Last Updated 9 months by Emily Standley-Allard
Do you ever feel like despite what you do you never seem to get the results you want? It’s easy to get derailed in this world of ‘shiny object syndrome’. Anyone can aim high and hope for the best, but that’s no guarantee for success. Today we’re going to discuss 8 simple and effective ways you can reach your goals now.
Goals can be challenging to achieve especially if you are not specific enough about what exactly it is you want to achieve. Sometimes your goals might be too spread out, too vague, too broad, or just plain unrealistic. But the good news is you’re already ahead of the majority of people just by setting goals.
Now you just need to tweak your approach and set some guidelines to get and keep you on the right track.
Here are eight ways to get you going on the right path to reach your goals now.
1. Set the Right Types of Goals
There’s a term called a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG)? It’s a term coined by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, to describe a goal that’s strategic and emotion driven. Collins advocates setting these types of goals because the traditional SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-driven) lack the emotional connection necessary for accomplishing big life goals.
A better approach, according to Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, a leadership training and research company, is to form “HARD” goals.
- Heartfelt: Having an emotional attachment to your goal.
- Animated: Motivated by a vision, picture, or movie in your mind.
- Required: Goals need to feel so urgent and necessary that you have no other choice but to start acting on them immediately.
- Difficult: Drag you out of your comfort zone, activating your senses and attention.
2. Map out Your Plan
It’s not enough to have a general goal such as; ‘I want to be wealthy.’
You need an action plan to accomplish it, too. This is where many people fail.
They set goals but don’t follow-up and create a plan with the important steps to get started. When this happens, big goals seem overwhelming, and you’re more likely to give up.
Create a road map to reach your goal.
Plan one or two actions you can take each week and focus on doing small things every day.
For example, if your goal is to start a new business this year, this week you can draft a business plan and choose a domain name and do some research on building a WordPress website.
The key is to break your goal down into smaller steps that are more achievable.
3. Visualize and Reflect
Social scientist Frank Niles, Ph.D., explains:
When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway—clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviors—that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined.
Visualize yourself reaching your goals, including the process and work it will take to get there (this is important) Try to feel what it will be like once you reach those big accomplishments.
This will form a lasting picture in your mind that will sustain your motivation over the long run.
4. Write Yourself a Letter
I love this tip from John Carlton, the legendary copywriter.
He says, “My trick to setting goals is very simple: I sit down and write myself a letter, dated exactly one year ahead.”
Carlton says you should write yourself a detailed letter describing your life one year from now.
It’s a powerful technique and is another way to use visualization to map out your desired outcome in your mind.
It’s also great fun to read it a year later to see if you’ve achieved what you had hoped.
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5. Take Small Actions Every Day
This is very important.
It doesn’t matter how much you learn if you don’t take action.
Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.
The best way to learn is by doing and to embrace failure—it’s the steppingstone to success for all successful people and their long-term goals.
Everyday actions don’t have to be big. You simply need to take one small step in the right direction.
If your goal is to eat healthier, pick up a protein bar instead of a cookie. If your goal is to start learning yoga or pilates, find a five-minute video that won’t overwhelm you with new difficult poses.
Any step you take forward is a good one. Two steps forward one step back.
6. To Reach Your Goals – Tell Only Those Closest to You
7. Plan for Setbacks
Being a good goal-setter is kind of like boxing; you need to learn to roll with the punches because you know you’re going to get hit.
The best way to minimize the impact of setbacks is to plan for them. Have a contingency plan for when things go wrong and be prepared to react and learn from those setbacks.
Keep in mind that, while you may have created a timeline, you may need to tweak it later.
Life is full of unforeseen complications. If you run into one, adjust your timeline without feeling negative about the change. It’ll only help you move forward in the end.
8. To Reach Your Goals – Evaluate Your Progress Every Week
Ask yourself: what did I do this week to get closer to my goal? What worked? What didn’t?
Consider using a self-reflecting journal to look back on the progress you made (or didn’t). Check this journal each time you feel unsure of how to proceed.
Don’t forget to celebrate your success, too. Allow yourself to bask in the success of a great week, and then get right back at it and check the next thing off your list. That’s how you’ll reach your ultimate goals.
Find ways to celebrate your successes no matter how big or small.
It’s great to dream big, but that also means you need to plan big. The bigger your goal, the more organization, planning and motivation it will require. If you’re prepared to put in the effort of making a step-by-step plan and following it to the best of your ability, set your sights high and get started.
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