Why Goals are Important
Goals are important because they help to give you clarity of the final
result. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, setting small,
incremental goals can help encourage you and keep you moving in
the right direction.
Once you reach your final goal, a true feeling of achievement takes
hold and you gain courage to try something else. Perhaps it may also
encourage you to do something much more bold, like go rock
climbing or learn a new sport. Small goals are wonderful stepping
stones towards helping us reach that final outcome.
Aside from helping you move towards the right direction, setting goals
make you more accountable to yourself. If you hadn’t set a personal
goal, there is no repercussion if you falter. On the other hand, if a
goal is already put in place, you can begin to create some rules and
boundaries to help you stick to it.
Let others know about your goal and keep them informed of your
progress. This way, someone else is aware of what you are working
toward and can help to encourage you. Any goal is designed to help
you be responsible for the mistakes you make, or for any learning
curves you might experience along the way. It helps keep us focused
with our eyes on the prize, and allows us to better understand what it
is we are trying to achieve.
Keep in mind that most successful people began their journey with
some kind of goal in mind. No famous business owner, movie star, or
sports hero began their journey expecting everything to simply fall
into place the way they wanted it. Instead, most likely they decided
what they wanted in advance, and then worked hard to get there. The
same can be applied to us in our day to day journeys: if we want
something big to happen, WE have to make it happen. This is where
the role of setting and sticking to goals comes in.
How to Achieve Your Goals
No two people are alike, so it is no surprise that not everyone will
attempt to reach the goals the same way. However, we can all utilize
some simple techniques that will help us to get to the final goal
easier. Like any task you face, a list is essential. Create a simple list
of things you will need to accomplish before your goal can be
Most goals are reached in steps, so write down all of the steps that
will need to be accomplished in advance before the final goal is
reached. You can also make a list of items you might need to buy,
books you might need to read, or just little things you can do to
prepare for the finalization of your goal ahead of time.
Think about realistic goals versus unrealistic ones, and then only
establish goals that you can feasibly conquer. For instance, if you
want that dream car that costs $50,000 and you know you can never
afford it, it might be time to take a step back and re-evaluate your
goal. Maybe the compact sedan for $15,000 is something you can
actually afford to purchase and may be what you will really enjoy.
Take some time to really think about which goals are “doable” and
which ones might be beyond reach. Or, you can set a smaller, less
lofty goal and then slowly work your way towards your dream goal
later. Often, the most essential part of reaching goals is the process
and not the goal itself.
Do not be too hard on yourself if you falter along the way to reaching
your goal. Everyone makes mistakes, and this is how we learn.
Without these little fumbles, we miss out on some very valuable
lessons in life. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move
forward. Keep in mind that each mistake you make should be a
learning opportunity and just be sure not to repeat it in the future.
Get organized, and keep track of your progress. If you are quitting
smoking, keep tabs on how many cigarettes you have NOT smoked
in a day, week, etc. Tally up the money you’ve saved. If it’s weight
you are trying to lose, make a food diary and write down what you eat
each day as well as your calorie and fat content, so you can more
clearly see how everything is progressing.
A list written in your day planner, entered into a PDA or iPhone,
logged online, or simply written on a notepad can really help you see
where your progress is being made. In addition, every small step or
thing you complete gives you a feeling of accomplishment and
satisfaction. This feeling only helps to encourage you to push forward
and reach for the stars.
Depending on what your ultimate goal is, you might even want to
recruit the help of a friend. Perhaps you and someone you know have
a similar goal in mind. It can be something as simple as getting more
exercise, or something as lofty as starting your own business. If you
have a support system, you are more likely to be successful.
Plus, your “goal buddy” might be able to offer some helpful advice
and you can learn something from each other along the way. Having
a true support system makes a huge difference between achieving
your goal and just thinking about it. In addition, having someone walk
down the path with you can make it much more fun, and seem less
like a task that you feel you HAVE to do.
Sometimes, a matter of achieving your goals can be as simple as
your frame of mind. Try some meditation techniques to help you feel
calm and more relaxed. Yoga, walking, relaxing music, and just plain
old quiet time can do wonders for your psyche.
Try to eliminate some of the more stressful elements in your life. By
doing this, you are allowing more room in your mind and more time
on your hands to focus on the more important things. Do not let
things upset you as easily as you once did. Instead, learn new coping
skills so you can quickly solve problems and turn your attention back
towards your goal.
Utilize the new technology that is available to you. You can use a
myriad of goal setting and tracking software for everything from
weight loss to business achievements. If you own a website, there
are a great deal of web tracking software programs that will help you
analyze your current sales and help you reach your goal. Make the
Internet work for you by searching for goal related programs and
websites that will be your ally throughout the process.
Think about things like time management, and how these programs
can assist you with it. In fact, time management is another key part of
accomplishing a goal. By better being able to manage how you use
your time, you can see where there might be room for improvement
and then focus on how to gain more time to get what you want.
Consider your personal habits when you set a goal. For example, do
you drink often or even in excess on the weekends? How is this
getting in the way of your goal? Do you have a messy household that
constantly needs cleaning? Come up with a list of personal habits
that might be considered unhealthy or harmful, and think about how
you can change these habits so that you feel more comfortable with
your life. Eliminating negativity will do wonders for your life as well as
your ability to reach your goals.
How to Stick With Your Goals
While the tools you implement are designed to help get you heading
in the right direction, the real key to achieving your goals is sticking
with them. Many people establish loft goals for themselves, and then
end up “falling off the wagon” or getting off track. It is essential that
you stick with the goal in mind. Otherwise you will feel a significant
sense of loss and possible failure. Many people tend to give up easily
once they get off track. If you know how to stick to the goal initially,
you will not encounter as many problems staying in line.
Think ahead. If you have a big vacation planned or there is a holiday
coming, then think about how that time will affect your goal. If you
expect a contract to run out or a larger bill during a certain part of the
month to get in the way, prepare in advance. Always try to stay one
step ahead of the game, that way you are not hit with any surprised
you don’t like or that will get in your way.
Consider what certain restaurants serve and look at the menu in
advance before eating there if you have weight loss goals. These are
just a few examples of how simple planning ahead can be a real
A lot of times, people have difficult setbacks that can cause them to
get distracted and derail them from accomplishing their goals.
Seriously think about what causes you to have problems on your way
to achieving your goal. If you fail, don’t just simply reserve yourself to
keep going. Really, truly think about WHY you faltered and what
caused it. What were the reasons behind the mistake?
By getting to the root of the problem, you can avoid it next time and
just continue to move forward. Never beat yourself up too hard if you
do make a mistake. Remember we are all human, and things will
happen along the way that are either out of our control or that we
must learn from. As long as every mistake is used as a lesson, we’re
really not losing out in the long run.
Often, setbacks can leave us feeling a bit deflated and discouraged. If
this happens, look for new motivations or sources of inspiration.
Online chat and message boards with others who have similar goals
are great places to go for moral support. They may also be able to
suggest other tools for motivation and help you establish new ways of
Use your children and other loved ones as sources of motivation.
Think about your goal and how it will have a positive effect on others,
and not just yourself. Many people will attest that other important
people in their life helped to inspire them to reach their goals.
Remember that change is not always a bad thing. While most people
are typically resistant to change, you will find that you might need to
adapt while you’re on the way to your final goal. Adaptation is what
helps us grow as human beings, and it inspires us to be the best
person we can be.
Realizing that change is not always a bad thing can be instrumental
in helping you get to that big goal. Do not be afraid to try something
new or unusual in order to reach your goal. You just might surprise
yourself in the long run and discover new ways of doing things. Often
we are forced to deal with change when a situation arises that we are
unhappy with. Instead of being negative or feeling defeated, use this
as an opportunity.
Remind yourself every single day why you want to achieve this goal.
Create daily reminders or just put something up at your desk or in
your bedroom to help encourage and inspire you. You might even
come up with your own personalized slogan that will serve as
encouragement. No matter what you choose to do, daily reminders
are a great way to help you stick with everything. Create some kind of
time frame for every little step you make. This way, you have a
definitive moment when the goal will be achieved. Use a calendar or
other method to track this progress daily until you hit the timeframe.
Be sure to take care of your overall health. Remember, if you get sick
or feel sluggish, you will have a much more difficult time reaching any
goal you set. Get a good night of sleep every night. This means a
minimum of five hours, but preferably the standard eight hours per
night. Sleep helps you stay focused and helps to prevent mood
swings and other problems.
Eat a healthy balanced diet that incorporates whole grains, proteins,
and fruits and veggies. Stay away from sugary junk foods that can
cause you to reach highs and lows and then eventually crash. Limit
alcohol and caffeine. By doing these simple things, you will feel better
overall and be able to stay focused.
Determine what time of each day is best for you. In other words, do
you find that you can focus on your goal at lunchtime during work? Or
is right before bedtime when the kids are asleep a better option for
you? Perhaps you are able to squeeze in that workout you’ve been
planning in the early evenings while you work towards your weight
loss goal. Determine what your daily schedule is and then pick the
optimum time in between where you can really buckle down and work
on your goal. Understanding optimum timeframes is a great way to
get you on track by utilizing that time management tool effectively.
Everything from dropping a few pounds to starting and keeping up
that successful business is a milestone in our lives. No matter what
the size and scope of your goal, it CAN be achieved through
patience, diligence, and hard work. Understanding how to set your
goal and utilizing time frames and organization skills, you will find that
it is not as hard as you may have originally thought. Enlist the help of
a friend and watch your dreams come true that much faster.
Understanding how to stay on track towards a goal is essential. Keep
your eyes on the prize and always remember the ultimate reward of
accomplishing the goal. Truly, the end result is what makes setting
goals and achieving them so enjoyable.