1) DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
Brainstorm all of your goals and dreams—including the ones you usually tell yourself aren’t possible or that you avoid because they’re not what other people want. Then, narrow down which are your highest priorities in the upcoming year. In order to succeed in life and achieve your goals you need to know WHY you want them, and that reason must be big enough to keep you inspired.
2) KNOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT
Develop confidence in yourself by reflecting on the powerful lessons and circumstances that have transformed your life—the “good” that always comes, even through challenges. Have you had curses that turned into blessings? Can you see how even unwanted circumstances have lead you to things that you are grateful for? Have you made it through challenges before? Have you accomplished other goals? Looking at these successes will help you find the EVIDENCE that you really can do this!
A great tool for developing confidence in yourself is the use of positive affirmation statements. Write down your goal in a simple, present tense statement—as if it’s happening now (or has already happened). Make sure it uses positive language. For example, if your goal is to quit smoking, make sure your statement focuses on what you do want (such as health) rather than what you don’t want (smoking).
3) MAKE A PLAN FOR ACHIEVEMENT
Not all goals are created equal! SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. You need to know what it is and how to know you’ve achieved it. You need to make sure it is something that you CAN achieve because you have what you need and you believe in yourself. You also need to ensure it has a goal deadline.
Create a structured plan to help you follow through and accomplish your goals. Make a list of everything you can think of that you will need to do in the next year in order to reach your goal. Then, break it down to what you will do this MONTH and prioritize even further to determine what to do THIS WEEK.
Following through with your goals can be challenging, so accountability for yourself through an accountability partner, a group or a coach.
4) STAY MOTIVATED
The key ingredient to following through on achieving your goals is staying motivated. If you rely on feeling motivated to get and stay moving, you won’t get far. Having a concrete plan helps keep you going even if you’re not feeling motivated in the moment, but you will be many times more effective if you use tools to stimulate your motivation. Two common activities that put people in a motivated state include listening to their favorite, uplifting music and exercise. What motivates you?
It’s also important to know what demotivates you. These are things that zap your energy and excitement. Common road blocks include disorganization, conflict, or negative people. If you identify these in advance, you can develop strategies to avoid them. This will help you avoid the most common road block: procrastination. Another strategy that helps with procrastination is to identify the PAIN you will receive if you continue to procrastinate. Ultimately, what will happen if you don’t achieve your goal? And then, identify what PLEASURE you’ll receive by STOPPING procrastination. Will you feel better? Will the outcome be better?