I’ve been working on achieving many different goals lately and as part of that have investigated strategies on how to be successful in getting the results I want and turning my goals into sustainable habits.
I have come up with 5 steps you can follow to help achieve your goals:
The first step is setting the intention for your goal and getting motivated around that intention. Have you ever had that feeling where you say you are going to do something, but deep down you know you probably won’t, as your intention is not strong enough? This stage is where you identify the specifics of your goal, you define exactly what it is your are aiming for and you take a personal commitment to achieving it. If you don’t possess the true intention to succeed at your goal, it will be a challenge to progress from this initial step. Some of this step is about mindset. Once you have the genuine intention clear in your mind, it is a great starting point in the journey to achieving your goals.
Once you have the intention of the goal defined and you are clear on exactly what you are trying to achieve the next step is about making a plan of action, identifying exactly what you need to do to be successful. You can have a really clear intention, but if you don’t have an idea about how you are going to achieve that success, it may stay merely an idea rather than a reality that can be put into action. At this stage, you break the goal down into actionable chunks, very clearly showing how you will go about achieving it.
3) First step
Often the most difficult part of achieving a goal is taking the first step. You might have a plan, but you put off starting it. Maybe it seems too big, maybe you have invented lots of reasons why there might be a ‘better’ time to start it. One great way to take action towards your goal is to just take the first step, however big or small that step might be. You’ll hopefully feel satisfied that you have started on your journey to achieve what you set out to and often you might also find that completing the rest of the task is much easier.
Once you have taken the first step, to achieve any goal there is a journey that will need to be taken. Often the journey can be more important than the end goal itself. The journey is about creating a habit and incorporating it into your routine. For example if you want to lose weight, the path to get there is about building a habit of healthy eating and fitness. The journey may continue, even when your goal has been achieved as the habit has become permanent.
5) End state
Depending on the nature of your goal, there are two different types of end state. The first one is a one off goal such as getting a new job. Once this is achieved, the journey stops. The other type of goal has an end state that once achieved the journey continues, such as 5kg weight loss, or being able to run 5 kilometres in a certain time. Although it is useful to have these end states defined, in many cases the main use is to have the vision, to help you achieve the journey. In these instances you wouldn’t want to stop your journey if you achieved the end state, it’s just something to aim towards. If you lose 5kg’s, you don’t want to stop eating healthily, if you run 5 kilometres, you don’t want to give up running. You might either want to redefine the end state, or be happy that you have developed a habit that is now part of your every day life.
I’d love to hear what process you follow to set and achieve your goals in the comments below.