Do you know where you want to be in 5 years time? What will your life look like in 6 months? What do you want to get done today?
If you want to succeed in life you need to set goals for yourself. Setting goals forces you to pay attention to what it is that you want to achieve and then gives you that nudge to set out and achieve it. Did you know that people who write goals are 50% more likely to achieve that goal than those who do not? Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could turn those dreams into a reality but setting a goal and then smashing it? So what is the best way to set and then achieve your goals?
Let's Get Visual
The first thing I would recommend you do is to visualise your goal already achieved. Be very clear and defined here, being vague is unhelpful as it doesn't provide you with enough direction. For example I spent some time contemplating where I wanted to be in 5 years. What my day-to-day life would look like. I was very specific, from what I ate for breakfast, to what house I lived in and how I spent my day. I then wrote it all down as a diary entry as if it had already taken place, that this was my every day. Visualisation can be a very powerful tool in helping you to achieve your goal. It helps to fix it completely in your mind and makes it more real and tangible.
Set the Date
Once your goal is cemented in your mind, the next step is to set a date for when this will take place. Goals are much more likely to be achieved if you set a deadline. I want to have replaced my full time income and to leave my (not so pleasant) job by 21/12/2018. To keep that date in my mind, I have written it in very large writing and placed it on my fridge and on my make-up mirror. It is impossible for me not to see it regularly throughout the day, this helps to keep me focussed on my deadline. I suggest you do the same, find a place where you will see it more than once in a day.
Take steps backwards
Now you have the date, it is time to work backwards from that date setting yourself little goals to achieve. This will help you to break up the goal into bite sized chunks which are easier to achieve one step at a time. It also helps you to keep focused on your goal and will motivate you with each little win along the journey.
Put Pen to Paper
Once you have the first three steps in place, you then need to put it all down on paper. Clearly define your goal, the date, and the steps you need to take to reach it. There is something magical that happens when you put pen to paper, it solidifies your thoughts and helps you to remember what you are writing down. Your unconscious mind takes in the information and starts working on it for you.
You are not alone
It is far easier to achieve a goal if you have some people behind you willing you on. I have found having some friends that I could talk to about my goals this year has been so encouraging. Not only do they ask me how I am getting on, but they actively get involved and my goal also becomes theirs too. They take part of the burden and walk along next to me, lifting me up when I feel like I won't get there and celebrate with me when I achieve something. A great example of this is how my friends have reacted to me telling them at the beginning of the year that I wanted to learning to drive. They have gone over and above in trying to help me reach that goal. They take it in turns to take me out driving every single week. They helped me prepare for my theory and took me out for drinks when I passed it to celebrate. I am so grateful for their support and for their encouragement.
Stick with it
Sticking to your goals can be a challenge at times and that is why I suggested you have your goals clearly visualised. This way, when you are having a tough time reaching it, you can look back on your goal and visualise yourself achieving it. This will help you get focussed again on the end goal and the reason you are doing what you are doing. Build in reminders to help keep you on track and spend some time regularly reviewing your steps to your goal. And don't forget to rejoice in the little steps you achieve along the way.
Setting goals is much more than just saying in a dreamy fashion, oh I wish I could do this? or I want to be there in 5 years. If you do not clearly define exactly what you want and the reason why you want it, the chances are you won't reach it. Following these simple steps will give you the confidence to get to where you want to be and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.
So, I have a December deadline, how about you, what will you set out to accomplish today?
Love as always