I’ve never been much for setting ‘official’ goals. Sure, I’d like to lose 20 pounds, make lots of money and travel to exotic locales but I’ve never put a good solid plan in place to make them a reality.
I sporadically try this or that and can make goals last for a while. I get all hyped-up and talk a good talk but I almost always let things gradually die out; a slow fizzle.
This is why, truthfully, I’ve never been one for making New Year’s Resolutions. Why bother?
Sometimes things I intend to accomplish never even get off the ground.
Why is that?
Does it happen to you too?
I’ve been learning a lot over the past year. I’ve been studying different methods to become successful. I’ve been reading and attending ‘no-fail’ webinars for tips and inspiration. And the one common message is:
You Have To Set Goals.
In order to achieve > the weight loss > the higher income > the dream vacation > you have to do something focussed and concrete to set you on the path to your desire.
You Have To Plan The Steps.
Ok, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So here are the questions I asked myself…
What do you REALLY want?
Why do you really want it?
How will you feel when you get it?
What difference will it make in your life when you achieve it?
Once you have the answer to those questions, then the real work begins.
Here is the ultimate, time-honoured, tested & proven-by-successful-people question to ask yourself now:
What steps do you need to take to get there?
One method I learned about is the SMART method.
- Specific – How exactly will you do it? Ask: Who, What, When, Where & Why questions.
- Measurable – How will you know if you get there? How many pounds/wk, clients/month?
- Attainable – Be practical and prioritize.
- Realistic – Consider your available time and skills. Can you make adjustments to allow for success?
- Time-bound – Break it down into manageable pieces: daily/weekly/monthly/annually
The SMART format discusses looking at all areas of your life:
Do each of the SMART goals for each area.
Prioritize and Begin
Baby steps can gain ground quickly and allow for multiple celebrations along the way, keeping you inspired. They also allow you to make adjustments to areas that aren’t working as well as you thought they would, leading to further and faster success!
Another method that can kick-start achievement is a 30-Day Challenge. For 30 days, challenge yourself to do just one goal. For me it was daily yoga and forgoing bread. (How do you think I fared? Find out here and here)
30-Day Challenges can be a great way to begin a habit, knock something off your bucket list, or cross something off the “I’ll Get To It One Day” list.
The Secret, The Law of Attraction, Faith in the Universe, whatever you want to call it, I believe it works.
You project your positive affirmations to the universe and if they are heartfelt and sincere, they will somehow present themselves to you; but that’s not all there is to it.
You can’t stop there!
Just wishing and hoping that something will happen is not enough. You have to take steps toward making it happen.
You can’t just say “I want my dream job” then sit on the couch flicking channels. You have to job hunt, improve your education, network, do what it takes to get there: see Method #1.
And if you are open to the signs, things will begin to present themselves to you in perhaps unexpected ways. You may not get the ultimate dream job right away but could this job be a step toward that dream? How can you make it happen?
Tip: Be specific!
The old adage “Be careful what you wish for” applies heavily with this method.
Another one: “Like Breeds Like” is especially true here so BE POSITIVE! If you say “I want to live in Paris and own a patisserie” but in the back of your mind you are saying “Ya, right. Like that will ever happen!”, well guess what will actually happen?
Have I tried any of these methods?
Yup. I challenged myself to set a New Year’s Resolution: to begin making sincere heartfelt, SMART goals. And I have been working hard to set the wheels in motion.
Does any of this stuff actually work?
You bet your sweet patootie it does!
I’m always amazed at how Method #3 presents itself. (I’ve actually been doing this method for a long time with simple things like “When I get to the store there will be a parking spot right out front” – it sounds silly but you’d be surprised how often that one works!)
For instance, last month I projected that I would get two new writing clients and Tada!; the second one arrived on the afternoon of the last day of the month! But neither of those clients would have appeared if I hadn’t deployed Method #1.
And we’ve all had the experience of thinking of someone and then they call or you run into them the next day.
Sometimes goals or events attained by method #3 are only apparent in hindsight and sometimes they’re standing right in front of you waiting for you to shake their hand.
As for Method #2: it’s the beginning of a new month; the perfect time to begin a 30-Day Challenge. For me, another 30 days of SMART goals and positive affirmations.
The bottom line: Whatever your goal is…
Believe In It!
ACT On It!
Celebrate the Milestones!
Repeat! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Do you set goals? What method do you use and does it work?