There is lot’s of advice out there about the importance of goal setting, and having clarity on where you are going both at work and in your home life. However, we all know from experience especially around New Years Resolutions that setting a goal and turning it into a reality are two very different things.
So How do you turn your goals into reality?
The idea of this article is to provide you with my favourite top tips and questions you can ask yourself to help find out if this is a goal that you really want to achieve both consciously and sub-consciously. Because if you arent 100% aligned with the goal, passionate about, committed to it, and envisioning success then it’s going to be hard.
1. First, what is it that you really want? Create a really clear picture in your head of what it is.
Take a few moments to picture in your head what success will look like.
How will you feel, what will you be able to see and hear? Who will be with you?
The clearer you can make this vision in the head the nearer you are to the finish line.
Many successful high performers spend time each day building upon this picture of their future. They will create a higher self that has already achieved the goal, and think about how that person will think, feel and act. So that they can step into their shoes.
In fact, once you have a picture of your future self, you can go ahead and name them, turn them into your own personal guide. Then whenever you are in a situation and aren’t sure what the right action/decision is, you can ask your future higher self -‘what would they do/say?’
This simple exercise has helped many of my clients to live more positively, more congruently and more productively.
2. Find your Reason!
For you to achieve your goal you need to be emotionally attached to it. The difference between a dream and an achievable goal lies primarily in your commitment to take intentional action. This commitment comes from passion and persistence. If you aren’t emotionally attached to the goal, If you don’t have an overwhelming reason for achieving it, then when times get tough you are more likely to give up.
For example “I want to lose weight” – this statement in itself is a wish not a goal.
You can strengthen it by making it “I need to lose weight” but this still isn’t enough.
In order to turn it into something you “will” do there needs to a reason. This is where SMART Goals come in. Ones that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and have a Time constraint. I like to add in an extra category which is thinking about a third party, a close friend, a relative who will benefit or be disadvantaged if you don’t succeed. Often we are more motivated by helping others than ourselves.
“I will lose at least 2 stones in weight in the next 12 months, because if I don’t my diabetes will get worse and I won’t be able to play with my grandchildren”
Now it is specific, measurable and realistic. There is both a health reason and a third party who is going to suffer if you don’t follow through.
3. The Next Important Step is the Process
Achieving a goal is about what you need to do along the way, and also what you need to stop doing.
Many people set a lofty goal, start out at a sprint with unrealistic immediate changes to their lifestyles and then give up when it becomes too hard.
The 1% rule tells us that the key to success is to build small changes on top of each other in a measurable way. If every day there is one small thing that you can do to further yourself towards the goal, then every night you have a high chance of being able to go to bed congratulating yourself on making progress.
Perceived progress no matter how small is what keeps us going day after day.
Start now, make a list of potential new habits, and habits you need to stop doing.
For each habit you want to stop doing, find a replacement. It is well documented that substitution is much easier than just stopping doing something. Now create yourself some “If,… , Then…” statements
Example “If I find myself looking at facebook then ….. I will put my phone in another room or put it in flight mode so that I can concentrate on the task at hand”
or “If I have a craving for… chocolate… I will instead eat a carrot”
Map out the process into small steps. Create Rules. Measure and Celebrate Success.
4. Finally Persistence
Persistence is everything. No successful person has ever gotten there without some bumps in the road. There will always be a roadblock along the way. How you deal with that roadblock is the key to success.
Cast your mind back to learning to drive. The complication of gears, mirrors, signals, steering, watching other road users initially felt overwhelming. Your brain went into overload with too many tasks to do at once. There was undoubtedly a time when it didn’t quite go according to plan. That near miss when your instructor had to grab the wheel, or perhaps stalling at a traffic light. Whatever it was for you, Did you?
A. Stop the car, get out, walk home and never try again?
Or B. Stop, take a moment to breathe, tell yourself it was just one incident and you need to learn to drive, and then carry on?
Hopefully it was B.
When you are struggling to keep to your commitments, remind yourself of your reason, congratulate yourself on how far you have come, and all that you have achieved so far. Then make a decision to start again. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Ideally straight away.
The sooner you re-start the habits / processes / 1% rule the more likely you will be to succeed.
You’re human. Get over it, and Get back to it!
As promised, here is a link to download a FREE gift to help you on your way. It is a pdf of the infographic with a summary of these easy steps.
Thank you for checking out this post, I hope you found it useful.
Enjoy the Journey,