Do you wonder what sets apart the highly successful people from average achievers? It is not just luck, it never is! The answer may simply lie in the fact that they know how to set and get their goals, while others haven’t taken out the time to do this simple little yet absolutely critical task in their life. It’s astonishing that a large number of professionals are unaware of this simple process, so here is a practical guide on “6 Steps to Setting and Getting your Goals”.
It is true what they say about “What you can perceive, you can achieve!” every product is created twice, first in the mind of the architect and then, only then in the workshop. Similarly, the goal setting process starts with your imagination. Imagine what you want to achieve in your life, it may be related to achieving something of materialistic value or being famous, or following your passion of being an artist or public speaker or being the wealthiest man on the street, possibilities are limitless! You may use the 10-minute silent room practice for this purpose.
- Write Down your Goals
Too many people come to halt after the first part of goal setting. But it is equally important to write them down. Why? Let’s see it this way, our minds are wired in such a way that it wants to protect us at all costs, and when we set ambitious, gigantic goals, it automatically identifies the threats in the path of our imagined goals, so, to protect us from those threats, our mind starts to generate alternate, less ambitious, easier to achieve targets. By writing down your goals you are actually sending a clear message, raising a red flag to the mind that these are important things in my life that help to shift the mind to a more positive state of searching for ways to achieve those goals. Other benefits of this act such as facilitation for systematic planning and tracking are obvious.
Remember your goals must be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound)
- Distribute your Goals into Categories
It is always better to distribute your goals into three or more categories; your goals may be divided into following three categories (or you may choose other categories as per your desires).
- Personal – this category deals with your personal ambitions, let’s say it may include you spending more time with your kids and loved ones or it may include you buying your favorite car or learning to paint or to write or any other form of art…
- Professional – this category includes your professional determinations, like your big career move or founding a start-up or simply raising your income by 100%, 200% 500% or any percentage you desire.
- Spiritual – is this one really necessary? It sure is! have you followed Bill Gates recently? For all its worth he is completely and truly engaged in social services for quite a while now, similarly, Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the most loved actors – actively advocating environmentalism and wildlife protection on all forums possible (even his Oscar acceptance speech included a very specific message on this), all the great men and women of the world are in consensus with the fact that there is always a hole in your success without the essence of spirituality and it is one of the most significant aspects that make humans human. In this category, you may include as simple things as funding for a charity or any other cause, or striving for a better more ethical political system or being more punctual with your
Also, do not forget to break your big goals into mini, quarterly and six-monthly goals, always remember to set timelines for your goals (because a goal without a timeline is begging never to be achieved).
- Take Action Right Now!
Über-smart entrepreneur Tim Ferris (author of the 4-Hour Workweek) suggests writing one action for each of your mini-goal that you would take within the next 24 hours. This gives you the necessary kick of urgency needed for achieving your goals. It also gives you the positive feeling of things moving in the right direction. For example, If you have written a personal goal to buy your favourite car, this action could be as simple as visiting the showroom to know more about its features or take the car for a test-drive, similarly in case of your start-up goal, it could be to call a few like-minded people to shortlist them for co-founder position or call your mentor to discuss the idea.
- Review your Goals Daily
Yes, you read that right, daily! Daily reflection on your progress helps keep you on track, ask yourself what you did wrong during the day, what more you could have done, which actions took you away from your goals and which brought you closer.
- Celebrate your Achievements
Do not hold your celebrations till the achievement of your ultimate goal, celebrate the little ones, celebrate your mini-goals, appreciate yourself for your good work, legendary writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie was of the opinion that human beings crave for appreciation, do not deprive yourself of this amazing feeling – it works wonders on your motivation. Reward yourself with little gifts, such as a fancy dinner or any other way you like it.
There you have it, 6 simple steps to your ambitious, outrageous, monstrous goals – enjoy the journey, happy hunting! 😉
About the author:
Tariq Nisar is an HSE professional and trainer; he is an avid reader and writer, experienced trainer and a brilliant public speaker.