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Ten Steps to Achieve Your Goals

Mar 13, 2008
Every successful entrepreneur has at one time or another spent time setting goals. Goal-setting is one of the most valuable activities anyone can do. People without goals don't know where they are going and they don't know how close or how far away they are from their desired destination. Would you attempt to drive from New York to California without a map? Not likely, unless you don't mind occasionally ending up in Louisiana. Goal-setting is nothing more than laying out the map of how you can get to where you want to go.

Here are ten easy steps to set and achieve goals that will keep you motivated and focused.

1) First of all, make sure it is YOUR goal. Do not attempt to do something just because someone else wants you do. Success comes from owning the process and wanting the outcome. Just because your spouse wants you to work at home does not mean that it's your cup of tea and that you will be successful. Your heart has to be in it all the way. Goals without buy-in are simply wishes.

2) Don't call it a goal. You have to treat it as a done-deal. You know that most people do not keep their New Year's Resolutions. That's because they see them as aspirational, not mandatory. A definite business goal is different. Never forget that success is a mindset. If you Think it, and Believe it, you will Do it. Some people prefer to call goals Promises because studies have shown that people tend to keep promises. As Yoda said, "There is no try. Either you do or you don't."

3)Clearly identify your steps to achieve your outcome and write it down. A common methodology for goal-setting is represented by the moniker S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Specific). Each and every goal should have at least these five elements. Vague generalities are not goals. Wanting to do something is different from planning to do something.

When we say goals need to be specific, it needs to have as much detail as you can imagine. Measurable means that it has to have some way to determine whether or not you are making progress or have achieved the desired outcome. Actionable means that you have to be able to "do" something to make it happen. Realistic is important. If you set a goal that you cannot possibly attain, it's a wish. Goals are realistic and then they build on each other. The last element is time-specific. You must set a deadline so you can determine if you are on track toward success. Learning to set SMART goals will make success become almost automatic.

4) Identify things or people who motivate you. The motivation can either be positive (you are happy when you think about achieving it) or negative (the thing or person makes you mad and you want to succeed to spite them). When your confidence is lacking, look to your motivators to keep you focused and on track. For instance, if you are feeling down and don't want to tackle that next project on your to-do list, reward yourself with a positive motivator when you complete your task.

5) Create a Plan for success. Your plan should include a written statement of your objectives, your timeline, your ultimate outcome, and what steps you need to take today to put the plan into action. As time goes on, your plan will change and you will be able to identify the next step. Don't be discouraged if you can't identify every step immediately. Just plan to go as far as you can and adjust along the way. Knowing "why" you want to achieve what you are aiming at is important. If it's in writing, you can limit "goal slippage" and keep yourself focused on what your objectives.

6) Review your Plan every day. Use visual reminders, index cards, posters, photos, -- whatever works for you. Keep it in front of you daily. Put a copy in your car, on the breakfast table, on the bathroom mirror -- anywhere you will be forced to look at it. Make reviewing your goals and your plans a habit as automatic as brushing your teeth every day. The more you review, the more you will be convinced that it can be achieved. Do something every day to move toward your goal. Small progress adds up to big results. If you can spend 5 to 10 minutes each day thinking about your next step, and then putting that step into action your goal will get closer and closer to reality.

7) Tell yourself you will succeed. Self-talk, self-affirmation works. Henry Ford was right: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." The size of the success is determined by the size of the belief. Don't dream small -- dream BIG. It's more fun that way, and you just might surprise yourself and make it.

8) Tell others of your plan. But caution: stay away from nay-sayers. If they are not supportive, do not look to them for support. Surround yourself with positive people and look for people who will support your goals. If you can recruit others to help you, so much the better. When a team of people all focus on one goal and everyone's success, it makes it much more likely to be achieved. Telling others makes you accountable. If your goals are secret and no one else knows whether you succeed or fail, you've lost all opportunity for peer pressure and community support. Peer pressure can be a wonderful motivator.

9) Envision the result and see the conclusion. Any time you feel worried or doubt that you can achieve what you have set out to do, turn it around and think of all you have to be grateful for. You are working toward a better life and you should be proud of yourself. Reaching for a goal, stretching yourself beyond where you are is growth. A person who is growing is becoming more of the person they were put on this earth to be.

10) Get started today. After all, when is the best time to set a goal? ... NOW! Procrastination will not create results. There will never be a "right" time, a "perfect" moment to change your life. There's no reason to wait because you never know what tomorrow brings. Every journey starts with one step, and your journey to success starts with deciding what you want to achieve and setting a path to get there. It doesn't take more brains, or more talent, or more money, or more anything. Everyone has within them the power and ability to achieve almost anything if they truly want it and believe in themselves. So don't sell yourself short. Just go for it.

Good luck and set those goals high. Success is within your reach. You just need to take action.
About the Author
Katryna Johnson is an attorney and small business consultant who is having success with many online affiliate programs. Check out her profit-making program at http://www.TJCashbox.com.
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