7 Keys to Successfully Reach Your Goals
Do you love to set goals but often find it challenging to stay on track with accomplishing them? Or do you sometimes feel discouraged and think, why even bother setting goals if they’re too difficult to reach? Or maybe you’re not even sure why you do or don’t succeed. Years ago I had similar challenges and I was determined to conquer my frustrations and reach my goals. Since then I’ve discovered and applied some great keys that can make a big difference in achieving what you want for yourself. So whether you love or hate setting goals, below are practical and powerful ways for increasing the likelihood of making them happen.
Be Clear About What You Want
Clarity is key. Before you begin to take action, make sure your goals are clear. What do you really want, and what does it look like? Write your goals down where you will see them and track them on a regular basis. A great system for creating supportive goals is using the SMART goals model. S = Specific. Get as specific as you can. M = Measurable. Define how you will know it’s complete? A = Attainable. Small steps are best. R = Relevant. Does it support your purpose, values or big picture goals? T = Time-frame. When will you complete it by?
Make a Strong Commitment
Commitment is a vital ingredient. When you commit, you’re telling yourself this is important to me and you’re ready to take action. It requires you to be honest with yourself about what you’re really willing to do. Commitment is the inner drive that connects you to why you are passionate about your goal, and gives you the motivation and energy to take consistent action. Peter Drucker says it well, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”
Mini Movements = Major Impact
Creating small consistent steps to move yourself forward is a practical and powerful way to support your success. Your big success is a result of many little victories. Every week take your goals and break them down into even smaller doable action steps. Each accomplishment will encourage you to keep moving forward. Like the Peruvian proverb states, , we succeed when we keep moving forward, regardless the size of the step.
Create a Support System
One of the best ways to ensure staying on track is having a strong support system. Whether you enlist a friend, join a class or group, or hire a coach, having someone else to check in with is a smart way to stay accountable. Accountability is the glue that keeps us sticking with doing what we say we’re going to do. I recently enlisted a friend to support me with my daily meditation goal, and it worked wonders! I’m now on day 30. It’s a fun way to support each other in reaching our goals and deepen our connection as friends.
Visualize Your Success
As we’ve learned from many professional and Olympic athletes, visualizing your desired outcome can highly increase the odds of reaching your goal. A study shared in Psychology Today examining brain patterns in weightlifters discovered that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when the athletes only imagined lifting. Using our creative imagination to ‘see ourselves’ accomplishing what we’ve set out to do is a tool that most of us can easily apply to our benefit.
Once you’ve clarified your goal, imagine you’ve already reached your desired outcome. Hold a mental ‘picture’ of it as if it were happening right now. Imagine the scene in as much detail as possible. What do you, see, hear and feel as you experience yourself living your vision. Who is you with? What are you wearing? What does your environment look like? Bring it to life and have fun with it. A daily (or regular) practice of visualizing your goal is a powerful way to support your success.
Set up a Tracking and Reminder System
You may have heard the saying, – what gets measured, gets done. It’s definitely been my experience. When you track your progress it keeps you focused on what you’re doing consistently, while being aware of the results you’re achieving. There are numerous options for low and high tech tracking systems. Including, using a written calendar or smart phone app, etc. Find a system that works best for you.
Enjoy and celebrate your wins. You deserve it. It may feel odd at first, but acknowledging yourself and all you accomplish is a way for you to be a good friend to yourself and cheerleader along the way. You can use creative ways to reward your wins and add an element of fun to reaching your goals. You could schedule a day to visit a park or museum with a friend, treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a massage at your local spa.
Appreciating yourself also encourages you to keep going and builds your confidence. Remember to also thank and appreciate the people who contribute and support you to succeed.
These keys may not be new, but sometimes we need a good reminder or a little kick in the butt to get us back on track. Whatever your dreams or goals may be, begin taking action today. Set yourself up for success by using these keys to support you.
This article was written by Margalit Ward who is a Certified Empowerment & Executive Coach, Speaker and Co-Founder of Get Up Girl Women’s Coaching.