Goal setting is the true secret to success in any area of life. But although setting a goal may seem simple, achieving it is usually another question altogether.
Why is that?
Because you will never achieve your goals unless you: (1) know exactly what you want, (2) are passionate about your goal, and (3) have a solid, realistic plan of action. This is what marks the difference between nebulous dreams and wishes – and truly achievable goals!
Many obstacles and challenges will fly right in your face when you’re going after a goal. Here are 5 time-tested methods that will help get the success you deserve.
1. Know exactly what your goal is
Your first job is to discover exactly what your goal is. What will achieving that goal really look like? Be as specific as possible about exactly what your desired end result is. Your success will be a measure of your clarity – since an achievable goal plan cannot be created around a nebulous “dream.”
If your goal is to create a more successful business, what will that look like? Are you thinking in terms of simply hiring someone else to give you more free time? Are you looking for a very specific monthly profit? Or can your goal be best expressed in terms of a certain lifestyle?
Regardless of what you want, the best way to get it is to first clarify exactly what you want in as much detail as possible. This can be hard work. But without a clear mental picture, you’ll never have the focus required to achieve your goal.
2. Be willing to pay the “entry fee”
Success takes dedicated planning and effort. In a way it’s like building a house. In the beginning all you have is a rough concept. Then you develop a complete set of plans – and you immediately move closer to success. The same is true of creating a better lifestyle, or a more successful business.
But there’s always an *entry fee* to be paid for success.
The entry fee?
Creating more success in your business may mean less recreational time. Writing your own book may require less TV. Being closer to your children may require adjusting your work or social activities.
It’s the “full glass” deal. If your life (your time) is already full to the top, there’s no room for something new. The entry fee is carving out the time to create that something new.
3. Focus on your goal every day
I’m sure you probably want to achieve your goal as fast as possible. That’s why clear mental focus is so very important.
Consistent daily focus is absolutely necessary to “burn in” the new neural pathways you need to create your new goal. Without daily focus, the old mental habits that have kept you from your goal will continue to take over.
This happens automatically – since these old habits replay 24/7 deep in your subconscious mind. The only way to override subconscious anti-success messages is to consciously focus on what you DO want – and build new neural networks!
That’s why success is an every-day event.
Re-commit to your goal every day. Don’t let your goal take a back seat to the daily tasks and distractions that will try to take over. Life WILL try to get in your way. Just get, and stay, on course every day. Focus on your goal, and on success!
4. Get passionate
One of the most powerful tools in your “success tool box” is having real passion for your goal.
Because intense passionate desire for your goal will help you burn in those new neural pathways even faster. Many, many scientific studies have shown that intense emotion (passion) is a key success tool.
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Having a goal enables you to focus your energies on devising ways to achieve it. When someone makes a decision and begins focusing on achieving a specific goal (and even better in a specific period of time), the powerful subconscious mind goes to work and begins playing with ideas and developing strategies of various ways to bring about the successful completion of the goal.
When you set yourself a goal both your conscious and subconscious start working on it and begin to develop an action plan. You will find you begin asking yourself questions about what needs to be done to enable you to reach your goal. You may find yourselves coming up with amazing ideas and solutions to problems or obstacles that have been in the way of achieving your goal. Solutions and ideas that you are surprised you ever thought of may start popping into your mind.
Our subconscious is an extremely powerful tool. The more often you remind yourself of your goal, the more your mind will work on ways for you to achieve it. Some people find answers come to them when they are asleep and dreaming.
Have you ever noticed that there is no correlation between being wealthy and having a high IQ or a university degree? If there were, every doctor and university graduate would be wealthy, and as statistics show, most of them end up in the same situation as 95% of the population.
The main thing that the majority of independently wealthy people have in common is that they have set goals for themselves and achieved them. They invest time in reading and learning about wealth creation and are happy to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, as well as their own. They set goals, and realise that they will be far better able to achieve them if they familiarise themselves with the ways in which other people acted and the things that others have done to succeed. Wealthy people create wealth by carefully utilising the income that they have available to them to their best advantage. They know that working harder and longer hours is not the way to achieve financial freedom, instead they have to utilise what they have, and make it grow.
When you begin to work out your goals you need to make them as specific as possible. A vague idea or generalization like “I want to buy investment properties and become wealthy” is not enough. You need to be much more detailed. “I want to own my first investment property within six months. I will save for the legal and bank fees, and borrow 100% of the value of the property. I will find an extremely well priced, three bedroom brick veneer house that is close to schools and shopping centres. It will be either brand new or less than ten years old. It will be structurally sound, and require a minimal amount of maintenance. I will find a good agent to manage it, who has a lot of experience and will find me a good tenant.”
This is a specific goal, and you could add a lot more to it. Because your goal is specific your mind immediately begins to ask questions such as “How much money will I need for the fees and charges? How much does that relate to if I break it down on a weekly basis? Will I have to look at my current expenses to see where I need to cut back so as to make up the difference for the amount I need to save?” Specific goals help you to create specific, realistic action plans and as the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
You will find that if you write down your goals on a piece of paper, and put it in a prominent position, so that you will read it often, your subconscious as well as your conscious mind will start asking questions and coming up with answers, and you will find that you have already begun to take the necessary steps to achieving your goal.
It is helpful to have a series of goals, ranging from daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, ten yearly and thirty to forty yearly. You can always refine and change your goals as time goes on and situations change.
You may find that it is easier to start at the 40-year mark, and then work backwards. Try to work out what steps would be needed to achieve your 40-year goal, and spread them out over the different time spans, to what you would need to achieve to end up with the final result.
Try to make your goals realistic and achievable. Do not set a goal that is too hard. Set lots of small, easily achievable goals and work step by step to achieve your road to success. Stay positive. Believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed, even if other people patronise you or try to put you off, or tell you there is no point.
Even in January, more and more people forget about the well-meaning resolutions they made on New Year’s to improve their lives.
Here are five tips from my new book, Inside Every Woman, Using the 10 Strengths You Didn’t Know You Had to Get the Career and Life You Want Now, to turn resolution road kill into a thing of the past.
1. Stop being a commitment queen. Eliminate one or two items from your busy schedule to free up time to pursue your passionate interests. Which will they be?
2. Do something even if it’s wrong. Ninety percent of success is showing up. Whether you’re selling an idea, trying to land a new client or learning how to paint, the point is, you have to show up. What idea will you pursue this year?
3. Plan for growth. In life, as in business, when you neglect growth, the passion inside you cools. Plan not only for a bigger house or an updated vehicle, but for inner growth. Try to reinvent yourself on a regular basis. You don’t want to wake up five years from now and greet the same woman in the mirror. You want to see a new person who has transcended former boundaries.
4. Challenge your obstacles. Let go of the notion that you don’t have enough time, energy, money or discipline to do what it takes to succeed. When you challenge that thought you will magically make more things happen.
5. Stick with it and endure. Many women who fail in reaching their goals simply turn back too soon. The path is long and the terrain is tough. When your endurance is tested and you’re tempted to give up, remember this: You will miss not only the gold at the end of the rainbow, but also a wealth of other treats along the way.
Here’s wishing you a Happy New You. And remember: We are women and we can do anything!
Turning the calendar over is an excuse to make personal resolutions for the coming year. It is also a way to bring about certain frustration for you if the goals that you set for yourself are unreachable, unattainable, or just something you have no interest in doing. Making resolutions can be done at any time of the year, but if you have been thinking about several new ones for the coming year, here are four tips to help you not only make resolutions, but to keep them.
1. I Resolve To… Okay, you have made your resolutions. Now, step back and take a look at each one. Are they resolutions you wanted to make or resolutions others have told you to make? Make certain that each resolution is something you definitely want to keep, not a half hearted attempt at reaching a goal that you really aren’t interested in reaching. If your resolution needs to be modified, do it at once.
2. My Goals Are… Are your resolutions reasonable or are they reaching well beyond what can normally be expected? Let’s say your goal is to lose 70 pounds in the coming year. While the weight loss resolution is admirable, do you have the time to exercise regularly? Change your eating habits? Change your lifestyle? Is the 70 pound weight loss goal too much, too soon? Would it be better for you to stretch the amount you want to lose beyond one calendar year? Consider your health: both physical and mental when evaluating your goals. Keep in mind how your resolution may impact friends and family members…you may be a “bear” to live with over the next twelve months!
3. I Have Fallen and I Cannot Get Up! Do you quit at the first sign of failure? If you splurge on food, do you consider your diet and resolution to be over? If so, why? Simply start again and continue. The road to any goal is paved with pitfalls and you are bound to backslide from time to time. Best advice: Find an accountability partner who knows [and understands] your resolution and can encourage you to keep it.
4. Reward Yourself. At the end of the year, reward yourself based on how well you kept your resolution. If you hit your weight loss goals, consider going on a cruise — don’t overeat! — as a reward for good behavior. If you miss your goals, keep the cruise idea open for when you do meet your goals. In other words, some resolutions are ongoing and shouldn’t be restricted by a 365 day calendar.
Remember this: resolutions are for your benefit, not your detriment. Your attitude toward a particular resolution will help you determine whether you should make that particular resolution or not. Any resolution made which doesn’t have your enthusiastic backing will certainly become a hindrance.