If one particular goal continues to elude you, then you need to know the 10 golden rules of goal attainment. Goal attainment is a learned skill, and with the right knowledge, you can continue to achieve meaningful goals in your life.
In this article, I reveal 10 of the top things that you need to know that will help you achieve your goal. I’ve been researching the best goal setting strategies from around the world and running goal attainment workshops for over 15 years now and have witnessed many do’s and don’ts that lead to goal attainment over the years.
In my How to Achieve Your Goals eBook I delve further into some of these strategies – great value at only $2.99. For those who are serious about achieving a goal once and for all, the eLearning module is an in-depth, dynamic and personalized 2 hour e-training program. Packed full of video tips, activities and strategies, it’s just like a personal tutorial with a goal attainment specialist!
In the mean time, here are 10 things you need to know now about goal attainment:
1. Ensure your goal is meaningful
Make sure that your goal has enough meaning to you personally that you are happy to make sacrifices to achieve it. Ensure that your goal is aligned with your own personal values.
Although the attainment of your goal may benefit someone else, make sure it’s meaningful to you! You are more likely to fail if your goal is only designed purely to satisfy someone else. Most goals are challenging and involve changing a habit, this is made all the more difficult if you are not personally invested in it. Take the time to consider and articulate the real value and benefits that YOU will enjoy once you have achieved the goal.
2. Write down your goal
Most New Year’s Eve resolutions don’t work because they are a random desire that is muttered between glasses of champagne on the evening of the celebration. Most are forgotten by the next day – or are just a blur through the hang-over!
Get your goal out of your head and onto paper. The mere act of writing it down starts the process of visualisation, which leads to actualisation!
3. Make sure your goal is specific
Trying to attain an intangible goal – such as a feeling – is like trying to capture the wind. Make your goal specific and tangible – if you’re saving for a holiday, exactly how much do you need to save?
Wishy-washy goals are hard to achieve. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to succeed.
4. Articulate your emotional motivation
This is a step that many people overlook – and for very left brain, analytical people this step can be challenging, but worthwhile. Take some time to explore the emotional reasons as to why you want to achieve your goal and make sure you can articulate it clearly. Tapping into your emotion and passion can provide you the necessary fuel to your fire when you face obstacles.
Trust me, if your goal is to give up smoking, you may have to reiterate your motivation to yourself 20 times a day! (This is 1 reason why it’s so hard to quit – you don’t have to quit just once, you have to quit 20 times a day)
5. Take the time to make a proper plan
If you neglect to plan, you’re likely to give up at the first hurdle. Did you know that most goals are started on a Monday and go off track 5 days later (on the week-end)?
You know the old saying, “if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”!
There are people, organisations and even technology that can support you in your quest for achieving your goal. There’s no need to be a hero and try to do everything on your own.
Get out there and educate yourself.
7. Visualize it
This is a misunderstood step. Visualization will never work in isolation to action, but visualization does tap into a powerful motivator that exists within us. Visualization helps make it easier to take the necessary steps to achieve your goal.
Apparently Cathy Freeman put posters all over her house with the time that she wanted to run in her next race in order to break a world record. On the day of the race, she ran that exact time.
8. Take action
Albert Einstein said, “the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result” and achieving a goal means change. Our reality is made up of all the tiny decisions we make in the present – let’s call them our baby steps, and baby-steps are easy! You mastered baby steps years ago! So, go on, take one small step in the direction of achieving your goal right today.
9. Positive self-talk
This is another interesting area. We all know how important positive self-talk is, but many of us don’t know the right technique, or what to say. Well meaning self-help gurus will generously offer suggestions, affirmations, but there is a much more powerful technique that can only be created by us as individuals. Learn what that is in my eLearning module, including the technique used by highly successful people to manage negative thoughts of self-doubt.
I have seen this knowledge alone make a positive impact on people’s lives.
10. Don’t make excuses
This is much easier said than done, we can convince ourselves of anything if we try. When we resist change, excuses arise and can define whether or not we achieve our goal or give up all together. When you truly understand the psychology of goal attainment, learn how to harness both sides of the brain and gear them towards your goal, and follow through on your well-considered plan, you can achieve your goal!
Many successful people have been taught how to achieve goals, but many of us who haven’t can become disillusioned and give up if we attempt a goal and fail. But, once you have the knowledge, the goal attainment “know-how”, you can continue to achieve meaningful goals in your life over and over again.
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