Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.
If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
''You can realize almost any dream when you harness the correct goal setting methods.''
Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps
We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.
Specific and measurable steps are important because if you do not know your target, how can you ever hit it?
Have at least one clear defined goal for every interest and role in your life.
It's easy to become stagnate and we tend to think that our career is the only place to set goals. However, we are not only what we do. Instead, take the approach that you are always learning and growing in everything you do. Therefore, set goals for every project or activity that you do. What you will notice is that this forces you to constantly develop new skills and put more focus and value in all areas of your life not just the ones associated with your career.
Align your goals with your life's mission, purpose and passion.
Do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?
Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you. Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most. This strategy enables you to make more time.
Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action.
If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.
The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged. If you are doing what motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, then you will be much more resilient.
Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail.
This is your person GPS for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision. When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track. When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world. Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them. If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind. (works well for memorizing scripture also)
Commit to hitting each of your target goals without exception
You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed. You can always adjust your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them. Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.
We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.
Share your goals with others to motivate each other
There’s something powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished). When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.
This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.
Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines
Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter did not check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations. Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them. Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.
Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals
Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them. Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator. When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.
Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day.
Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward. Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life. Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run. Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.
Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning your dreams into goals that you can work toward, you increase your chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.
It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.