Back in the day when I first joined a network marketing business and consequently became obsessed with personal development, one of my best purchases was a CD called Goals by Zig Ziglar. I listened to it every time I got in the car and it became a firm favorite.
I promised a few weeks ago to write about how to achieve goals and I thought there can be no better advice than that of Zig Ziglar. So here is some advice straight from Zig with some of my thoughts along the way. So, what is the best way to accomplish goals? I’m glad you asked!
Identify the goal
What would you love to have in your life? Be careful not to borrow someone else’s goals! What would YOU love? What gets you excited? Picture yourself with your goal already achieved. Get very clear on the details and write it down at length.
Make sure it is specific, for example, if you want to get a new car, you need to say what type, color, year, what features it will have.
If you want to achieve an increase in revenue for your business you absolutely have to say how much. Just to say to you want to increase your revenue isn’t going to cut it because you could increase by $100 but that isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference.
With financial goals, it is wise to keep firmly in mind what the money is for, as money itself does not have the emotional pull of a new home or a wedding for example.
List the benefits
Having got clear about what the goal is, make a list of what it will do for you. When times get tough (and they will), you will need to have this at the very front of your mind. We can always find the time and energy to do the things we want to do, so being constantly aware of what’s in it for you is essential to stop you from losing motivation.
List the obstacles to overcome
When you are aiming for a goal, there will absolutely be obstacles. Some you can predict, some you cannot. It is helpful to think ahead to what booby traps lie around the corner! Perhaps your new path will test your technical skills for example.
An obstacle for a weight loss goal for example could be going through a period of staying the same or seeing very little change. What will you do when this happens? If you have prepared yourself as well as possible ahead of time, the chances are you will already have decided on your plan of action instead of wanting to have a tantrum and pack it all in.
Naturally, there may be some obstacles that you did not see coming. Decide now that you will find a way over around or through!
List the skills and knowledge required
Whether you have decided to go from just having a baby to entering a sports modeling competition or if you have decided to set up a blog to share your passion for dogs, or want to train to be a Psychologist, think now about what you will need to know.
Whether it is nutrition, exercise, help with writing skills, setting up a website, or enrolling in an online (or offline) course, make that list. More things will come up as you go along but this will at least enable you to plan out how you will find the information.
List the people or groups to work with
Most often, what you are trying to achieve will already have been accomplished by someone already. In this case, it is good to be able to find out from someone who has already trodden that path if they would be able to mentor you or just be a sounding board for your ideas.
If you can’t find an actual person, it is likely that there will be a Facebook group or some other sort of industry forum that can help. It’s also really good to surround yourself with people who are going somewhere. As much as we love those close to us, they seldom understand why we are so keen on pursuing our goals.
I have created this Blog using a training platform called ‘Wealthy Affiliate’ which is a perfect example of the help bloggers can get. Not only are there online lessons, but there are loads of very experienced people who are more than happy to steer me in the right direction.
If you are setting out to do something no one has ever done, there will be a mastermind group somewhere for innovators like you where you can bounce ideas off people.
Do not miss this step – you are likely to get stuck at some point and could give up if you can’t find a way to move forward. Check out a recent post How to Get A Website Up And Running which shares details of a time when exactly that situation happened to me.
Create an action plan
So, using the information you have already outlined above, you need to create your action plan. This will evolve several times. To start off you will be looking to act on the gaps in your knowledge that you identified, for example, maybe you need to enroll in a course to get off to the best start. You need to contact the people or groups you have earmarked to help you.
Once these steps have been taken you will need a daily plan to get you where you want to go. It is generally best to work backward from your final goal.
For example, if you want to lose 40lbs in 6 months you can then calculate a weekly target and from that, determine what needs to go into your plan. For example, it could be a 1,500 calorie diet with either walking, running, doing weights, or some sort of exercise, say 5 days per week.
Make sure to review your plan at least weekly to see where you are against where you planned to be. Acknowledge if you are on track or if you need to make some changes.
Set a deadline for achievement
You must set a deadline for your goal or you will drift aimlessly, however, as much as you need to aim for that timescale. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make the time. Look at how far you have come, set a new date, and if necessary, crank up the effort.
If you are taking the time to set a goal, create a plan, and set about it, you are streets ahead of the vast majority of people who spend more time deciding where they are going on holiday rather than where they are going in life!
Have you had massive success following your goals? Or do you always get stuck? Perhaps family and friends are unsupportive. Either way, I would love to hear your story in the comments below.