We all have ideas about where we want to be in life. We have ideas about what will make us happier, more fulfilled and content. Dreaming about these things is the easy part, but actually achieving goals is where a lot of us fail.
As we saw in the first part of this series, setting your goals is the first step on this journey to achieving goals. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you take a few extra minutes and do so. You can find it here. Having a clear vision of what you want and a thought-out plan of how you are going to get there is crucial for your success.
The problem is our initial drive may start to decline after a while. Usually, when we are setting our goals, we feel super motivated and ready to tackle any obstacle that may come along. But after some time has passed, especially with long-term goals, the reality of the actual work needed to get to the finish line starts to weigh on us. Getting up at 5 a.m. to work out every day starts getting old. And if we are not ready for it, it may keep us from achieving the goals we have set.
It’s hard, I know. But it is doable. And if we can do it, so can you. Persisting when things get difficult is what makes you better and stronger. And it is what gets you to your dreams. So, if you are feeling discouraged, don’t despair. Instead, read on to get the tools you will need for achieving goals, whatever they may be.
We’ve included a free printable at the end of the article to help you set meaningful goals and, well, achieve them. Don’t forget to download it before you go!
We believe in two main ideas when working on achieving goals. First, you must prepare yourself for success. And then you must simply embrace the process.
3 Tips on Preparing Yourself for Success
First and foremost, prepare yourself for success. What I mean by this is get into the right mindset. Believe in yourself and believe in your ability to achieve your goals.
I know what you are thinking. Easier said than done, right? True. But there are some tricks you can use to get your thoughts into success mode. Let’s dive right in.
The mental practice of visualization can help you greatly in getting to where you want to be in life. That is because, as brain studies reveal, thoughts actually produce the same mental instructions as actions.
To help you with achieving goals, practice visualizing what your life will be like when you have reached your ambitions.
Think about your future. Imagine the moment, when you have already achieved the goal you have set for yourself. Imagine the scene vividly with as much detail as possible. Try to engage all your five senses. How do you feel? Proud, happy, relieved? Who is there with you? Your family, your friends, excited for you and your success? What do you hear in the distance?
Practice this visualization often. Preferably, once in the morning and once at night, before you go to bed.
With time, this scene will start to feel completely natural. Repeating the visualization often will encode the positive feelings in your brain.
Arm yourself with motivation
By definition, motivation is the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way.
To put it another way, motivation is the reason why we are doing what we are doing. And when we are trying to persevere when things get tough, it is the number 1 tool that keeps us moving forward.
Usually, the level of motivation is at its highest in the first step of the process. When we are on a goal-planning high, imagining how our lives will be so much better when we get to the finish line.
Then, after a while, the work/practice/sacrifice starts to get to us. And we may start to forget why we are even doing this in the first place.
Know that these moments will come but be prepared for it. Arm yourself with motivation, whatever that is to you.
You can print out some amazing inspirational quotes and hang them in your workspace. Having those powerful thoughts insight will give you the push when you need it.
Find stories (and tag them for later) of other people who have seen success in your field. Reading how reaching a similar goal changed other peoples’ lives may be just what you need to get yourself on the right track again.
You could also join an (online) community of people who are pursuing similar goals. Talking to people who are dealing with comparable problems and finding ways to solve them together may help you tremendously on your own journey.
Tell people about your goals
When you set big goals for yourself, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you are trying to accomplish them all by yourself.
Telling those around you about your goals may give you the support you need to achieve your ambitions. You don’t have to tell everyone. Instead, talk to people you know will support you. Explain what you are trying to achieve and why you are doing this.
And telling people about your endeavors will give you more than just their sympathetic support.
Having to explain something to others forces you to think about it from yet another perspective. This holds true especially for when you are speaking to people from other fields. For example, when you are explaining your goals to your parents, who know nothing about what you are doing. It makes you think about your plan of action and may actually help you improve the process.
Lastly, as we’ve explained in our article about procrastination, telling people about your goals makes you feel accountable. Once your family or friends know about your goals, they will ask you about your progress. This will give you the extra motivation you need to keep going.
3 Tips on Embracing the Process
So far, we have looked at the first two steps to achieving goals. To summarize this and the previous article from the series, we have:
- First, defined our goals and action plans.
- Second, prepared ourselves for success.
Now it is time to get to work, or as I like to put it, embrace the process.
Follow your action plan
Think of your action plan as your guide. If you thought it through, following your to-do list will get you closer to your goal one step at a time.
Naturally, when you actually work on something, the information you have on a certain subject may change. You may understand some aspects differently than you did before you got started.
This is good as it shows you are evolving and are making a progress forward.
If this new information means your action plan is no longer relevant, feel free to adjust it. Take your new findings and incorporate them in the to-do list.
And always make sure you are moving forward.
Take setbacks as a learning experience
It is hard when things don’t go the way you planned. But don’t let that discourage you.
There will always be certain challenges on your way. You may feel like you are getting nowhere, or like you have done work for nothing. But if you really think about it, these challenges are often necessary to achieve your goals.
Thomas A. Edison famously said:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison
What he meant was, he could not have succeeded had he not encountered those challenges along the way.
You should do the same. Embrace the setbacks and learn from them. Try to understand, what you could have done differently. Examine where exactly the problem occurred. It is only this way you will be able to get to something extraordinary.
Celebrate small victories
It is funny how we often get so caught up in everything that went wrong but doesn’t even think about all the things that went right.
Acknowledging your every success on the way, as small as it may be, can give you a huge boost of confidence. Realizing how many things you have already accomplished will push you forward. And achieving goals will become so much easier.
Every once in a while, take the time to think about your achievements. Depending on your goal, this could be every evening or it could be every month.
If you want you could even write it down and use it as a reminder later on if things get difficult.
These mini victories may seem insignificant in the big picture. But the reality is, your final success is just a sum of all these small wins. So give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of yourself. With each small victory, you are one step closer to your dreams!
We are not here to say achieving goals is a piece of cake. It is hard work and takes a lot of determination. But it can be done, even on the biggest of scales, and there are so many inspiring stories out there to prove it.
To help you in the process, we’ve come up with a free printable. It will help you on your way to defining and achieving what you’ve always wanted. You can get the download link below!
So what are you waiting for? You are armed with all the information you need to start the journey towards your ambitions. Now it’s up to you, how you are going to use them. Are you up for the challenge?
Download your free printable:
my goal PLAN OF ACTION
Fill out the form below to get the download link.
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