Like everyone else, at the start of each year you enthusiastically set goals which you very much intend to achieve, but long before the first quarter of the year comes to a close you find yourself struggling to make any progress towards any of them. We have all been there. This is why I’m sharing the process I use to give myself the best possible chance of achieving my goals.
I usually think deeply about those goals I’ve achieved in the past, what worked, what didn’t, and why. After reflecting on them and comparing where I was then to where I am now, I narrow down the goals I would like to achieve.
In setting new goals I also consider what would give me the most satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment. I also decide whether any long term goals should be tossed to the side or simply revised. Either way, one thing that I’ve learned in my lifetime is that setting goals is only the first step to achieving them. To ensure the best possible chance of achieving something, one must plan on how they intend to do so.
I set out below six steps for you to embody to help you achieve your goals so that by December 31st you can feel like it was a year well spent.
1. Write them down
Writing down your goals help to make them real. Writing and seeing them in print helps to commit them to memory. and manifest them into being.
You can note your goals the old-fashioned way, in a journal or diary, or jot them down on a post-it. I prefer to handwrite mine because it feels more personal. Another option is to map them out on your computer, phone or other mobile device.
An easy and fun way to document your goals is to create a vision board. This is a great way to create a visual of everything and help to bring them to life. You can hang the finished product in your study or bedroom or somewhere that will remind you on a daily basis all that you hope to accomplish.
Although I haven’t used any of them I know that there’re a few apps that can assist you to create a vision board.
2. Pray on them
I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer, positive thinking and faith. I’ve seen how prayer has transformed things in my and other people’s life.
Some people believe in praying once and then leaving it with God (what I call ultimate faith) while others pray everyday until they receive what they’ve been praying for. Whichever you do, praying upon your goals is metaphorically you planting the seed of achievement. Put a of your Hope’s and dreams to God and watch and see them come to fruition.
3. Keep them at the forefront of your mind
Don’t make goals and forget about them. All that you hope and aspire for should remain at the forefront of your mind daily. This will help you to stay focused and consciously work towards achieving them. If you don’t remember what you want you will not recognise opportunities that may allow you to achieve them.
So, on a daily basis remind yourself of each goal. Write them down on post-its and stick those post-its around the house, car or office – in areas where they’ll serve as a constant reminder to you. Or, add reminders to your calendar and set those reminders to pop up first thing in the morning, sometime during the day and last thing at night.
Also, find time to meditate and focus your mind on your aspirations. Cultivate positive thoughts towards them and imagine yourself achieving each one.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the law of attraction. Basically, this is what you’ll be practicing when you keep those things you want at the forefront of your mind. Remembering your wants and aspirations will help you to, as mentioned below, be intentional in all that you do.
4. Be accountable
I find that by sharing my aspirations with my family and friends and those within my social media community helps to keep me responsible and committed. Sharing means there will always be someone to encourage me to remain focused or to help me realise when I’m falling or have fallen short.
You too can stay accountable by doing the same. You can also join a group or community that will help to nurture you in the direction you need to go.
5. Be intentional/purposeful
This year if doing something does not take me closer to achieving my goals I will have to think twice about whether or not I want to do it. This is me being intentional, i.e. wilful, purposeful.
Being intentional means ensuring that your actions serve to take you one step closer to your goals. It may seem like you’re being an opportunist but, if you are constantly distracted by other things then when would you find the time to cultivate and nurture those things that would take you closer to achieving your goals? There’s only 24 hours in the day and most people’s time is already stretched to the max.
How you choose to spend your time will definitely impact your goals, whether positively or negatively.
6. Reflect, review, revise, re-commit
Setting markers is key to gauging where you are on the path to achieving your goals. Instead of waiting until year end to assess your progress, I suggest setting a schedule to do so throughout the year. Its a similar exercise to conducting a mid-year review at your job.
Reviewing your goals periodically provides a chance to brush up on areas where you may be falling behind. So you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to realise that you’re on track to missing your goal whereas a review session throughout the year could’ve helped to rectify the situation. So decide on a schedule. It might help to review some goals monthly and then carryout a big review quarterly or mid-year.
During the review process think intently about where you’re at and whether your current journey and circumstances indicates a likelihood of you achieving your goals. Also consider whether you need to make any adjustments to your plans. You may find that you need to revise some of your goals or remove others from the list altogether.
I hope that the above will help you achieve your goals this year. What are some of the things you will do this year to facilitate a successful and productive year? Let me know in the comment section below.