How do you set goals?
More importantly, how do you successfully achieve goals?
It’s easier than you think. Here are the four keys to successful goal setting:
1) Sit Down & Figure Out Your Goals
Surprisingly, the first step is often the most difficult. We have spent so much time listening to others talk about what is achievable, what is possible, what is practical, that we lose the ability to think about what WE want.
Our brain is so trained to think in “realistic” terms we often filter out our deepest desires. Pretend you live in a world with no consequence, no chance of failure – what would you do?
2) Engineer, or Reverse Engineer, a Way There
Trying to achieve your dreams is often like feeling your way through a maze in the dark. You have a sense of how to navigate the few feet in front of you, but absolutely no sense of the bigger picture. The only difference between successful people and failures is the successful people aren’t afraid to bump into things in order to figure out how to get to their destination.
A different approach is to instead start at the end and work backwards – want to start a company? Figure out what you resources you need to start a business in your area. Once you figure that out, find a way to acquire the necessary resources. Sometimes starting at the end and working backwards can give you a much clearer sense of how to get there.
3) Stay Focused and Stay Motivated
The most important thing is seeing visual representations of your goals several times a day. Creating a vision board in your office, taping images of your goals on the ceiling above your bed, or sticking little pictures on your monitor are all good ideas.
Next, you need to have a visual map, chart, or sketch of your path so you can keep track of your progress. When you feel demotivated, you are quickly reminded of how much work you’ve done so far and exactly how much more you have to do.
Finally, you need daily reminders. Set up automated daily reminder lists on your phone or email and watch your progress grow.
My personal favourite is Astrid, here’s the daily goal reminders on my phone:
4) Reward Yourself
Too many people bust their ass constantly and never reward themselves. They burn out and have trouble finishing things, then wonder why.
It’s good to be motivated, but you’ll never STAY motivated if you don’t take a break and reward your efforts every now and then. Take a day off and go drinking with your buds or have a cheat day on your diet where you feast on fast food. Stop stressing yourself out trying to be perfect and you’ll achieve more.
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