YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO
DELIBERATE STEPS TOWARDS GOAL ACCOMPLISHMENT – A GUIDE.
Everyone has goals. Whether practical or lofty, months-in-the-works or everyday accomplishments, setting and achieving goals are part of life. It is important to set goals that make sense – ones that emphasize and develop your strengths while also seeking to improve or minimize areas you’re weakest in.
If it seems like your goals have been sidetracked or you haven’t fully seen the fruits of your labor, it may be time for a goal reset.
Meeting our goals gives us the confidence and motivation to continue setting new ones and creating the type of life we’ve always dreamed of.
How do you get from where you are now to where you want to be?
As the saying goes, “The road to success starts with a single step.” You can have the greatest idea in the world and be brimming with talent and ambition, but unless you actually take steps to put those concepts to the test, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed or not. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to hold yourself accountable.
ACQUIRE CLARITY ON YOUR SPECIFIC GOAL
Acknowledge the one specific goal that you aspire toward. The first step is to have complete clarity on your specific goal.
What is it?
Why is it important?
What do you hope to accomplish?
This will give you motivation and purpose. Holding yourself accountable means having a crystal-clear reason why this goal is so important to you.
How will accomplishing this goal improve your life or the lives of others?
What is the value and purpose of this objective?
Your accountability to your goal will be improved if you understand your motivations.
That will help you build a positive mindset that reinforces why accomplishing this goal is important to you.
A SUFFICIENT ‘WHY’ CAN WITHSTAND ANY ‘HOW’
Keep your “why” top of mind when striving to reach your goals. Continue to educate yourself on your objectives — feed your mind knowledge and information that will build your “why” and help keep you focused.
Anytime you set an objective, you have to make a conscious effort to take the steps to see that goal through. Holding yourself accountable to your dreams means deeply embracing the reasons why those dreams matter and why you need to keep striving to reach them.
HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
It is important that you share that goal with others. This too creates a sense of accountability and a support system. An accountability partner is someone who is committed to helping you reach your goals (and in turn, you’ll do the same for them). If you’re in a situation where you’re working on goals independently, or you don’t have a manager or a boss looming over you, having an accountability buddy will make you answerable to someone if you fail to follow through.
Having an accountability buddy works best if he or she is reliable and truly committed.
It also works best when you both agree to use SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented).
Your accountability partner may be able to give you unbiased feedback. If you can’t find an accountability buddy, tell a friend or your family about your plans and ask them to help you stick to them.
While doing this, operate with purpose-driven action. We often accept staying busy as a substitute for being effective when it comes to time management. But anything important deserves a plan.
What are the specific steps you need to execute to complete your activity?
How can you segment these steps into reasonable mini-steps that can be done each day?
When you make positive action part of your routine, it becomes a healthy habit.
The steps may include:
Being specific about what you wish to accomplish.
Breaking down goals into smaller steps.
Tracking your progress.
Celebrating the wins.
Rinse and repeat.
HAVE A SCHEDULE
It’s paramount that you set a schedule that you can commit to. This will give you a game plan you can follow and a way to evaluate if you’re consistently and persistently working toward your goals. Your schedule should set specific and time-oriented objectives, but they should be within reason. This will help you translate big goals into concrete, actionable steps.
Divide each larger task into the smallest possible unit of progress, and include each of these baby steps in your schedule. Keep breaking down your goals until they’re sliced up into tiny, easily achievable micro-goals. And make sure you take a moment to celebrate each small achievement.
ARMY OF ONE
Psychologically, we feed off of feeling like we have completed something.
The challenge with bigger goals is that it often takes a longer time to complete them.
And this is one reason why we fail to follow through.
Thus, we need to reshape our perspective on what it means to accomplish things while using the “rule of one.”
Let’s say you set out a goal of rewriting your company’s employee training manual, and you know it is going to take at least a month to complete the task. Instead of feeling dejected and overwhelmed every day that is not completed, insert the goal of the “rule of one” into the task.
Schedule 30 minutes every day that will be devoted to the task.
Every day that you accomplish that one goal of working on it for 30 minutes means you have accomplished your goal for the day. Then the process becomes about accomplishing the steps towards the ultimate goal, keeps you focused, and gives you a realistic benchmark each day.
Do the math. If you did only one thing for 30 minutes each day towards the completion of a big goal, in one year you would have completed 365 actions toward this goal and invested over 180 hours.
In most cases, many of our goals take far less time than that to complete — but when you break it down into small time commitments, it feels far less daunting.
SELF-SABOTAGE WORKS, WATCH OUT!
Crucially, you must train yourself to overcome self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is our subconscious way of limiting our success. It often springs from a fear of being pushed outside of your comfort zone.
Self-sabotage is a self-destructive loop that smashes goals and kills dreams. If you have ever set goals and objectives for yourself, and then failed miserably to follow through, you’ve probably fallen into a pattern of self-sabotage.
In order to hold yourself accountable, you also have to understand what you’re doing to impede your progress. Work to overcome self-sabotage by identifying your negative patterns.
What are your triggers?
How do you allow your fears to hold you back?
Be on the lookout for ways in which you may be undermining yourself.
CONSISTENTLY REVIEW AND AUDIT YOUR PERFORMANCE
Last but not least, take time to regularly review the goals you’re holding yourself accountable for. This is a chance to check in on your overall progress. A quick review of how far you’ve come can kick your motivation up a notch and get you back on track when you start to slide. Take a look at how you’re doing in keeping up with your schedule and accomplishing both your macro- and micro-goals.
You should also ensure your accountability buddy is helping you stay on task.
Are you pleased with your quality of work?
Are you feeling good about your progress?
Look for areas where you can improve. Is your motivation slipping, and if so, what can you do to bolster it? The more empowered and excited you feel about your achievements, the easier it will be for you to hold yourself accountable to keep accomplishing those tasks and reaching your goals.
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