Developing your goal program was the first step towards turning your life from a wandering generality to meaningful specific. However, ultimately what is going to matter is that how will you reach your goals and ultimately live a life of with balanced success. And this is exactly what this section of the site is going to tell you. So, without wasting much time let us straight get down to business:
Download your free tool for this section here "General Goal Procedure Chart"
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Use Your Goals as a Motivational Tool
The goals that you have identified while you were developing your goal program are the one that are really worth pursuing. You have ensured it by following a filtering procedure. You really believe that they are the one that will give you balanced success, and are important for you emotionally. Goals, motivates us only when they appeal us emotionally.
Now you need to get a little more emotional or say passionate about them. On the "General Goal Procedure Chart" that you have downloaded record the benefits that you seek to receive from each goal. (You will require one sheet for each goal). When you do this you get excited about the prospect of receiving those benefits and in turn get motivated.
Fear is usually de-motivates. But it is also a powerful motivator when used positively. Fear of loosing something at times may be bigger then other fears that might stop you from taking action. So, also record in your Goal Procedure Chart, the things that you might loose if you do not pursue this particular goal.
Develop Commitment to Them
Now to keep you committed towards the goal and keep you perpetually motivated do the following:
- Put them on Walls: Write down your goals in big bold letters preferably with coloured pens on thick paper along with the date when you are going to achieve it. Wherever possible paste a picture of the reward that you are seeking. Paste these papers on the wall in your private place, where you can see them every day. They will serve as a constant reminder to you of your goals.
- Share your goals: (But carefully). Share your goals with your family who are partner in your success, with your friends who love you unconditionally and are your well-wishers. Speaking about your goals helps in developing commitment towards them. Share freely your give-up goals (bad things that you are going to give up). However, the go-up goals must be shared carefully, and never to those who ridicule you, are jealous of you or do not want to see you going up.
- Visualize: Visualize yourself reaching the goal. Close your eyes and create a mental image where you see yourself receiving the benefits that you expect to receive one you reach the goal. More about this technique is explained in Power of Positive Visualization.
Identify Major Challenges
We are living in fool's paradise if we believe that there will be no challenges, obstacles or roadblocks. When we know that we have to face them, I believe that it is good sense to identify them and get ourselves prepared for them.
In your General Goal Procedure Chart, lists down the challenges and roadblocks you think you may be facing while achieving the particular goal. Once identified and listed you will be able to keep them in consideration while in your action plan.
Identify the Resource Requirement
For every goal you will require certain resources. Either you may already have it, or you may have to acquire it. Knowledge, skills and know how are important resources that you will require in one way or other for every goal that you have. If say getting a good physical shape is your goal, then you will require knowledge about your diet, exercise procedures, etc. Apart from this each goal may have some specific resource requirement. List them down in the space provided for the purpose in your General Goal Procedure Chart.
Enlist Help Wherever Required
Quiet paradoxically your personal success is also a team work. In order to achieve your personal goals you will require help of other people. These people may be your family members and your friends who will provide encouragement and support, mentors and teachers who will guide you and not let you make fatal mistakes, professionals like doctors, lawyers, consultants etc. who will provide various types of services. Make a list of all those, whose help you will require to reach the particular goal in the Chart.
Prepare Action Plan (Break Goals into Small Action Points)
At this stage I will advice you to pick up four to six most important goals that you want to give maximum priority. This will depend on your current situation that you have identified while you were taking inventory while you were Developing Your Goal Program. These are the goals on which you will start working immediately, keeping the rest on wait list. The reason is that if you try to work on all the goals that you have on the goal program, it may become too much for you, and you will loose focus.
List down step by step that has to be done or achieved to reach your goal. There will be something that is in your control, such as acquiring skill or knowledge, meeting someone for help, writing a letter or doing anything on a daily basis. However, the result of these may always be not in your control. So, make a list of 'Action' that you will put in, but do not include the outcome as an Action Point. If there is a particular 'result or outcome' (beyond your control) that will be required for you to move on further towards your goal, than this result is just a smaller, more short term goal, and must be treated as one.
For some action points you will set some deadlines. Few others will be such that you will have to repeat on an ongoing basis till the goal is achieved or remains relevant. (Daily exercising is one such action point that will be on an ongoing basis as the goal of good physical health will always remain a relevant one).
Develop Daily Accountability
Now that your Action Plan is ready, it is time to take action. Doing small things every day, and taking baby steps is going to add up to make a big difference. You will reach your goals only if you develop accountability to each action that you need to take everyday. They are your goals. These are the goals that are going to fulfil the dreams of your life. They are your responsibility. So, it is you who is accountable to your goals and dream. Commitment and Accountability are important values and good value system is an important Success Power. See Power of Values to read more about values.
Taking action every day persistently and with commitment and accountability is going to create momentum that will take you to reach your target. Do what you have decided on doing. Do what you say you do. In case you are not doing what you have thought of doing or saying what you are doing, you will create a frame of reference in your mind that you are not accountable and lower your self image. (See Self Image). So, be accountable and take Action. There is power in Action and produces results and brings rewards. (See Power of Action)
It is your character and commitment that will spur you into action, but it takes discipline to follow through. Many people start well, but owing to discouragement, lazy-ness, poor self image or many other factors never see to the end. There are many times you will not want to do something. But it is discipline that will help you get out of the bed and do what is required, to be done. There will be temptations and diversions and you may feel like procrastinating. That is when you will need discipline to do it anyway. Discipline is a important value that is mentioned in the Power of Values page of this site.
Get into Shape Physically, Mentally & Spiritually
Physical, mental and spiritual health is not only important for balanced success, but it is also impossible to reach goals if you are not healthy in all these three aspects. Take care of your health. An unhealthy body can not strive for achievement. T makes a person irritable and affects his/her relationships. So, even if you have not put healthy body as one of the goals, it still remains one.
In order to make commitment, be accountable, and disciplined while you move towards your goal will require positive attitude, high self image, faith, and high value systems. These are all ingredients of a mental and spiritual health. In order to keep your-self fit, you eat nutritionally balanced food, get adequate sleep and do physical exercise. To keep the mind healthy you read good positive books, listen to powerful inspirational recordings, associate with right kind of people and pray. Make these activities a part of your daily Action Plan.
Respond Positively to Disappointments (Change Directions not Decisions)
As you take your journey towards success, and in the process of reaching the milestones called goals, you will come across obstacles, roadblocks, bumpy roads that you had not envisaged earlier. Their will be unprecedented setbacks that will prevent your from reaching your goal. At such junctures you will have two choices, one is to react negatively and give up your goals or secondly responding positively and do something about it.
See the Power of Failing Forward. Failure may mean delay but it never means defeat. Failure is a learning experience that simply tells you that things need to be done differently. There are problems. There will be traffic jams. But at the same time there are no problems that can not be solved. If you do not see any way through the problem, work around it. Take a different route. Change your Action Plan, and make it more conducive to the circumstances. Be persistent in reaching your goal but at the same time be flexible with your Action Plan.
Celebrate & Reward Yourself on Reaching a Target
All of you have a very faithful employee. It never leaves you or change loyalties. But most of you never really pay him or give him any rewards. This loyal employee of yours is you. When was it when you had pat your own back and rewarded yourself for completing a project, for achieving something, or doing something good? On the contrary, most punish this faithful employee with self-defeating thoughts. No wonder many of us never gets any motivation from within.
Every small victory, every achievement, is a cause for a celebration, big or small. Make every small achievement a reason to celebrate. Small celebrations for small victories are all that is required to keep motivation high for bigger victories. It could be a nice movie that you have been denying yourself, or a dinner, or a night out. Fix for your self a reward for every action point in your chart, and give it to yourself promptly when you do what is to be done. Happiness is not in big things but in celebrating small things in life, and that is the biggest purpose of our life.
In the next section we are going to deal with how you can achieve your goals on a Daily basis and how you can live a life that is Action & Performance Oriented.