Goals are good to have – they’re one of the things that help us to move forward in life.
But, so often, they fall by the wayside. New Year’s resolutions are an excellent example of that – way too often we have the same list of goals every year and nothing has changed on it except our morale.
So how can you achieve your goals?
Focus on one goal at a time
Don’t multitask with goals. You end up going round in circles or starting lots of projects but leaving them unfinished, scattered all over the place.
And it sends the wrong signal to your subsconscious mind. Because starting goals but leaving them abandoned tells your subconscious that they weren’t exactly important. You didn’t really care about them so why should your subconscious mind care either?
Focusing on one goal at a time helps to change that.
Much like you can’t turn left and right on a journey at the same time, focusing on too many goals means you’re directionless.
Contrary to your first instincts, homing in on one goal at a time will achieve more. Usually quicker.
Try it for yourself – pick one of your goals (maybe from that list you write out each January) and work on it for the next 28 days, as close as possible to the exclusion of your other goals.
Then see how far you’ve got and congratulate yourself when you realise it’s further, faster, than you’ve ever managed before.
Be specific, not vague, with your goals
The more specific the goal – without ruling out the chance of something even better – the better the goal.
If you went on a road trip, unless it was a completely random trip you’d have a destination in mind. Sure, you might stop off somewhere interesting on the way if it took your fancy. But essentially you’d have set a specific destination.
The same thing works for the goals you set.
The more specific the better.
To use a car as an example. If you just set the goal of getting a new car, it could be anything. It could even be a toy car or a remote controlled one or the kind of car that children ride on in shopping malls. Or it could be a rental car that you only have for a day.
Instead, drill down to the make, model, exterior colour, the trim (and its colour), the engine size, the transmission type, whether it has air-con and sat-nav built in, the sound system, the sun roof, the seating and luggage capacity and so on.
The more specific your goal the better.
The only thing you shouldn’t do is rule things out by being too specific. So a precise registration number or VIN number would be too specific. But that’s about it.
Set a time deadline
You need a time deadline for your goals.
Not “yeah, eventually” or “sometime maybe”.
An actual date.
One that’s not too far in the future otherwise you won’t have any incentive to go for it because we have a hard time imagining even a year’s time. So if it’s a really big goal, split it up into smaller time chunks that take you towards the big goal itself.
Include measurable items
They say that what gets measured gets done. And that’s definitely the case with goals.
It can be difficult sometimes to figure out what to measure but you need to do it.
So take the time to work out what you can measure.
That’s easy with weight loss – you step on the scales.
But with an exercise regime, it depends on what you’re doing. Without access to high tech measuring equipment, how do you decide whether you’re less out of breath today than you were yesterday? And how often do you measure things?
This will vary from goal to goal but it’s worth taking the time to work it out.
And even if you’re not totally sure at the start, put something down as a measurable item. You can always tweak things at a later stage but you can’t fine tune something if you’re clueless about what you’re measuring in the first place.
If it’s a big goal, split it into smaller pieces
This isn’t the same as working on lots of goals at once – it’s just a case of splitting one big goal into a series of smaller goals.
That has the advantage that the smaller goals appear more achievable (because they are) and the end is in sight. Whereas, say, a decade long goal doesn’t seem to have any end that we can wrap our minds around.
Work on one or two of the smaller pieces at a time.
Then have a small celebration when you’ve completed that part so that your subconscious mind knows you’re happy about things and will be more likely to stay on board for the long haul.
Work on your goal every day
This is really important.
Again, it keeps your subconscious mind on board.
But it also means that your conscious mind knows you’re serious about the goal.
It’s also nice when you review how far you’ve got (maybe at the end of each week) because you can actually see you’re making progress towards your goal and that helps you to move even closer towards it rather than letting things drift and get forgotten about.
Get help with your goals
My personal preference for this is hypnosis.
It helps keep my mind on track and whenever I find myself drifting, I set aside 20 minutes, pop on a set of headphones and let the hypnosis track get me back in focus.
Other people I know like the techie solution of using goals software to keep them in line.
Your choice but I think that at least one of those options would be a good idea.