Reaching your goals can be an enormously difficult process that takes time, energy, and often frustration to complete.
Step one of meeting your goals more rapidly is breaking them into smaller goals that are relevant, achievable, measurable and time sensitive. This will keep you focused on reaching them while helping prevent unnecessary distractions from derailing your efforts.
1. Write it down
Writing down your goals is an integral first step toward accomplishing them. Doing so forces you to consider them carefully and makes them concrete, instead of remaining an abstract notion in your head. People who vividly outline their goals on paper are up to 1.4 times more likely to reach them due to the generation effect, where individuals demonstrate better memory for materials created themselves than for content read from elsewhere.
Writing down your goals by hand activates part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). This system filters incoming information and requests, prioritizes them according to relevance and determines their impact on our current lives. While parents of newborn babies can depend on it to awaken at every noise, we can use our RASs for self-development too – keeping our goals and dreams focused.
Once your goals are written down, make sure that they remain visible so they will serve as daily reminders. Tape them to your mirror, stick them on the fridge or write them into your planner to keep yourself on track and refer back often.
2. Make a plan
As part of your goal setting process, it is vitally important that you create an action plan. An action plan provides a step-by-step roadmap that keeps you focused and committed on reaching your desired goal, providing an overview of progress as well as any obstacles in the way.
As part of your action plan, take note of any deadlines or timelines that might impede on your ability to achieve your goal. For instance, if your aim is to train for an upcoming marathon race, be sure that your training schedule gives enough time for physical preparation for race day.
Assertively focus on just one or two goals at once; otherwise you risk getting overwhelmed or losing focus. Your goals should not depend on other people or external circumstances for fulfillment.
If you want to develop an action plan, start by finding a quiet location where there will be no distractions, then write down any barriers that might obstruct your path to reaching your goals. Research shows that writing down fears helps lessen their power over us.
3. Be consistent
Maintaining consistent action will help you reach your goals more quickly than if you take short pauses or let days or weeks go by between taking steps. Finding an approachable schedule and sticking with it are both essential. To make things simpler, set small, achievable goals to give yourself confidence and sense of achievement as soon as possible.
If your goal is to exercise regularly, start off by setting an intention to work out at least five days each week until it becomes part of your routine. As soon as that becomes an established habit, add additional exercises into your schedule.
Finding your reason to consistently do something else is also an integral component of consistency, and will motivate you to continue even when things get challenging. If your goal is weight loss, for example, perhaps your why could include wanting to feel more confident and improve health overall.
Reward yourself when you achieve your goals to stay motivated and inspired to continue working toward them. For instance, if you manage to exercise every day for one month and celebrate that achievement by going out for dinner or watching a movie. Establishing your why can also help motivate and maintain motivation levels throughout the journey.
4. Take action
Keep moving towards your goals! Doing this will train your subconscious mind to focus on activities that bring success. Reward yourself when milestones are reached – this will encourage and sustain you on your journey to reach them!
Acting is easier when you have a plan in place. By staying focused and avoiding distractions that don’t matter as much, a plan will enable you to reach your goals faster than otherwise.
Make sure to set aside enough time and energy to carefully outline and schedule each step necessary for you to reach your goals. Being consistent when taking action despite fear or procrastination is key.
Beside mapping out your action steps, it’s equally as essential to surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you. This may involve reading motivational books, attending seminars, or seeking mentors as ways of creating an environment in which it’s okay for you to achieve your goals – you will find support along the way!
5. Don’t procrastinate
Setting and working toward your goals takes time and dedication, but if you find yourself becoming discouraged or losing motivation along the way don’t give up! Don’t give up, keep pushing forward until your goal has been accomplished!
Instead of procrastinating, take stock of why you’re procrastinating and make adjustments that could help keep you on the path toward reaching your goal more quickly. This way you’ll stay focused and accelerate progress toward realizing it.
If you find yourself avoiding writing, identify ways to break past any barriers preventing it – this might include getting an accountability partner or enrolling in a journaling challenge; alternatively find somewhere quiet where you can write uninterrupted.
Start off by gathering all of the materials necessary for success (pens, paper and laptop) as well as creating an environment which encourages your success. It might also be beneficial to track your progress so that you can see just how far you’ve come and remain motivated.
To combat procrastination, prioritize important tasks while leaving urgent ones until last. One technique for doing this is known as eating your “frogs,” or doing challenging or daunting activities first. Finally, be motivated for productive reasons like learning or career advancement rather than unproductive ones like fear, guilt or looking good; keeping these tips in mind will help you overcome procrastination and reach your goals more easily.
6. Be realistic
Setting and meeting your goals may seem like a difficult challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. All it requires is some self-discipline and some basic tools – most importantly though, being realistic about the time it will take for results to emerge.
Your first step toward success should be recognizing all of the barriers that could get in the way, and making a plan to move past them despite them. Be wary that there may be unexpected hurdles along your path, such as unexpected roadblocks that come out of nowhere; 18 to 66 days may be required for change to take hold or establish new habits.
Accept this reality and you will begin making progress much more quickly. Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable action steps so that you stay on track towards meeting them, increasing confidence in yourself as an achiever of goals.
At the same time, it is also essential to recognize that other people have already accomplished your goal. Instead of reinventing the wheel yourself, study their approach and adapt what worked for them as applicable to your own situation. After all, they were dealt the same cards you did, yet managed to persevere until reaching success!
7. Be accountable
Willpower and talent alone aren’t enough to achieve our goals, which is why it is vitally important that we find ways to keep ourselves accountable in reaching them despite any hurdles along the way.
First, identify all of the obstacles that could get in the way of achieving your goals and plan around them. For instance, if your fitness goal involves exercising more but you have an appointment on Wednesday afternoon that might preclude that, plan to workout before or after this meeting so as not to skip a workout session altogether. This can help ensure you stick with it and don’t skip an appointment due to lack of planning!
Another helpful strategy is establishing a system for tracking and reminders. This will serve to keep you on the path towards reaching your goal by visualizing its progress; furthermore, this may serve to motivate you when nothing seems to be moving in that direction.
Be certain to identify your “why” behind any goal you set. Without an inspirational driving force behind them, it may be easier for you to give up when obstacles or setbacks appear.