Let’s say you have a goal to lose 20lbs, take a vacation, pay off debt, or run your first marathon. What should your first step be? Well, if you’re like most people you are so focused on reaching your goal as fast as possible you start trying to change everything you can all at once. You get overwhelmed. You begin to question whether or not you can stick with the changes. You begin to doubt yourself. You forget why you started…. and then you quit.
Don’t be like everyone else.
Here are 8 Steps to Reaching Your Goals Successfully:
- Visualize Your Goal – First, you must fully define your goal. Grab a notebook and pen, and find a quiet place to sit. Close your eyes and visualize your goal. What does it look like? What will you do when you reach this goal? How will you feel if you reach this goal? Why do you want this goal? What will it mean to you? Write everything down you can think of that captures this goal, including your why.
- Make a Vision Board – Making a vision board helps you to remember the bigger picture. Use your notes from step 1 to choose images to attach to a poster board, wall, frame, etc. Take your time and be thorough. Too often, we get consumed with individual tasks and we forget why we started in the first place. This will be your reminder. This will be your blueprint. Hang it somewhere you can see it throughout your day and constantly refer back to it. Can’t post it at work? Take a picture of it and save it as your phone wallpaper.
- Develop your Vision – Now that you have visualized what you want, and put it in writing, determine what needs to happen to make your dream a reality. What needs to happen before you can take that trip or run that race? Don’t get into too much detail here, just focus on determining what major milestones need to take place.
- Determine What You Need – No matter if your goal is physical, financial, mental, etc – it’s important to realize what tools you will need. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to have meal plans, healthy snacks, a support group, an exercise schedule, a food journal, etc before you even start. Don’t just jump into action without having the proper tools and expect things will just work out. It won’t. Promise. Preparation is KEY.
- Create a Plan – Now that you know what your goal is, when you want it, what you need to accomplish it, and who is going to help you – you need to determine HOW you will make it happen. Create an action plan with specific tasks and deadlines for each milestone that will help you stay on focus. Be as thorough as possible. Maybe you will prepare meals on Sundays for the week ahead, or map out your gym time. Maybe you will run a specific distance each day to build stamina for your race.
- Ask for Help – You are going to need help. Period. If you are going after a bigger goal, you are going to need a mentor, an accountability partner, a support group, etc. Identify someone (or a group of people) who have already achieved similar goals – this may mean someone other than a close friend or relative – and ask for their help. Let them know your goals and ask them to help keep you on track.
- START – They say that having a goal without a plan is simply a dream or a wish, which is true. However, having a goal with a plan isn’t enough to be successful – you must also START. Start by focusing on just the first step. Don’t get overwhelmed with how much you have to do, change, or how much time you have left, etc.. Just focus on the first step, followed by another step.
- CELEBRATE – Don’t forget to celebrate the milestones along the way. Taking time to recognize your accomplishments, no matter how small, will help you stay motivated and serve as a reminder of just how far you’ve come.
The key to reaching your goal is having a plan to keep you on track, having the belief you can achieve it, and having a support system to remind you that you can achieve it on the days you forget.
What are some tips that have helped you?