As a speaker in the area of goal setting and achievement I am often asked my opinion on what I believe are the keys to reaching oneâ€™s goal and objectives. While the answer to this question alone can take up a half-day seminar, allow me to spend the next few paragraphs covering the top ten.
However, before I get started, please realize the one thing that above all launches you towards your goals faster than all the top ten lists you will ever hear or read is consistency. All of your goals, dreams and aspirations are going to require not only effort but also a sustained effort. The best analogy I can give you is pushing a car. Most of you during the course of your life may have had to push a car that ran out of gas or broke down. You strained your muscles to get that car in motion. The sweat poured from your bow and finally the wheels began to turn. Once the 1200 pound car was in motion, the pushing became a bit easier. All you had to do is continue to put forth a little effort and youâ€™d be at the gas station shortly. (Barring any hills of course). But if you would at any time stop pushing, even for a moment, you would have to put forth EXTRA effort again to get those wheels rolling.
Achieving your goals is much like pushing a car; you cannot work hard for a day or two and then stop. Pick up your goal again later and work for a day or two and then stop again. You need to put for the consistent effort that will get those wheels rolling. Then once you have that 1200-pound monster rolling forward at a good speed all you need to do is keep putting forth a little consistent effort. With this type of consistency you will reach your goals far faster than with the start and stop method so many people practice these days.
Here are ten of the ways you can focus that consistent effort to get even more out of the effort you put forth. I have found these â€˜techniquesâ€™ very useful and honestly believe that if you put them to work for you that you too will reap their rewards.
1. Write your primary goals down. There is something that happens when you put pen to paper and write out your goals. It seems to activate your mind and your goals become â€˜writtenâ€™ into your sub-conscious, making your more aware of situations, people and events that will bring you to your goals faster.
2. Re-write your top tens goals daily. Each day re-write your top ten goals without looking at your previous lists. This process accomplishes two things.
a. Deeply imbeds your high priority goal into your sub-conscious.
b. Weeds out those goals that are really important TODAY. Those goals that are not truly high on your long-term priority list will not consistently remain in your top ten lists. This will help you focus on what is truly important rather than those whims all fall victim to.
3. Narrow your focus â€“ by focusing on only a few goals at a time. Pick those goals that are truly yours and your hearts deepest desire. Then focus all your efforts like a laser beam upon their completion. Take the top ten and zero in on those three to five goals that mean the most to you. The three to five goals that you know you have the deepest desire to achieve.
4. Develop an action plan. Once you have determined what you want to accomplish you must now begin to lay out how you will go about accomplishing it. What skills do you need to develop? What contacts do you need to make? What steps do you need to take to get your from where you are today to where you are trying to get? Be aware that your plans may change as you go along gaining new insights and information. But you need to have a plan in order to know what comes next. The knowledge of what your going to do next will do wonders to keep you focused.
5. Envision your goal already achieved. The great achievers of yesterday and today all had one key-ability â€“ the ability to see their goal as already accomplished. Be detailed in your vision of your goal; feel the pride of its accomplishment. What will your friends and associates say once you have reached your goal? The more detail and emotion you can insert into the vision of your accomplishment the more that vision will drive you towards its accomplishment.
6. Empower yourself with affirmations. When take the time daily to write down your top ten goals, write them as present tense personal affirmations. I.e. â€œI weigh 160 pounds,â€ rather than â€œI want to lose weight.â€ Or â€œI earn $10,000 a month,â€ rather than writing â€œI want to earn more money.â€ Then read these goals aloud. Stand tall; hold your shoulders straight and your head high. Then in a firm positive voice read your goals aloud. This will ignite the passions and pride within you. The passion to achieve your goal and the pride of what it will feel like to reach it.
7. Take daily action, no matter how small. Do not let a day go by that you do not take some sort of step towards your goal. This is where your consistency will pay big. Do not let the 1200-pound car stop rolling or your will have to push even harder just to get it moving again. Break your large goals down into smaller tasks and work one those tasks daily until complete.
8. Track your progress. You cannot effectively see that which you do not track, and you cannot change that which you cannot see. Create ways to see how far you are towards reaching your goal. Create charts and timelines so that you will see when you are falling behind or pulling ahead â€“ make adjustments to your plans as necessary. A program like Microsoft Project is great for this, but use anything that will motivate you by allowing you to see where are along your road to success.
9. Celebrate Milestones. Another great reason to track your progress is so that you can set and celebrate your milestones. All large goals are made-up of smaller goals and milestones that you need to recognize and pat yourself on the back once you complete them. As you reach each of the milestones, applaud yourself. Pause to feel the accomplishment. As you savor this triumph you will believe more strongly that you will in fact reach your goal.
10. Network and surround yourself with a group of like-minded people. Surround yourself with those that will not only encourage your accomplishments but challenge you towards them as well. None of us will accomplish any big goal alone. You are going to need assistance from others.
Any time that I have put all ten of these techniques to work for me at the same time â€“ I have reached my goal far faster than I could have imagined. Any one of these alone are a way to reach your goal faster but I would highly encourage you to put all ten of these steps in action today. If you do I know I will be hearing about your success in the very near future.
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