You may find that you’re really good at reaching certain goals, but not so good at achieving others. And you may have accepted that. You may have assumed that the people who seem to be good at everything just are, intuitively, like that.
However decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
These are some of the things you should do if you want to achieve your goals:
1. Be specific when you set your goals
Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Having a goal to ‘lose some weight’ is not nearly as helpful as ‘lose 5 pounds’ because you know exactly what you’re aiming for. Giving yourself specific actions, such as ‘be in bed by 10pm on weeknights’ to reach your goal of ‘sleep more’ is useful too. It leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
How many new year’s resolutions did you break and then ‘not have time’ to go through with them? Change is never very convenient in a busy life, but studies have shown that if you plan when you’re going to take action to achieve a goal your chances of actually achieving that goal increases by about 300%! Seize the moment by deciding when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”)
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress, if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behaviour or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.
4. Be a realistic optimist
Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence so don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach it. Do engage in lots of positive thinking, but make sure you’re prepared for the journey ahead. By thinking ‘it’s just going to happen’ (studies have shown) you are significantly increasing your chance of failure.
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed and that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong; abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in their stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
6. Be determined
Those that have a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty achieve more in their lifetime than those that don’t. If you believe that you just don’t have the innate abilities that successful people do then you are wrong: effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will help you see yourself and your goals more clearly and give you the determination you need.
You are more capable than you think of achieving your goals. It just takes preparation, perspective and a willingness to act along with a huge dollop of self-belief. So start believing.
This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com