How to Achieve Your Goals

How to Achieve Your Goals
Do you have a great big wish list that just keeps growing because you are stuck on making things happen?

Pick one tiny goal that you really wish you could get accomplished. Nothing major, just something that is bothering you. Cleaning your closet or setting up a household budget or reading War and Peace would work. Some task that you find a bit daunting but totally achievable, and that you will be proud of finishing.

Break your goal or task into steps. Write them down. For example:

Steps to a Clean Closet:

1—Remove everything from closet.
2—Sort everything into 4 categories: Keep, Repair, Give Away, Throw Away.
3—Take Throw Away items to trash. Put Repair items in your sewing basket or errand basket and Give Away items into your car for your next errand trip.
4—Put Keep items neatly back into your closet.

Your steps could be more detailed, and include things such as organize by color or outfit or put winter items into storage. It's important to think what success means to you, whether in closet cleaning or making a million dollars.

Now, set a deadline for completion. It could be in a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. As long as you can finish by the deadline, all is good. If your deadline is more than one day away, put tasks on your calendar. For example, maybe you are doing step one today, steps two and three tomorrow and step four over the weekend. Write that down. Deadlines are important in goal achievement because they make the goal more a “project” and less a “pipedream”, and a deadline tells you to take it seriously. It’s one thing to have a “goal” to clean that closet, but if you have a goal plus a deadline, you are just more likely to want to finish it, and therefore to finish it.

Next, take some action. Begin that first step. Go take things out of your closet. Often, you will find that work goes more quickly or slowly than you anticipated. Revise your plan accordingly. If you get everything out of your closet, you may be inspired to keep working. You may decide you need to buy more containers or shelves. Just do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. And, move forward some more. Then, soon, you will have a clean closet.

The process works the same way for every goal. The steps may get much more complicated if your goal is more complex, but you eat a bag of chips the same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time. That’s the way you accomplish any goal you set. And, the more goals you accomplish, the more you learn about how to accomplish your goals. Then, you have the confidence to take on really big goals, like making your dreams happen here in the real world.

Here is the plan: It’s really simple, but it’s easy to forget, too. Feel free to print this out and when you get “stuck”, follow these steps.

Pick a goal.
Break it into steps.
Write the steps down.
Set a deadline for completion of the entire project, and for each step.
Take action.
Revise the plan if needed.
Keep taking action and moving forward until goal is completed.
Feel proud.
Do a happy dance or a high-five—whatever works for you! Celebrate your success!
Move on to the next goal, and then the next, and so on.

One of my favorite books on goals is Goals! How to Get Everything You Want--Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy. This book is easy to understand and highly motivating. It’s on my “keeper” list and I refer back to it often.

“From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle; we just decided to go.” --Tom Hanks

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