It happens every year. You make a New Years resolution, then a few weeks into the year you break it because you’ve convinced yourself you’ll never be able to accomplish them. It fact it’s become a ritual for most people – “My New Years resolution is to break all the resolutions I have made.”
But you can reach those goals (or resolutions), the problem is that most people probably don’t know how to set and reach their goals. Achieving your goals is one of the most important things in life. It gives you purpose, it gives you satisfaction. If you repeatedly miss reaching your goals you will end up coasting through life with blinders on. Do you want to go through life like that? Without any purpose, or aim? I certainly hope not.
That being said – just because you meet some failures doesn’t mean you stop setting goals. In fact you should learn from the goals that were not met — why didn’t you meet them? What obstacles were in the way? How can you avoid those obstacles next time?
There are certain rules you need to follow when setting goals. The main rule is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for:
- Specific – make the goal specific. It’s great to make a goal “I’d like to make a million dollars in one year” — but that is very vague. Do you have concrete steps to make it in one year? Few people can do it, so it would be better to make small goals that will get you to the bigger goal. Perhaps your goal should be “To release my first product within 3 months time”. This is more specific.
- Measurable – goals need to be measurable. You can measure the steps taken to “release my first product within 3 months” — how do you measure “I’d like to make a million dollars in one year”? Pretty tough.
- Attainable – the goal should be attainable, sure you could make a million dollars — but it may take you more than one year, you’ll get there but it will take time. However a goal that you can easily attain “To release my product within 3 months” is easily attainable.
- Realistic – your goals need to be realistic. How realistic is it to “Make a million dollars in one year”? Isn’t it more realistic to make smaller goals that will get you to that goal?
- Timely or Time Sensitive - sure “Make a million dollars in one year” is timely, but difficult to achieve. Instead “Release my first product within 3 months” is more concrete, is timely and achievable.
You should get into the habit of writing down your goals, and reviewing them periodically. This will act as means of activating your subconscious mind so that it can start the process of working towards it.
As you write down and review your goals, you can involve all the senses in this working towards achieving your goals. Just imagine how you will feel when you release your first product? Then your second, third, fourth until you are able to reach your “ultimate goal” of making a million dollars. It is also a good idea to review your goals as situations change. It is never a failure to modify or forego a goal, but rather a recognition of altered circumstances.
If you decide to share your goals, it could be counter-productive – there are A LOT of people who will do what they can to sabotage you. Stay away from negative people.
The most difficult part of achieving your goals – taking action! If you don’t take action, then your goal is like every New Years resolution you’ve made – useless and worthless.
What separates those who achieve their goals from those that don’t is not failure, but the ability to focus and not give up.
Most successful people experience failures in life. But they reach their goals because they don’t let the failures stop them. They continued to take action towards their goals. Every time you need to make a decision during the day, ask yourself this question, “Does this take me closer to, or further from my goal.”