Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
~ Stephen A. Brennan
So, now you have committed to your goals, but how will you ensure continued forward motion toward your desired destination? The sad fact is that in spite of so much information being readily available on personal goal setting, in spite of this skill even being taught in some schools… most people do not – will not – decide exactly what they want out of life… ever! Personal goal setting is one of the most useful and satisfying activities a person can engage in, yet it something most people just will not typically do.
How can you score points if you don’t know where the goal is? Chances are, if you don’t know where you’re going… you end up somewhere you never intended to be. How can you arrive at your desired destination without a reliable road map? Action without planning, is just activity… busyness… an unproductive waste of energy and time. Personal goal setting is like fuel injection for your mind. When SMART goals are properly incorporated within the context of your personal journey, they will produce effective, self-perpetuating action.
In order to have the best chance at successfully achieving your goals, here are some tips that will help you to stay on track and moving in the right direction:
1. Write Your Goals Down… and describe them in complete detail.
It may seem obvious, but WRITE your SMART goals down in infinite detail. They are not something to be filed away – the personal goals you develop should reside within a living document that is reviewed daily and updated once a month. They are your roadmap to the future and serve as a constant reminder to the opportunities and challenges ahead.
2. Make Sure You Fully Understand WHY You Have Chosen These Specific Goals.
Failure to answer the “why?” question will result in an overall lack of motivation and will produce a significant likelihood that you will fail to follow the plan. There are reasons behind your goals for yourself – usually dozens of them. If you take the time to realize why these specific goals are important to you, you will be more likely to arrive at your desired destination. List your very personal reasons, focusing on the real benefits. The more complete the list, the stronger your motivation will be. Read through your reasons every morning.
3. Drive Toward Action Every Day… work continuously on your goals until each goal is accomplished.
I am sure you have heard a hundred times, “Think big!” or perhaps “ Your goals are only limited by your imagination!” So, you have written down your BIG, almost “off the map” goal. After all, you don’t want to underestimate yourself! You know you can do this… BUT after a tough day at work you are just so exhausted… maybe tomorrow?
Reality: Tomorrow Never Comes
If you are serious about achieving everything (and more) that you want out of life, here’s a small tip that may help you to get started and continue moving on down the road, no matter how big your goal is: Every night write down a small task for the next day – Something that will require no more than 10 or 15 minutes, but will move you incrementally toward your goals.
~ Make that phone call to start reconnecting your network
~ Read a quick chapter of something that will help you drive toward your goals
~ Spend a portion of your breakfast or lunch reviewing your action plan ~ Anything that will explicitly represent forward movement toward your goals…
The secret is that the most difficult thing is to get started. Once you begin moving forward, you are far more likely to continue the momentum. And once the momentum kicks in, you will discover that you won’t mind doing more because you are working toward your future! Set big goals, but make your initial tasks small.
4. Create A “Success Log”
Unfortunately very few recognize the power of the personal success log. It takes only a few minutes a day to write down your achievements and the tasks you’ve accomplished, but these moments have the power to transform your life for the following reasons:
- Success logs motivate you. By writing down your forward movement toward your goals each day, you will be able to physically see your progress. You will be able to explicitly observe how your consistent small steps are moving you closer to your desired destination.
- A Success log helps to eliminate temptation. It is easier to stay focused on (and accountable to) your goals when you know that you have to write down what you have accomplished toward your personal goals each day.
- The Success log can simplify your life. Things become much simpler when they are written down. A log (or journal) makes you more aware of life’s distractions.
5. Know There Is NO Perfect Moment For Working On Your Goals
Are you waiting for a perfect moment to work on your goal? Do you believe you will be able to recognize the perfect moment when it comes? There is one simple formula that instantly tells you the perfect time to start achieving your goal: Perfect Moment = NOW!
This is the ONLY perfect moment to start working towards your goals. Don’t waste time waiting for the perfect condition or the perfect opportunity to arrive – IT NEVER WILL. Start now, use what you have and resist the impulse to procrastinate! If you are putting your journey on hold rather than driving toward where you really want to go, answer these questions:
- What do you want to do?
- Where are you now?
- How far off course are you?
- How will you feel at each destination?
By writing down what you want to do, you are unconsciously picturing yourself going in a positive direction and ultimately achieving your goals. Now, think about where you are today and how it feels to drive around the parking lot in circles, not moving forward or arriving at any exciting destinations. What does “the gap” look like? How do the two separate destinations make you feel? How far off course are you? What are you going to do about it? Use this vision and the resulting information to move yourself away from procrastination and toward your ultimate destination! It’s a very simple technique, but it works like a magic!
Are you on course toward your desired destination or are you”stuck in the mud”?
I hope this has provided some useful guidelines toward helping you to manage your journey toward your ultimate destination. Please engage the discussion and let us know what drives you. Always feel free to contact me atSheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.