Think about this for a moment, if you’ve achieved all the goals you set for yourself, where will you be now?
You will probably be the richest man or the richest woman in the world or the CEO of your company, or the highest paid footballer or better still, you will end everything about work and travel the world at just 35.
We all have crazy goals, the kind of goals that we hoard in our diaries and carry as if it contains the secret formula that will finally destroy the world.
But the problem is that year in year out, those goals are unachieved despite how hard we have tried.
A lot of things can make you not to achieve a goal.
It could be that it does not motivate you enough or you just don’t have the time to work on it, or it could be the minor detail of not writing it down.
It is time to look at your goals to see what you are not doing right.
How to set your goals.
Set compelling goals
For your goals to motivate you, they have to be compelling.
Highly successful people set compelling goals.
That is how they became successful people. They set out to achieve what has never been done before.
Then, they go to work. They work with so much energy that people close to them will think that they have an engine inside that is propelling them.
But all the while they are being propelled by the kind of goals they set for themselves.
And that is what you should do too.
Set a goal that is so compelling that it wakes you up in the morning. The kind of goal that reminds you to stop wasting time when you are engaging in activities that do not add value to your life.
The kind of goals that will propel you to be your best.
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Set SMART goals
Be sure that your goals are SMART.
Make it easy for yourself to get to where you want to be faster by specifying where is it you want to be, what it is you want and when you want to get there.
For goals to be compelling and powerful, they must be SMART.
What is a SMART goal?
A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.
S – Specific
Your goal should be as specific as possible so that you can be able to answer the question – what is it you want? Your goal must be clear and be well defined.
Don’t set vague goals and do not generalize.
If you are setting a financial goal, include the precise amount you want and the date you want to achieve the goal. Measurement will give you specific feedback and hold you accountable.
You have to be able to measure it to know if you are making progress or not
It will also help you to answer one of the most important questions of goal setting – where do you want to be in a year or in five years time?
Goals should push you, but it’s very important that they are achievable. If you set them too high that you can’t achieve them, it will only end up eroding your self-confidence.
And they will not be able to do the one thing that you set them to do in the first place – to motivate you
Your goals should be relevant to you. You don’t want to be the man with the greatest muscles when you want to be a writer.
Writers read and write. Athletes build muscles.
Your goals should motivate how you live your life, the kind of sports you play or enjoy, and even the kind of food you eat.
All these works together to help you achieve your ultimate goal
Your goals should be relevant to the kind of life you want and to your career.
Your goals must be achieved within a specific time period. It must have a deadline.
Goals without deadlines are vague.
You will only keep shifting it forward until it suits you. That kind of habit will not help you achieve anything.
The goals that really pushes you are the ones that are time bound. When you think of your deadline approaching, you will be forced to make plans and work.
Make a Plan
How are you going to achieve your goals?
You have to be clear about what you want and develop an action plan towards achieving it.
How much time do you want to spend working on your goal? What strategies are you going to use? How are you going to implement your strategies?
You have to have the right answers to this questions because here is where the real work start.
The plans you make towards achieving your goals is what will determine if your goals will be achieved.
You really have to take it seriously and make a plan.
This is my favourite. I have tried a lot of things to keep me motivated toward my goals, but nothing has done it better than having consequences.
Before, I reward myself when I achieve an important goal. My reward was always to buy stuff for myself.
But it was not effective because, in the end, I will still buy those things.
And again, the stuff I buy are things that I need anyway, so what’s the point.
I learned how to use consequences and I put it to use.
Here is how consequences work for me.
Reading is the best way I learn. In other to learn as much as I can, I read 4 books every month. Any month that I fail to read four books, then, I will have to read two extra the next month as punishment for failing to read four books the previous month.
The first time I missed, it was hell trying to read six books with all the things I had to do.
Since then, I will make sure to finish four books a month even if it means suspending every other thing.
Honestly, I will not want to have that experience again. Though I enjoyed reading those books, it did put me in an unnecessary pressure.
You can put consequences to work. You only need to find a way to scare yourself if you miss your goal.
I still reward myself, but it’s not what I think about. What pushes me more is the consequences of failing to achieve that goal.
That’s what I think about. And it works. (at least for me).
It works better if it something you hate.
Maybe buying something special for your ex. Donating to a course you hate, donating to a political party or a candidate you would rather not see rule your country or state or city or community or whatever in your lifetime.
The goal has to mean something to you, the consequences also have to mean something to you.
Don’t mind all the hate, you are doing it for you, for your future, for your life.
Another way to use this is to find people to hold you accountable.
When you set your goal, tell somebody about it. A goal that is only known to you is not powerful.
Tell somebody about it. They will hold you accountable when you are not doing your best to achieve the goal.
Revisit and work on your goal
Don’t just set your goals and let it be. Revisit and work on your goals regularly. Maybe once a week or twice a week.
Put them down in writing and reread them occasionally.
You have to remind yourself of the goals you set for yourself to keep the fire alive.
If you set them and let them be, you will simply forget about them. Other things in your life will just take over.
For you to stand a chance of achieving those goals, it has to consume you, it has to be what you think about every time, you have to be conscious of it every time and every action you take during that period should be geared towards achieving that goal.
Revising it, working on it, knowing if you are making progress or falling short is a good way of keeping yourself focused on the goal.
Keep at it
If you have tried your best and you still failed short, keep at it.
Never give up.
Maybe you failed because there are still things you need to learn.
It’s life tapping you at the back, encouraging to do more, learn more and be more.
If you fail, pick yourself up again. Failure is a good friend.
Instead of beating yourself up when you fail, ask yourself – what it is I don’t know? What it is am not doing right?
If you are able to answer those questions, soon enough, you will start seeing results.