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Steps for Successful Goals

  • It’s a new year and back again is talk of resolutions and goal-setting. On this journey that we call life, it’s important to periodically determine your goals and what direction you are headed in. While the new year is a great time to assess our lives and think about goals, we should remember that anytime – a new season, a new week, or even a new day - can a great time to do this.

    In my book “The Journey of Success: Even When Success Is Just Getting Out of Bed”, I talk about redefining success to be about effort not material results. That’s very important but it does not mean you shouldn’t have goals. It means you are successful when you are trying. You are successful when you have a goal and you take steps to achieve it, whatever that goal may be.

    So, what are goals? According to Wikipedia, goals are ideas of a future or desired result that a person envisions, plans, and commits to achieve. The goals themselves can be related to many things. Health, family, money, education, and business are just some broad examples of types of goals. Identify your goals.

    Once you identify the goals, make sure that they align with the direction you want to go in and, if not, think about why. If you have a goal to reach the top sales in your organization by the end of the 1st quarter but you don’t even like what you are selling or where you are working, then ask yourself, why do you want this goal?

    There has to be some motivation for these goals. Motivation can be intrinsic (internal, related to yourself) or extrinsic (external). The more intrinsic the motivation is, the better your chances of achieving your goal and achieving personal growth in the process.

    For goals to be achievable, they need to be more specific. If the goal is health-related, is it to lose weight? If so, how much weight and by when? If it is to exercise more, what kind of exercise? When will you do it and how often?

    They have to also be attainable. Using exercise as an example, if you are someone who never exercises then setting a goal to exercise for 30 minutes every day is going to be difficult to achieve. You may be miserable trying and you may feel discouraged quickly. A more attainable goal could be to exercise for 20 minutes 2 nights a week. Once you achieve that a few times and it becomes a habit – and you are enjoying your success – you can add some time or an additional day. Once you achieve that, you can assess your goals again.

    You have to have some accountability for your goals. This could be yourself or through others like friends, colleagues, or a support group for your goal like through an app. Decide when you are going to assess your progress. For that exercise example, it could be to assess after 3 weeks and report back to your designated friend or enter your progress on an app.

    Goals need to be prioritized. No one can do everything and goals – just like tasks – need to be prioritized. If you have a goal to write 4 articles a week and a goal to work out 4 nights a week – can you do both? What is most important to you? What aligns with what makes you happy? Prioritize that.

    It’s also about balance. You must periodically rest and recharge. If you just don’t have it in you to attend one more Zoom that day, it’s ok. Take a break. If that means saying no to things just so you can get extra rest, then say no! And don’t feel guilty about it. It’s not doing nothing. It’s recharging.

    An important step we often overlook is belief that we can achieve these goals. If we don’t believe we can do it, nothing else we do is going to help us achieve it. This is where tools like vision boards, meditation, journaling, and manifesting come in. They help us to visualize and to believe we can achieve our goals.

    And, finally, enjoy it! If we hate every second, every step, then it’s not really a success. Time is precious and we have to learn how to enjoy and celebrate this journey we call life – including when we are working towards a goal.

    Steps for successful goals:

    1. Identify your goals
    2. Ensure your goals align with your direction
    3. Determine your motivation
    4. Make sure the goals are specific and attainable
    5. Set accountability
    6. Prioritize and balance
    7. Believe you can achieve your goals
    8. Enjoy the journey!

    Wishing you success and happiness on your goal journey!