How to set goals and achieve them


What is life really all about? Paying bills and drifting aimlessly through life is not living it is merely existing. Surely living life should be our aim. A life well lived should include some notable achievements, if you are to realise your full potential and leave a legacy behind you. However achievements require proper goal setting if they are to be accomplished.

This article explores goal setting and how goal setting can be translated into achievement. It is by accomplishing goals that you will get a genuine sense of achievement and you feel your life has meaning.

Why are some people successful and others not so? Successful people generally are no more intelligent than unsuccessful people. In fact many highly intelligent people are unsuccessful in life. It’s not whether you’re clever. Successful people know what they want and they’re determined to get it. Successful people set goals for themselves based on what they want and they pursue those goals with determination and persistence.

You cannot hit a target you cannot see. You cannot turn your dreams into achievements without goal setting. However goals don’t set themselves, nor do they accomplish themselves. It requires effort from you. So get started; identify what matters to you; set goals; keep going; and achieve your aspirations.

Goals must really, really matter:

The act of goal setting alone does not guarantee success. Many people set goals which they fail to achieve. Why do you think that might be? The simple answer is that goals often fail because the goal setter didn’t want the potential prize badly enough.

For a goal to be achieved the outcome if it’s accomplished must matter to you. If you don’t regard the outcome as being sufficiently worthwhile then you won’t have the motivation to see the goal through to conclusion.

The goal must mean enough to you if the extra effort to achieve it is to seem worthwhile. Make no mistake any goal worth achieving will require a lot of determination, persistence and hard work. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, that’s for sure.

To quote Napoleon Hill, “Desire is the beginning of achievement.” You must have the desire and the outcome must matter to you.

Change your thinking; change you life:

How we think matters too. You can’t achieve much with negative thinking. A positive mind with a genuine sense of direction will take you as far as you really want to go. There are no limits for anyone with enough self-belief and a real sense of what they really want from life. Believe you can and you will. Believe you can’t and you won’t.

The way your mind is currently programmed may be getting in the way of you getting what you want but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change your thinking and, if you do, it will change your life.

Dream lofty dreams:

Don’t be afraid to have a vision for yourself that is truly inspiring. Don’t be afraid to have dreams big enough to be just a little bit frightening. It is on the edge of your comfort zone that you’ll begin to feel you are really living life to the full.

And your goals should be big enough to stretch you and inspire the desire within you. Be realistic of course but don’t make goals too easy. Anything easy will not give you a sense of achievement, that’s for sure.

Revisit your inner child:

As children there were no limits to our dreams and what we felt we could achieve in life. We all had grandiose ideas about what we might be. Then life took its toll and we all got a little more cautious and a lot less ambitious. Self-doubt crept in and we began to adjust our ambitions downwards. We feared failure and any resulting embarrassment much more than we desired real success.

We didn’t realise that it’s better to try and fail than it is to spend the rest of our lives wondering what might have been. We feared failure but we didn’t realise there’s no such thing as failure, just opportunities to learn and start again.

So goal setting starts with pretending you’re a kid again and sitting down with a notebook and a pen or a tablet computer and start brainstorming. Then just write down a list of 101 of your biggest dreams and goals. Don’t think about whether they can be achieved, just write them down.

From that list identify what really, really matters to you.

And remember this; if the goal really, really matters to you then you will find a way to achieve it. Goals only fail when they don’t matter enough.

Remember life requires balance:

Knowing what you want and why it matters to you will help you achieve your goals.

However never forget your goals should promote balance in your life too. In setting your goals they should benefit you but they should also benefit your loved ones too.

If your loved ones can understand the benefits to them as well as you then they are much more likely to support you in the achievement of your goals. And you will need their support. No one ever achieves anything in complete isolation.

Never, ever lose sight of your loved ones in anything you choose to do.

The art of goal setting:

Start by deciding exactly what you want to achieve and then make a firm commitment to it. You must feel genuinely motivated by your goals.

These goals should be:-

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-limited

This is the so called SMART technique.

Once you have goals you must write them down. This will make them feel much more tangible.

You must share them with other people too, especially your loved ones.

This approach will have a subliminal effect on you and help in the process of achieving your goals.

Then you must plan the steps you will need to take if you are to realize your goal. The planning process will almost certainly result in a big goal being broken down into a series of smaller goals and activities.

Once you have a plan you can cross off each activity as it’s completed.

6 Steps to Goal Setting:

To summarize the goal setting process:-

  • A goal must be specific
  • A goal must be time-limited
  • A goal must be written down
  • A goal must have a plan
  • A goal has a price to be paid
  • A goal must be in your thoughts every day

11 reasons why goals fail:

If goal setting is something you’ve tried with little or no success then you might feel it would help you if you had a better idea of why goals fail. Fear not dear reader help is at hand.

In the embedded video Vic Johnson from Goals2Go.com provides some interesting insight into motivation and goal setting. His words are wise and certainly they will make you think.

It’s a fairly short video but well worth your time if your aim is to improve your goal setting technique and set goals that will result in achievements for which you can be truly very proud.

Further Study:

Brian Tracy has produced an excellent book and audiobook on goal setting. This offers three and a half hours of useful advice and guidance. The book is called:-

GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.

In this book Brian Tracy explores the key elements of goal setting and the actions necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size. This book will help you determine your strengths, your true values and goals that will really matter to you. Brian Tracy explains how to build your self-esteem and confidence and how to overcome every obstacle and problem. He explains how to respond to challenges and how to continue moving forward regardless of what’s happening around you. This book is a ‘mental fitness’ program for character development and it can help you become the kind of person who can achieve any goal.

I bought the audiobook version and I listen to it frequently when I’m driving. This would be a great addition to your personal development library and it is well worth the cover price. Buy it today.

You can check it out and buy it from Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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