How to Plan and Achieve Your Goals

How to Plan and Achieve Your Goals

How to Plan and Achieve Your Goals

  • H Paul Stanley

  • 6 minute read

Plan and Achieve Your Goals

Are there aspects of your life with which you are unhappy? These dissatisfactions may be sources of stress. Or they may be keeping you from achieving a dream. 

To successfully bring about a change in that part of your life, you need to set a Power Goal. Power Goals go way beyond Smart Goals. Smart Goals are designed to increase and maintain your motivation. Power Goals also motivate you, but in addition they can be used to enhance your self-esteem and to actually program your mind to work on achieving the goal.  

To get started, look at where you are now, and then picture what your life will be like once you achieve your goal. At this point, it is a good idea to consider how making the change that you are planning will impact all the different parts of your life.

Often people make changes to make one part of their life better and it does improve that part of their life. Unfortunately, the change creates problems in other parts of their life. This is a "self-sabotage" that you can easily avoid.

Once you have a clear idea of the goal you wish to accomplish, you need to consider all the changes that you will have to make to reach that goal. For example, let's say you have decided that you want to travel to some part of the world that you have dreamed of visiting for a long time. To make that trip, you need a certain amount of money. The next step is to consider the options available to you to get the money.

Or maybe you want to achieve a certain goal in your career. You realize that to get there, you first need to get additional training or experience. You ask yourself, what must I do to get that training or experience? 

There are many similar examples of how you might go after a particular goal, but in every case it is important to remember that you need to focus on the small steps that are just ahead of you. For the travel goal, that might mean focusing on a way to save a small amount of money each month - money that can be put back to be spent on the trip. For the career goal, that could involve taking a training course or doing a few hours of volunteer work, leading toward where you want to be down the road. 

With that in mind, you’re then going to break these smaller goals down even further. Now the objective is to look at the smallest possible steps that you need to take on a daily or weekly basis to reach your goal. Make the steps easy to accomplish but ensure that they move you – even if slowly – in the right direction. 

When the going gets rough or difficult, use the vision of what you want to ultimately accomplish to keep yourself motivated. That is the time to focus on your bigger dream.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed as you move toward that dream, keep your immediate focus on the next step. That small task is all that is important as you take action. Once you have accomplished the next small step, move on to the next.  

To help you visualize this, here is what it basically boils down to: 

Dream/Vision (Ultimate Goal) > Plan (Steppingstone Goals) > Daily Task (Daily/ Weekly Goal) 

Changing Your Focus 

Too often people trip themselves up by over focusing on the dream or vision. Why is it so important to change that over focus?

Here is the answer; over focusing on a distant goal will make it seem too remote and outside of what is possible for you to achieve. Your motivation is likely to wane. You may find yourself thinking, "I will never be able to save that much money" or "Why am I even thinking of having a career like that? It will never happen."

Such a mindset will make it very hard for you to continue moving forward. You may even let your dream die. Even if you don't totally give up your dream, you will probably not fully invest in accomplishing it because, in the back of your mind, you think it is not possible.

Life goes on day after day, nothing changes, and you begin to endure the rut you are in. How stressful is that? How disheartening is that?

The good news is, such a life of frustration and discouragement does not have to be your future. You can move toward the life you desire, one step at a time. It is entirely up to you. So don't let yourself make excuses. Keep following your plan, focusing on the daily tasks. By doing this, you will find yourself moving closer and closer to what you want to accomplish until that bigger vision becomes your reality. Life is a journey that must be traveled step-by-step. 

Some Final Tips 

Just to help you stick to your path, here are a few pointers to consider...

One: keep your daily tasks easy to accomplish. Don’t be in a rush. Move slowly and enjoy the process. 

Two: keep track of the days you succeed, even when the successes are small.

Jerry Seinfeld uses a technique he calls ‘the chain’. Every day that he succeeds at doing what he sets out to do, he puts a big cross on a calendar. Doing this feels good; it is almost addictive in and of itself. He reports that his desire to 'not break the chain' is enough to keep him from giving up. 

Three: gather information from sources you can trust and form your plan using the most practical and proven methods available to get to your desired destination. You must believe in your plan. When you consider it likely that you will be able to achieve the results you want, you will be more willing to do the work.

And finally: don’t get disheartened if you are unable to complete a short-term task. Remember, everyone experiences what seems to be "failures" on their way to success.  In truth, they are only failures if you quit. So, remember tomorrow is a new day and just jump right back on that horse!

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