10 Ways to Actually Achieve the Goals You Set
by Terence Young
Goals. You know you have them. Everyone has areas in his or her life that they would like to change. Whether your goals are written neatly in bound journals or just drifting around in your head, you can achieve those goals. Just how, though, can you make them a reality?
1. If you haven't done it yet, get those goals down on paper. Try to write them in a way that is measurable and objective. This means that you will have proof positive when they have been met. Nebulous subjective wording, like "I hope to be a better person," doesn't work for a goal. What exactly do you mean? "I will visit lonely old people once a month this year," is a better goal. At the end of the year, you can say, "Did I do it?" and have a definite answer.
2. Keep the written goals before you often. I like to have my New Year's resolutions written on the inside back cover of my journal and refer to them often. Maybe you'd like to post your goals on a bulletin board or your bathroom mirror. Read over them occasionally. Otherwise you might forget what you had planned to accomplish.
3. Break the goal down into manageable bites. Big goals can't be achieved in a day. You must figure out the most logical first step you can take today.
4. Make daily "to do" lists that include items that will bring the goal closer to reality. If the goal is to lose weight, today's list might include "take a 30 minute walk" and "buy salad greens."
5. Related to the above admonition is this one - start today. Procrastination is the biggest killer of goals known to man.
6. Keep track. It may seem childish, but keeping a chart and giving yourself stickers can be a great motivator. Put a star on the calendar on each day that you call five potential customers or practice your visualization techniques. Whatever the stepping stones are toward your goal, a chart will make it seem more tangible, and you can actually see the progress you're making.
7. Reward yourself for little victories along the way. If you made it through two days without a cigarette, for example, celebrate with a new CD or free time with a good magazine.
8. Don't be so hard on yourself when you fail that you giveup all together. In fact, just simply refuse to give up! If the goal is worth achieving, it's worth persevering. Little failures always litter the way to success. Failures and defeats teach you. They are essential to ultimate victory.
9. Believe in yourself, your potential, your dreams, and your goals. It's close to the end of the list because it is so important! Without a positive belief that you can achieve your goals, you probably won't ever see them come to pass.
10. Finally, take action. Do something. Don't worry that you are doing the wrong first step. If you fail, you at least learned it wasn't the right first step! Learn and keep going.
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