Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Goals: secrets to success

Nothing can guarantee success more than using a structured and disciplined approach to achieving your goals.  Using these tips as a guide can help to take you closer to your dreams.  Focusing your attention towards what you want out of life can help you to achieve your goals more regularly.

1. Identify your values.  Spend some time to identify who you are and what are your values.  It is useless to pursue a goal that doesn't reflect who you are truthfully.  Becoming a top sales person will prove very difficult when you really enjoy working with your hands and creating new objects.  Some key questions that you can ask yourself include: What type of work do I enjoy doing?  Where does my passion lie?  Do I prefer to work with people, data or things? How would I like to be remembered when I die?  Answering some of these questions can help you to identify your personal values and save you a lot of time and heartache by pursuing goals that don't truly reflect who you are.

2. Set SMART goals. A commonly used structure for goal setting is SMART

S = specific: what exactly do you want?  Can you describe it? In detail?  Do you want a house or a three bedroom detached cottage by the sea for £450k?  The more specific you become with what you want, the more likely you are able to visualise you goals.  Visualise is a powerful tool to achievement.  The more you can 'see' yourself living you goals, the closer that goal will become your reality.

M = measurable: can you measure your success using numbers, percentages or amounts of money.  The more you can measure your success (i.e. reduce your personal debt, save a certain amount of money, complete a certain number of tasks), the easier it will be to persevere.  Remember that most people are 'off track' most of the time when pursuing their goals, so by having some form of measurement...you can keep yourself 'on track' a bit more regularly.

A = achievable: Your personal beliefs are very powerful.  Think about how likely it is that you will be able to achieve your goal.  If you need a little more time, don't be afraid to adjust your timescale.

R = realistic:  Are you delusional?  Is this goal something that you can see yourself realistically doing in your lifetime?  If you want to be a great astronaut but you find basic math a bit difficult, maybe you should consider another goal?  Be honest with yourself.  Recognise that trying to achieve something that you know you will never succeed at can be a waste of time and lead ultimately to disappointment.

T = timebound: What is your deadline?  A cheesy saying is, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." If you wanted to make a million, by when?  Get as specific as you can about your goals, including when you want to achieve your ambitions.  Is it by the end of the month, end of the year or your 50th birthday.  Any deadline will do.  Just ensure that you believe it is achievable and realistic.

3, Challenge your beliefs. Although you should avoid setting delusional goals, it is sometimes useful to stretch your beliefs.  Beliefs can be explained as, 'what are your expectations?'  Could you expect more out of life?  Do you constantly set yourself up for failure by telling yourself that you will never achieve what you want?  Check into your inner thoughts and become aware of any negative attitudes that may be preventing you from achieving more in your life.

4. Move forward or work backwards. Goal planning can help you bridge the gaps from 'where you currently are' to 'where you want to be'.  Drawing a map outlining the key steps you need to complete before you achieve your goal can help you plan for the necessary steps that are required achieve your dreams.  This map can be drawn from where you are right now, moving to where you want to be.  Or you can draw it backwards, starting with the goal and then ask yourself, 'what has to happen just before I achieve that?' This backwards goal planning can be a very powerful visual guide to help you plan a path to success.

5. Phone a friend.  Try interviewing people who are successful to understand the habits of high achievers.  People love to talk about themselves, so feel free to ask them how they accomplished their dreams.  You never know, this person may become your mentor or an advisor.  An invaluable asset towards success!

6. Persevere and get creative. Do something.  Anything.  Just start your journey and avoid giving up.  It is important not to fixate on 'how' you are going to achieve your goal.  The 'how' tends to present itself after you have committed to the 'what' you are going to achieve.  Being flexible and creative when you are required to solve problems or overcome difficulty will help you to stay positive.

7. Broadcast. Don't be afraid to tell people about what you want to achieve.  This can increase your luck!  Luck is often describe as: preparation meets opportunity.  Once you have started on your path to achieving your goals, you might meet a person that can give you an unexpected opportunity.  So tell people about what you are doing.  If they can't help you, they may be able to give you advice or recommend you to a friend/colleague that could assist you.

8. Celebrate and give recognition.  Enjoy your success and acknowledge all of your hard work.  Also, we never achieve anything entirely on our own, so thank hose people who helped you.

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