5 Steps to Achieving Your 2014 Goals
Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was safe and happy. My wish for you is that you make 2014 your best year ever – full of health, happiness and prosperity. My goal is to help you do that!
I’ve noticed that many of the newsletters and blogs in my inbox over the past week have been about setting goals for the new year. I believe that’s because everyone knows how important it is to set goals. I’ve conducted numerous goal setting workshops and make all of my clients set goals. Achieving goals is very powerful. When we dream about what we really want and set goals in that direction, a powerful thing happens. Life is now lived with greater direction and purpose. And once those goals are achieved, we feel a sense of accomplishment and want to succeed even more.
Goals that are properly set, written down and focused on daily can be achieved faster and easier.
I’ve condensed my many suggestions into five steps to help you succeed in fulfilling your dreams:
Step 1: Start With the End in Mind or What is Your “WHY?”
In goal-setting, we often focus so much on WHAT and HOW, but I now have my clients first take a look at WHY they want to achieve a particular goal. How will your life be different or better if you achieve the goal? Is it really important to YOU or someone else? Why is the WHY important? Because your WHY is what drives the passion and the purpose in your heart and your life. “But what if I don’t have a WHY,” you might ask. I think you probably do. Sometimes you figure it out as you go along and most often it changes as your life changes or circumstances are revealed to you. My WHY is completely different at this second stage of my life than when I was once a single mother. Look at all the areas of your life, such as; health & wellness, work, relationships, social life, personal development, financial, quality of life, spiritual. Then decide what goal(s) in each area truly motivates you and will add the most impact, meaning and purpose to your life.
Goal expert Brian Tracy, in his book Flight Plan, talks about his guaranteed success formula for achieving goals. He says to write down ten goals and identify one goal on the list that would have the greatest positive impact on your life, becoming “your major definite purpose, your primary goal, and your most important destination for the next leg of your life’s journey.” Next, Tracy recommends transferring that goal to a clean sheet of paper, and making a list of potential obstacles with solutions as well as additional information, skills and people needed in order to achieve that goal. Finally, he says, organize this information into a plan and start taking action.
Step 2: Make SMART Goals for Best Results
To make goals that are focused and achievable, they need to be S.M.A.R.T.; an acronym that typically means:
• Achievable (or Attainable)
• Time-sensitive (or Time-bound)
For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” a SMART goal would be: “I am at my healthy goal weight of 135 pounds by May 1, 2014 by losing four pounds each week.” The latter is specific in that there is no question as to what you are trying to accomplish. Also, anyone can determine whether or not it has been completed, which makes it measurable, and the time-limitation helps create the motivation.
Also part of the SMART criteria is to make sure that the goal is achievable and realistic. If we set ourselves up for potential failure, it can be disempowering and we can lose our motivation. We do need to stretch ourselves when goal setting to maximize our potential, but the goal should not be so far out of reach that, more than likely, it is impossible to achieve.
Step 3: Writing Goals Down Is Essential
I can never stress this enough! In Henriette Anne Klauser’s book, Write it Down, Make it Happen: Knowing What You Want – And Getting It, she says that writing down your goals is the first step towards achieving them. She talks about Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip Dilbert, once a “lowly technology worker in Corporate America,” who spent 15 minutes a day writing down: “I will become a syndicated cartoonist.” After many rejections and through perseverance, she says, Scott became a syndicated cartoonist in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide and is now known all over the world.
Writing goals in a daily planner, a journal or even a $1 spiral notebook, helps focus our attention on them and makes them more real.
Step 4: Think of What Obstacles You May Encounter
Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Successful people fail more than unsuccessful people because they keep trying no matter what obstacles they come across.
Obstacles to achieving goals often include the fear of failure, fear of success and lack of self-confidence. An obstacle can be less threatening if you think about solutions. So think about some real solutions to help overcome obstacles to your success and remember Brian Tracy’s suggestion in Step 1 about writing down potential obstacles and solutions before you even start. Sometimes it helps to simply re-connect with your WHY or your vision for achieving the goal.
Step 5: Focus on Goals Everyday
Focusing daily on our goals helps us succeed in reaching them because it’s a constant reminder of what we desire in life. Two ways to keep goals present in the mind are:
• Think from the end – Dr. Wayne Dyer, author and speaker in the field of self-development, in his book The Power of Intention, says that to manifest what we desire, “continuously contemplate yourself as being surrounded by the conditions you wish to produce.” Imagine what life will look like once the goal is realized and the joy and satisfaction you will feel.
• Visualize – Create a vision board with pictures, symbols and words relating to your goals, or even a simple daily visualization practice where you imagine yourself having achieved the goal as you’ve written it.
Passion and Hard Work. I shared in my last blog the BHG (Big Hairy Goal) I have set for myself for the first 90 days of the year and my passion and my WHY. So I’m right there with you in making 2014 the best year ever. My passion to help as many people as possible ‘make the rest of their life the best of their life’ is strong. Is it easier for me because I’m a life coach? Not at all!!!
Achieving important goals in life can be difficult but so rewarding. Enthusiasm, self-discipline, commitment, and perseverance are what you need to get your desired results. Once a goal is realized and a dream is turned into reality, a shift occurs, and we gain confirmation that through hard work and passion nothing is impossible.
How can I help you? Do you want a solution for healthy weight loss, more energy & performance and/or healthy aging? I can help you with that! Are you looking to achieve financial goals with a part-time or full-time home business? I can help you with that! Are you going through a transition in your life or career? I can help you with that! Together, we can work towards setting and achieving your goals. I am here to help!