I am a firm believer that the difference between the person we are now and the person we want to be is just a matter of taking action. We all want more in our lives and from what I have observed not only of others but myself as well is that no one holds us back except for ourselves. Whether it is a lack of motivation or just being scared of failure we decide not to take action in going after our dreams. Instead, we opt to take the safe road or worse settle for the first thing that comes our way. I have noticed that setting goals both short term and long term and also rewarding yourself along the way will keep you motivated, determined and on track to achieving success. Here is how I did it:
Step 1: Brainstorm – What do you want?
Take out a pen and paper (or your tablet) and write down some things you want whether physical items or not. It doesn’t matter how big or how small just anything that you want write it. Some examples can be: getting more fit, a new computer, a car, a house, new shoes, traveling, running a marathon, more education, a promotion at work…etc.
Step 2: Set your Goals
So now that you know the things you want this is the time to set your goals and create a timeline. By when do you want to ideally and realistically achieve these? It is ok to work towards multiple goals at once from your list as long as there is not a heavy overlap between them. For example, working towards running a marathon and saving to purchase a new car do not have much of an overlap. Conversely, saving to buy a new car and also saving for a trip around Europe may be more difficult since both are reliant on your financial savings. I normally document this on my computer’s calendar where I space out my goals appropriately over time and also have a monthly white board at my home office where I write down my goals for the current month. There is something about physically crossing out things that makes you feel more accomplished
Step 3: Steps to Achieving the Goals
In order to successfully achieve each goal certain smaller steps/goals need to be put in place in order to reach each milestone. For example, you can’t just decide one day you want to run a marathon and sign up for one the next day without training or you can’t decide you want a raise at work and have no reasons to back yourself up when you ask your boss. This is where you need to start documenting what needs to be done in order to reach each milestone. Staying with the marathon example, how many miles do you need to run each week during training to work yourself up to being able to run a marathon? Document what you need to do each week or bi-weekly up to the date of the goal completion that you established in step 2.
Step 4: Reward Yourself Along the Way
We all work best when we have some sort of incentive. That is why I
have found that by rewarding myself along the way I am much more likely to stay on schedule in achieving my goals, and even sometimes I will end up accomplishing them sooner than expected. Going back to the marathon theme if you are sticking to your schedule for a few weeks buy yourself a new running shirt or short, after a month or two maybe new running shoes or an mp3 player to keep you happy and motivated. Celebrating small victories along the way are the key to ultimately enjoying the fruits of your labor when you reach each of your big milestones.
Step 5: Enjoy it!
The final and most fun step is finally accomplishing what you set out to do and taking some time to enjoy it. After all, you deserve it with all the hard work you put in! But don’t forget there are other goals yet to be accomplished as well, so after enjoying this victory set out and start planning for the next!
Are you currently setting goals for yourself? Do you follow a similar routine or have a different one? Comment below