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2018 is here. Many people will have set New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the New Year, but most will give up by the end of January. A few years ago, I decided to stop setting New Year’s resolutions and began setting five to seven challenging and empowering goals.
No more New Year’s resolutions
Instead of waiting for the beginning of the year to set unfocused and generic goals, my family and I started working on our family and personal goals after Thanksgiving. By mid-December, we had a solid goal achievement plan.
Our goals plan is not written in concrete or unchangeable terms, but it gives us a starting point and a destination to reach. People often ask me about the plan we follow to set and achieve our family and personal goals.
I share with them our simple goals plan. I do not promise a magical formula that provides a guarantee your goals will automatically happen if you follow our twelve steps or you will have no struggles and everything will happen in your life the way you want at the exact time you desire.
In order to achieve your goals, you must make sacrifices, commit daily, overcome challenges and work your plan. No one can do it for you. It is your responsibility.
The Twelve Simple Steps
If you are passionate about achieving your goals our Twelve Simple Steps to Achieving Your Goals will help you write and implement an achievable goals plan that will forever change your life.
1. Spend quality time alone developing your goals.
I advise you to get alone in a quiet place, away from the distractions of life, and begin to develop your goals plan. Put away your mobile devices, shut down the computer and turn off the television. Tell your family and friends this is your set time for developing your present and future goals plan, and you do not want to be disturbed. Do you have a quiet time and place set aside for goal discovery?
2. Define your goals in writing
Write down your goals! When you begin to define your goals in writing make sure they are SMART: Specific – Measurable – Actionable – Reinforcing –Trackable. Written goals will help bring better clarity to your life. When you document your goals you create a road map to focus your directions.
3. Create measures to success
Now that you have defined your goals the next step is to create ways to measure your progress. It’s not enough to say I have a goal, but you need to have a way to measure your progress. Your measures for success can be defined by:
Term (length of time)
Short Term (within a year)
Medium Term (within three years)
Long Term (over three years)
The Life Area – spiritual, relational, physical, social, financial, mental or professional.
Dates – Start date, target completion date and actual completion date.
4. Define possible opportunities for success
One of the keys to stay motivated in achieving your goals is to define your opportunities for success. I personally like to list three to four opportunities.You can list as many opportunities for success as you desire. Your list will become a huge motivator in achieving your goalswhen times of discontentment, discouragement and doubt come.
5. Identify obstacles to success
Now that you have spent time seeking God for your goals, you have written them down, set measures to success and defined possible opportunities for success everything should be smooth sailing, right? Wrong! Obstacles will come to attempt to detouryou.
Identify all the obstacles that you know have the potential to detour your goals success. Even after you have identified obstacles that you know might come against your goals achievement, please be aware that there will be some obstacles that may come out of nowhere. Your job is to remain focus on your goals despite where the obstacles originate.
6. Breakdown goals into manageable action steps
When you have a large goal that you want to accomplish, the best thing to do is break your large goal into smaller more manageable action steps. If you focus on the enormity of the large goal it can become too overwhelming and lead to frustration and quick burn out.
If you take the large goal and break it down into smaller measureable action steps you set yourself up for success because you make your large goal more obtainable. It is much easier to bust a large stone with several small strikes than one big hit.
7. Identify people, resources or skills needed
You may have to take a class or do an in depth self-study on a particular subject to educate yourself on a new skill or re-educate yourself on an old skill that you will need. Don’t be ashamed or too prideful to ask for help. You can’t do it alone. You will need the support, encouragement and assistance of others. Identify and acquire the resources, skills and/or people you will need to achieve your goals and go to work.
8. Create new habits
Forming new habits is hard. It requires daily action. The promise of rewards will drive you in the beginning. But if you don’t remain consistent and committed, after a couple of weeks, your drive will fizzle out and you will return to business as usual. If you want your new habits to stick, believe you can change, and take action
Once you have a written goals plan it is your responsibility to take the appropriate action to achieve them. You can’t wait for the right deal, the right people to support you or the right situation to happen before you take action. You could have written the most captivating, compelling and challenging goal possible, but if you don’t take a course of action to implement your plan, your goal will remain a stagnant dream.
10. Monitor your goals regularly
As you move forward with your goals, it is important to periodically monitor them toknow where you are in case if you have to make any adjustments or changes. You may find that you need to go right instead of left or you may have to extend the time for completing an action step or the overall goal. You may discover that a goal youset needs to be eliminated because it no longer aligns with your life’s vision. Monitoring your goalsregularly will put you on the right course to goals achievement.
11. Reward yourself
I don’t want to make achieving your goals all work. You have heard the saying, “all work and no play makes you dull”. During the process of reaching your goals you need to implement rewards that follow key steps in your action plan. This will help enforce your desire to move forward to the next step.
A rewards plan will make your goal achievement a fun and exciting process. Now don’t overdo it with rewards because you still have an overall goal to reach. Your minor victories deserve applause! This recognition will enforce where you are going and provides an incentive to get the job done.
12. Keep moving forward
Five motivators to help you keep moving forward in your goals progress.
a. Commit to your specific goals path regardless of setbacks, challenges or failures.
b. Continually surround yourself with people who will encourage your forward movement.
c. Consistently show up every day to do the work necessary to achieve your goals.
d. Confidently operate in your abilities, talents and gifts.
e. Courageously fight through the temptation to quit.
“There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.” George Washington Carver
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up?
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