Every year around December, it happens all over again. You begin making goals that you have every intention of keeping. You set the magic date of January 1 for a New Year’s launch of your goal-achieving program, and for a little while at least, everything goes great! Why is it then that the sale of gym memberships and fitness classes skyrockets every January, and attendance is lower in March and April than it is at any other time of the year? Why can’t responsible adults seem to achieve even the simplest of goals?

Truth be told, your failure to meet or surpass the goals you set for yourself might not totally be your fault. You may simply be setting your goals with a formula destined for doom. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a smart guide to setting goals that actually kept you on track, culminating with you achieving that particular goal, and then setting and achieving even higher, more demanding goals?

Follow the smart goal setting and achieving guide you see here, and failure to achieve your dreams will become a thing of the past.
How to Set Goals (The Right Way!)

Every year around December, it happens all over again. You begin making goals that you have every intention of keeping. You set the magic date of January 1 for a New Year’s launch of your goal-achieving program, and for a little while at least, everything goes great! Why is it then that the sale of gym memberships and fitness classes skyrockets every January, and attendance is lower in March and April than it is at any other time of the year? Why can’t responsible adults seem to achieve even the simplest of goals?

Truth be told, your failure to meet or surpass the goals you set for yourself might not totally be your fault. You may simply be setting your goals with a formula destined for doom. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a smart guide to setting goals that actually kept you on track, culminating with you achieving that particular goal, and then setting and achieving even higher, more demanding goals?

Follow the smart goal setting and achieving guide you see here, and failure to achieve your dreams will become a thing of the past.

Step 1: Get Clear on What You Want

You are probably reading the title to this section and thinking, “I know that!” But do you really?

Wanting to be rich is not a goal, it is an idea. That is why it is so hard to achieve for so many. Narrowing that goal to focusing on earning $1 million has you headed in the right direction, but it is not laser focused enough.

Exercise…

The best tip here is taught and personally used by well-known goal and success coach Brian Tracy. He says to stop worrying about your goals for just a minute. Shut off your computer, turn off your cell phone and television, and get comfortable. Now close your eyes and think about the ideal day for you. Everyone is going to have a different view of what the perfect day involves, yours will be different than someone else’s, but all are achievable. Really focus on a 24 hour period that would be absolutely impossible to improve upon. Don’t worry about how old you are or how far off in the future this is.

You are going to use the incredible goal setting power that each human brain is hardwired with by using this programming process. From the moment you arise on your perfect day, where are you? Where do you live, what type of house do you own, or are you awakening in a vacation resort or a five-star hotel? After you rise from your bed, what activities make up your morning, your midday and your evening. Who do you spend your day with, and what do you do? Be very specific here and let your subconscious desires fill your mind with wonderful pictures of a totally fulfilling, successful and engaging 24 hour time frame. You are harnessing the power of visualization here, something we will talk more about later.

Take as long as you need with this step, because this is vitally important as the foundation of not only your goal setting, but your goal achievement as well. How many square feet is your wonderful home? What exact models and makes of cars do you own? What is the precise figure, down to the penny, in your checking and savings accounts? Now look at your “dream day” and realistically begin working backward to the present. To enjoy the events and experiences that your perfect day and perfect life deliver, what do you need to do? How soon can you realistically begin living the life which your mind is already programmed to help you achieve?

What core values do you need to change to begin experiencing and realizing bits and pieces of your perfect future? Be brutally honest with yourself here, and think about 30 day, 90 day, 6 month and 1 year, 5 year and 10 year schedules that are filled with activities which will help you achieve your dream reality. This is a very important step in your achievement process, and it moves into the next phase of an actually achievable goal setting plan.

Step 2: Set Specific and Realistic Goals to Get You There

We mentioned that you must be ultra-specific when attempting to achieve an important goal, and that word specific is very important. You have probably heard of using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting strategy before. This ensures that you are dreaming big enough, but that you also allowing yourself to be realistic while being driven.

Specific

As you have probably guessed, the “S” in the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting strategy stands for the important word “specific”. If you want to take your family to Disney World, simply aiming for Florida is not specific enough for you to meet Mickey Mouse. You want to plan your trip all the way down to the front gate of the Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando, Florida. And that’s how specific you are going to be concerning the important goal you want to achieve.

Specific in this case means defining the who, what, where, when, which and why aspects of your goal. And don’t just do this mentally. Write this down, post it where you can see it every single day, send yourself an e-mail and keep it in your inbox, get a tattoo written in reverse on your forehead so you can see it in the mirror every morning and do whatever you must to constantly focus on being very specific in pursuit of your goal.

Measurable

Next up is the letter “M”, which stands for “measurable”. You must establish exact criteria for measuring your progress. How do you determine if your goal is measurable? If your goal answers questions such as how many, how much or how far, then you have correctly established a goal which can be measured and tracked. You can never know how you are doing if your goal is not measurable.

Remember the imaginary Walt Disney World vacation we mentioned earlier? Think about that make-believe vacation, as well as every vacation you have ever been on in your life. At many points along the journey, you or your children, your friends or family members, whoever is taking that trip with you, someone eventually says, “How much further?” And someone always answers because a map is handy, or the trip has been made before, and measurable landmarks are recognized and crossed off as they are passed. If you cannot measure your goal, achieving it leaves everything to luck.

Attainable

The “A” in this equation means that your goal must also be “attainable” in nature. Be careful here, however. This does not mean you should water down your goals from some big, important life changing achievement. It simply means, “Are you physically, mentally and emotionally capable of attaining the goal you set?” Once you ascertain that your goal is actually attainable, your brain will begin working out what abilities, skills and attitudes you need to achieve it.

Realistic

“Realistic” is up next in your S.M.A.R.T. goal achievement strategy. In other words, if you are 50 years of age and 4’6″ tall, all the desire and goal planning in the world will probably not ever result in you becoming a starting center on a professional basketball team, or a world champion sumo wrestler. Simply put, your goal must focus on a powerful objective that creates an incredible will and burning desire for you to achieve it, while also being able to occur.

And believe it or not, as long as you are realistic in what you expect of the incredible force inside you, goal experts have shown that setting high, lofty goals often give you a better chance at success than small goals, because easy to achieve dreams inspire low levels of motivation.

Timely & Tangible

“T” stands for both “timely” and “tangible”. You must have a time frame to create a sense of urgency. And when your goal is tangible, meaning you can experience it with at least one of your senses, your chance for success skyrockets. When you can touch, see, hear, smell or even taste a goal, your senses take over and beg your mind to discover a way to realistically attain this measurable and specific achievement.

Here is a good example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Specific – I will sell widgets which I will craft by hand through an online website. After one year I will be selling 100 widgets per week.

Measurable – my website will be up and running in two weeks, at which point I will have already designed and created 100 widgets, ready for shipping. My goal is to sell at least 20 widgets per week initially.

Attainable – I know that this goal is attainable because there are millions of people making a very good living selling widgets online already. I have also done the appropriate research, and know that I am capable of doing this.

Realistic – My 20 widget per week goal is very realistic, and just thinking about it creates a powerful will to get started towards its achievement.

Timely and tangible – When I see 20 widgets sell during my first week in business, and hear the e-mail notifications that tell me every time I make another sale, I know that both my one week and one year goals are definitely achievable.

Step 3: Create Your Plan of Action

By now you should be getting very excited. And to be absolutely transparent, those first two steps should have taken you a fair amount of time to complete. If you are not absolutely clear on what your goal is, and if it is not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely and tangible, go back and start over. What may seem like a time intensive process will actually make achieving your goals a greater possibility, but only when you treat the two previous steps very seriously, and you are as specific in your verbiage as possible.

Creating a plan of action is the part of a successful dream achievement formula where you begin to develop a very specific strategy that is based on your unique answers and input created in the first two steps above. This is where you are going to break down your measurable goals into bite-size pieces with very specific and timely deadlines.

One point of note here – with all the world’s knowledge about goal achievement, and an absolutely perfect plan in place, you will never be successful without massive action.

That’s why life coaches, business consultants, professional sports managers and millionaires and billionaires in all walks of life talk about a “plan of action.” It is not called a plan of “thinking”, or a plan of “I’ll start tomorrow”. You have done some amazing work in formulating the first two proven successful steps of your goal achievement. Now it is time to take action.

Breaking Down Your Big Goal

When you set down a specific and measurable goal that is timely and realistic in nature, if it is something you expect to achieve in 5 years, then you simply work backwards.

Break that 100% achievement level of 5 years down the road into an 80% achievement after 4 years, 60% at the 3 year mark, and 40% after 2 years of taking action. You should expect to be at least 20% along the path of achieving your goal after 1 year, and that means 10% of whatever your goal is should have already been realized 6 months to the day after you began the pursuit of your dream.

If it helps, mark out all these dates in your calendar. But remember, goals don’t always progress in a steady way. Some months you might achieve more towards your goal than others, and that’s OK!

Step 4: Set Yourself Up for Success From Day 1

If goal achievement was easy, everyone would be living a life of joy and fulfillment, accompanied with personal satisfaction and peace. It may be simple, but it is not easy.

Even though you have taken the time to set out a very detailed and achievable goal plan, one that has been proven to work time and time again when followed through, human beings from time to time slip and fall. That is why you can only guarantee your success when you have consistent and reliable forms of motivation in place.

Get Support From Others

Share your goals with those like-minded individuals in your life who have similar goals and dreams. Surround yourself with action takers and people who do not make excuses.

And don’t forget to share your goal with others. There may be some people in your life who don’t support you, so only share with those you know will be happy about your goals and who you won’t want to let down by not achieving them!

Celebrate Each Milestone

Substantial studies have shown that the most massive of achievements become much easier when you reward yourself for small victories. This programs your brain to recognize small and regular “wins” along a path of success, and that wonderful computer that is your mind virtually drags you along to your eventual goal.

So make sure you have some rewards lined up for each of the milestones you set in your plan of action. That could mean a nice meal out, a new purchase you’ve had your eye on, anything that means something to you!

Don’t Procrastinate on Getting Started

Some people work on the “planning” stage of their goals for so long that they never end up getting started. Don’t procrastinate! Although this guide is all about planning for success, sometimes you can take that too far.

If you’re trying to make everything “perfect” before starting your goal – i.e. you feel you need to buy new things or just time to “mentally prepare” then this is probably just procrastination. Similarly, don’t tell yourself you’ll start “next month”.

As long as you have a “SMART” goal in place, and a plan of action, you’re already good to go!

Visualize Success

Visualization is also extremely important. Your brain does not differentiate between real and imagined mental pictures. That is why children are petrified of make-believe monsters that certainly don’t exist, and rational, responsible adults are sometimes paralyzed by repercussions or circumstances that only live in their minds.

Use this power of visual motivation to your advantage. Visualize your perfect day, your perfect life and your perfect existence daily, and you will be absolutely amazed at the rate of speed with which you achieve it, when you follow this smart goal setting guide.

Step 5: Review Your Goals

One of the biggest reasons for goal achievement failure has to do with this important process. You take the time to intensively and perfectly outline a S.M.A.R.T. goal, you are very specific and focused, you keep motivated and you constantly visualize the perfect outcome… and then you fall short.

Tracking Your Progress

You might fall short on your goals when you do not consistently track your efforts, and then compare them to the realistic, timely and measurable hallmarks that you have set. Not to mention the fact that studies show that tracking your progress can really motivate you to do better!

So make sure to take stock at regular intervals. Don’t do this everyday – it might get you down if you’re not up to where you want to be. Instead, set a weekly schedule for reviewing your goal and writing down where you’re currently at. Use an app or a notebook to do this. Don’t make it a big task, just make sure you do it!

Making Changes to Your Original Goal

If you are lagging behind your goal pace, tracking and reviewing your goals allows you to honestly and intelligently make changes to get you back on track. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t quite make your goal every time. If you’re behind, you’re probably still ahead of where you would have been had you not set the goal in the first place!

But in many cases, you will find yourself ahead of schedule. By reviewing your goals regularly, you may end up resetting your perfect outcome, piloting yourself to get even greater achievement than you originally had imagined. Record, review and reset your goals on a regular basis.

Conclusion

In actuality, the subconscious power of the human brain is close to limitless. Everything you see, every physical product, building, vehicle, boat, airplane and creation of man that now exists was once nothing more than a thought in someone’s mind. The power of your mind is absolutely beyond any type of quantifiable measure, and it is already waiting for direction.

It has been proven scientifically that man moves towards his most predominant thought. You have probably heard the old saying that you are what you eat. Well the truth is, you are what you think about most of the time. Where you are right now in your life is because of your past thoughts, which drove your behaviors, which led you to here. But when you follow the above plan, you harness that dominant-thought power of your brain to get you where you want to be. And this natural human tendency is present in children and adults, and people of all cultures and nations.

How many times have you met someone that you could only describe of as “driven”? Chances are, if that person had not already achieved some major personal goal, they were well on their way to doing so. That’s because a driven person constantly visualizes success, and has formulated an intelligent goal-achieving plan that has been put into action. That “driven” persona is the outward representation of constantly reviewing and reprising a specific goal strategy, and thinking about its achievement literally every waking moment.

When you tell yourself that this plan will work, it will. Go step-by-step, following this time-tested and proven goal setting and achieving strategy, and when you become the person you dream to be, you will fully understand that you have the power to achieve and realize anything which you can formulate as a thought.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Read previous post:
Success Habits logo
The 5-Minute Guide To Developing a Successful Mindset

When you think about someone who is successful, what comes to mind? Most people would think of the end result...

Close