a way to walk closer to your goal, you will only be dreaming about the achievement. You have to be a dreamer as well as a doer to taste the achievement in reality.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Lao-tzu
Written By Kikolani
Sometimes it is easier to set goals than to actually do something to work towards them. Large projects can seem overwhelming, and if you feel like you are always busy with the day to day things, it can feel like you will never have the time to do something grander.
There is a song that I remember from elementary school that went something like this.
“Little by little, inch by inch
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch, what a cinch.
Never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps
Little by little, inch by inch.”
It was always just a cute little rhyme we sang during class, but looking back, what a great piece of advice. Instead of letting yourself become consumed into thinking about how to get everything done in the entire scope of the project, just take it one step at a time.
Why This Works
Whenever you actually get started doing something, it tends to feel less daunting. You might even find that it will be easier than you thought it would be during the planning phase. Plus, once you begin to see any amount of progress, you will become more motivated to push into the project further and continue to get more things accomplished.
Breaking Your Big Idea Into Smaller Portions
So how do you break things down into simpler to tackle parts? Here are just a few examples…
Imagine that your goal is to write a book. Instead of thinking about the daunting task of what may feel like never-ending writing, why not just sit down and write a short summary of your story, a first paragraph, a list of characters, or a description of the main character?
Imagine that your goal is to start a blog. Instead of thinking about setting the platform up, choosing the theme, writing the content, and marketing, why not just purchase the domain name and hosting?
Imagine that your goal is to do some spring cleaning? Instead of thinking about how long it is going to take to go through all five rooms in your house, why not just look into one room, pick one closet, and throw some items you no longer want in a bag to be donated?
Imagine that your goal is to start exercising. Instead of thinking about how tough it will be to commit waking up an hour earlier and starting a regular routine, why not just take five minutes and go out for a walk?
We are excited to announce that the new GoalsOnTrack mobile app is now launched. The app makes it easy to manage your goals, work on tasks, stick to habits, and keep a journal on your smartphones. It is built in HTML5, CSS3, and jQueryMobile so that it should work consistently across all major smartphone platforms such as iPhones, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, etc.
To access the mobile app, simply point the web browser on your smartphone to this link:
You will be prompted to sign in to your existing GoalsOnTrack account, but only for the first time when you use the app. Afterwards, it will automatically login and redirect to the app’s Home view. Once you’re in, you may want to bookmark the link or add it to your phone’s home screen for quick access next time.
We will be closely monitoring the app for the next few weeks just to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you ever find any bugs or issues with the app, please do let us know so that we can get it fixed as quickly as possible.
Thanks again for your continued interest and support.
Have a great weekend and hope you enjoy the app!
BY: THE AGING DIVA
We all intend to go to the gym, walk a mile every morning, or otherwise do the work to stay in shape. But fitness goals are easier to articulate than they are to achieve. When I wrote a book about midlife makeovers, I was impressed by the story of Donna, who shed 90 pounds after turning 40. Let’s look at her story and see what we can learn from her.
A chubby teen, Donna had always been overweight. Over the years, she tried various diets, but nothing ever stuck. Her aha! moment came when she was shopping at a lifetime high weight of 230. “I’d worn size 1X for a long time. Now I had to buy 2X clothes.” She cut down her food portions and devised an exercise plan. She resolved to go to the gym four times a week, working up from 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer by increasing her time in five-minute intervals. Over nine months, she dropped 75 pounds. She hired a personal trainer to teach her how to use the weight room.
But it was hard to keep going to the gym. She was losing her motivation. She needed a new reason to work out. A friend suggested training for a marathon. “It seemed ricidulous,” Donna says. “I couldn’t run one mile, so how could I run 26?” Then she began reading about triathlons online. She’d swum and biked as a kid and the idea of training three different ways appealed. The year she was 43, she competed in 10 triathlons and lost more weight, down to her current weight of 140.
Why was Donna’s regime a success? Because she made fitness an integral part of her life. She made new friends who were also competing in races, and going to the gym became a natural part of her day. In one study, people who exercised in a group were exercising four times as much at the end of three months.
When she felt her motivation getting shaky, she created a new challenge for herself. The weight room at the gym was intimidating – all those mysterious machines – so she hired a guide. The personal trainer gave her the confidence that she was using the equipment correctly and challenged her to continue to achieve.
A number of other simple steps can help you meet your fitness goals:
- Wear a pedometer. In a 2007 study, people who did increased their number of steps per day by nearly 3,000.
- Listen to music. A 2008 study found that people who listened to music on a treadmill increased their workout time by 15 percent.
- Get a dog. No fooling. A number of studies have found that people with dogs get more exercise. Research in Australia saw a 400% increase in exercise by new dog owners.
By Leo Babauta
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
Have you ever been doing great with a goal or habit change — exercise, waking early, becoming organized, eating healthy, anything — and your progress was completely disrupted because of some major event in your life (death, marriage, illness, work, etc.)?
Of course you have. It’s happened to all of us.
Life gets in the way.
Fortunately, although we often give up our goals when something like this happens, a life event that disrupts your progress doesn’t have to sidetrack your goal completely. You can overcome this obstacle — and it is an obstacle, just like any other.
Reader quench recently wrote in with a great question:
“Oftentimes, I have just one goal, as you suggest, and I am focused fully on that one goal, the baby steps, etc. Then all of a sudden, out of the blue, there’s some crisis in another part of my life – my boyfriend will become enormously demanding, my brother will get hospitalized with a life-threatening illness, my boss will decide there is an emergency that I have to handle overtime, etc.! This happens will such frequency, that it’s almost predictable, every time I start really buckling down on what I need to do to accomplish my goal. Then when I thoroughly demoralized, and lying around unmotivated, everything else in my life seems to calm down, and I’m just left wondering how to pick myself up again.”
This is an awesome question, because it’s so true to life. Things happen to all of us … but the real determination is how do we deal with them. Do we get discouraged and give up, or do we figure out a way around and keep going?
Here’s the thing: the path to every goal is littered with obstacles. You must, must, must, absolutely must anticipate that you will run into obstacles … figure out ways around them … and keep going.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Anticipate, anticipate. Think ahead. What obstacles do you see on the horizon? What obstacles have you run into in the past? What will change your routine? Weekends are a mini-obstacle that often seem to derail people trying to create a habit. But there are other changes in routines … holidays, summer, big events, changes at work, birthdays … these are often things you can anticipate and plan for. When you see something coming up on the horizon that might derail you, plan for it. Make it a part of your plan.
An example: I’ve been trying to learn to eat under my new meal plan… and I knew that a birthday party was coming up. Well, I anticipated it, learned the restaurant, researched the menu, and incorporated it into my plan. But on another occasion, I just anticipated the family event and allowed it to be one of my two cheat meals for the week. You have to be able to let up a little if you want to stick to it for the long term.
2. Find the path. When you see an obstacle, are you just going to give up? I hope not. An obstacle is just something we have to get around, or over … it’s not a reason to quit. So instead of quitting, ask yourself: how do I get around this obstacle? There’s always a solution, if you’re creative enough.
Sometimes there isn’t just one path. And it can be hard to decide which solution to choose. But don’t fret: choose one path, and see if it works. If it doesn’t, try another. Life is an experiment.
3. Two steps forward, one step back. You will face some setbacks every now and then. That’s a part of achieving any goal worth achieving — if it were too easy, it’s not a worthy goal.
But instead of seeing the setback as something discouraging, just accept it as a part of the journey. “Two steps forward, one step back,” is what I always tell myself … and it’s a realization that even with setbacks, I’m still making forward progress over the long run.
For example, I’ve had some setbacks when it comes to my exercise habit. I often seem to get sick after a few weeks of continuous exercise. But though illness has set me back a few times, I’ve now learned to see it as a welcome break, allowing my body to recover. Think of it as a time out … you’re allowed to rest when you’re sick, and when you get better, you’ll be recharged and ready to start again.
4. If you fall, get up, and learn from it. All of us fail, from time to time. No one is successful all the time. But instead of letting failure stop us completely, you just need to get up and dust yourself off … and this part is important: learn from your experience. When you fail, ask yourself: why did I fail? What stopped me? What obstacles got in my way? And how can I get around them next time it happens (and yes, it will happen again). And plan for next time.
An example: When I was quitting smoking, I had several failures. But each time, I asked myself what I did wrong. What derailed me? And I incorporated those obstacles into my plan. The common obstacles that led to a relapse in my smoking included stressful events, going out and drinking (and smoking) with friends, and stressful family events. Eventually, I succeeded … but I wouldn’t have done so if I just kept letting the same obstacles derail me.
5. Find new motivation. Sometimes a setback will leave us not only derailed, but demotivated. So the real problem is finding the motivation to start again. So, it helps to get back to the basics: what made you want to start in the first place? What was your reason for change? What motivated you? Thinking about that, and the benefits it will have in your life, and the way things will be once you’ve accomplished the goal, can help motivate you.
But I also recommend adding additional motivators, to help jump start you. Read this article about motivation, and these articles for more.
6. Go with the flow. Change is good. Change is a part of life. We might like our routines, but there will always be something that comes along to disrupt them. Accept that, embrace it, and learn to flow with it. If we become too rigid, we will break in the face of the pressures of life. But if we learn to accommodate those changes that life throws at us, and still head towards our goal, we’ll be happier and we’ll get to where we want to be.
Be willing to be flexible. Change comes at you … don’t despair, or get frustrated … take that change and make it a part of your plan.
Life will throw us curveballs. With practice, we can learn to hit them out of the park.
Need life goal ideas? Check out this popular list of life time goals people want to accomplish.
- Break a world record
- Experience weightlessness
- Extreme skydiving
- Feed the sharks
- Go scuba diving
- Ride a camel
- Ride an elephant
- Ride in a helicopter
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Swim with the dolphins
- Go white water rafting
- Be a contestant on The Amazing Race
- Be a contestant on Survivor
- Become a manager
- Become an executive
- Own my own business
- Make the Fortune 500 list with my company
- Start a non-profit organization
- Donate blood
- Create a website
- Fill a journal with inspiring quotes, lyrics, images, and…
- Write and publish a book
- Write a screenplay
- Perfom in a play
- Direct a dramatic production
- See the Top 100 films of all time
- See AOL’s list of Movies to See Before You Die
- Go to the Oscars
- Go to the Emmys
- Go to the Country Music Associate Awards show
- Have a healthy baby
- Watch my child graduate from high school
- Watch my child graduate from college
- Host a family reunion and trip to Disney
- Pay off all debt
- Save $100,000
- Save $500,000
- Become a millionaire
Friends / Friendships
- Host a reunion with my high school friends
- Be a contestant on a gameshow
- Ride in a limo
- Improve my blood pressure so that I no longer need medication
- Improve my cholesterol so that I no longer need medication
- Lose 20 pounds
- Lose 50 pounds
- Lose 100 pounds
- Make my goal weight
- Quit drinking alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Sell my craft on EBay
- Build my daughter a hope chest
- Buy a house
- Build a log cabin in the mountains
- Build a media room for the family to enjoy
Learning / Education
- Learn to belly dance
- Learn CPR
- Learn to drive a stick shift engine
- Learn to knit
- Learn to play golf
- Learn to play the guitar
- Learn to play the piano
- Learn to play the violin
- Learn to scuba dive
- Learn to snow ski
- Learn to snowboard
- Learn to speak another language
- Learn to surf
- Learn to water ski
- Complete my college degree
- Complete my PhD
- Teach a college class
- Read the top 100 novels of all time
- Write a book and publish it
Love / Love Life
- Find my true love
- Get married
- Go on a blind date
- Join an online dating service
- Celebrate my 25th anniversary
- Celebrate my 50th anniversary
- Play an instrument in a band
- Form a band
- Donate instruments for the school band for those who cannot afford them
- 10 albums to hear before you die
- Get a tattoo
- Get rid of clutter and only keep what matters most
Play / Recreation
- Form a Dominos club
- Form a Buncos club
- Make peace with my family
- Read the Bible from cover-to-cover
- Visit the Holy Land
- Form a prayer group
- Canoe through the Amazon
- Compete in an ‘iron man’ competition
- Go deep sea fishing
- Go hang gliding
- Go to all Nascar races
- Go to all Indy races
- Go to all games of my favorite football team
- Go to all games of my favorite baseball team
- Go to all games of my favorite basketball team
- Go to all games of my favorite hockey team
- Go to the US Open
- Raft through the Grand Canyon
- Run a marathon
- Visit all US baseball parks
- Visit all Nascar racetracks
Time of Year
- Celebrate the New Year in NYC, watching the ball drop at midnight
- Celebrate the 4th of July in Washington DC
- Go on a trip around-the-world
- Go to Egypt
- Go to Hawaii
- Go to Ireland
- Go to Italy
- Go to London
- Go to Niagra Falls
- Go to Paris
- Go to the Grand Canyon
- Earn 1,000,000 travel miles
- See the aurora borealis
- See the Great Wall of China
- See the rain forest
- Visit all 50 US states
- Visit all 28 places on the Smithsonian Magazine Life List
You might also consider including a timeframe for the goals around the times of your life (e.g., before I marry, before I graduate college, before I turn 30, before I turn 40).