Regardless of where you are in life right now, you can make it to achieve your goals this year. Even if it is December now, you can still do something to make real progress and make a difference in your life. If it is early of the year and you still have plenty of time to go about, this is your perfect chance to do the right things and put yourself on the right course to reach your goals this year.
Setting your goals is the easy part. The difficult part is in taking consistent action and achieving the results you want.
Most people fail in reaching their goals because they fail to follow through – they fail to stick to their plan – and then they doubt if goal setting is working.
I’m here to tell you that goal-setting works. But in order to make it work, you need to take the right action steps to produce the results you want.
You can’t just dream and talk about what you want. If you want something, you must do it. You must make the decision and take real action steps to realize your goals.
And below are the action steps you can take to help you achieve your goals this year:
1. Get a crystal-clear picture of what you want to achieve
First, be absolutely clear about what kind of results you want to get. No matter what goals you set in life, be it to lose weight, to earn more, or to achieve better sales result for your company, you must be clear with the end result you desire.
Successful people are able to create extraordinary success because they are clear with the results that they want. When you know exactly what you want to achieve, only then you can set everything right from the beginning to accomplish it.
For instance, if you have no idea what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, you will become reactive and go wherever your circumstances bring you.
It is like driving without a clear direction. So where will you get to if you don’t have a clear destination? Anywhere will do.
Never allow this to happen. If you are serious about achieving your goals this year, apply the SMARTER goal system:
S – Specific
Be as specific as possible. Stop being vague because a vague goal will produce a vague result. Don’t just say that you want to be happy or earn more or lose weight, be specific with the results that you want.
M – Measurable
Are your goals measurable? If they are not measurable, they are not being specific enough. Include numbers to your goals so that you can tell if you are moving forward or backward from your daily actions.
A – Actionable
Are your goals actionable? Can you act on your goals? If your goals are not actionable, then you can’t do something about it. And if you can’t execute your goals, they are not specific.
R – Risky
Set a risky goal and not an incremental goal. You want your goals to stretch you as you move along. A goal that is not risky or challenging enough will not grow you.
T – Time frame
Remember to include a deadline or a time frame to your goals.
E – Exciting
Are your goals exciting? This is where most people get it wrong. They set a goal that is not exciting. They don’t look forward to achieving the goals and that is why they fail to follow through and take the necessary actions.
R – Relevant
Finally, your goals must be relevant to your seasons of life and values. If your goals are not relevant to your life and value, you will never bother to want to take action to make them come true.
If you want to learn more about goal setting and how to achieve your goals, I strongly suggest you take my course, Goal Setting Formula.
2. Write it down and then create a strategy plan
The next action step you need to do to achieve your goals is to write them down and create a strategic plan of execution.
You can’t leave things up to chance, you need to be proactive and make things happen rather than waiting for things to happen.
Now, be honest and ask yourself these:
- Do you write down your goals?
- Do you know what you need to do to achieve your goals?
If you don’t, now it is time for you to sit down and craft your game plan. It is sad to see that people spend time planning for their vacations and trips, but they don’t spend time to think about their future and their goals.
Most people only think and plan their goals once, and that is before the new year.
If this is happening to you, you’re setting yourself up to living a mediocre life.
You have to understand that success is not an accident. You can’t be successful if you’re not thinking, planning, and working toward it.
The only way you can produce the result you want and to live your dreams is to consciously work for it. And to do so, you need to have a plan. Remember this quote:
“Make time for planning. Wars are won in the general’s tent.”
Hence, create your plan right now. Start with your long-term goals, and then break them into smaller goals like a 3-month goal or 30-day goal. And then from there, you develop your action strategy. Write down all the necessary action steps you need to take to produce the results so that you will reach your goals.
If you want more help, you can check out the action plan template from my previous post. You can also download the template I used from there.
3. Apply the “Big 5” Technique every day
I learned this technique from the book, Success Principles, written by Jack Canfield. In the book, he mentioned:
“If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”
And that is so true. No matter what goals you have, as long as you are taking 5 small actions each day, you will eventually get there.
Imagine if you take just 5 small actions every day, in a week, you will have 35 small victories. And in a month, you will 150 small victories. And in a year, you will have 1,825 small victories!
Can you imagine how these 1,825 small victories can impact your life?
Thus, the answer is obvious. Commit yourself into taking 5 action steps every day. No matter how big or how small it is, you just need to commit yourself to take 5 little actions.
It can be to make calls to 5 clients, to email 5 customers, to speak to 5 potential prospects, to exercise for just 5 minutes, to do 5 reps, etc. Whatever you do, make sure you do 5 little things every day.
Within a year, you will have 1,825 victories that will astound you.
4. Deliberately build your skills
Another thing you need to do to improve your chances of achieving your goals this year is to deliberately work on improving your skills.
You see, you cannot become someone successful by being who you are. Who you are right now will only get you what you get right now. And in order to create a breakthrough, you need to become someone else.
In short, you need growth. Without growth, you will stay stagnant and be where you are, forever.
This is why learning and improving are important. If you don’t strive to improve, you will remain who you are.
So, how do you improve your skills then? Deliberately practice skills that will help you reach your goals. Improve your knowledge in your industry so that you can keep yourself updated and never become obsolete.
For example, I’m a content marketer in the personal development industry, in order for me to become better, I’m committed to reading every day. And on average, I read a book a week. Besides, I also attend internet marketing seminars or personal development workshops to sharpen my skills and knowledge in the industry.
If I don’t consciously improve myself, do you think I’m able to keep myself driven to consistently produce quality content on this blog? Not likely.
Here’s what you can do. Strive for constant improvement and be specific with the skills and knowledge you want to improve.
If you want to build a blog, don’t sign up for a guitar course. What I’m saying is that you need to build skills and knowledge in the area that is relevant to your goals.
5. Measure and track your progress
Next, you must measure and track your progress. I have seen this over and over again, people just don’t track their progress. They thought that once they identify their goals, then they’re done. Heck, they don’t even write down their goals.
Don’t let this happen to you. You must track and measure your progress at least once a week.
When you do this, you keep yourself on track. You don’t just consciously remind yourself of your goals, but you also measuring if your actions are producing the results you want.
It’s like losing weight. The only way to know if you are losing the additional fat is to measure it. And if you don’t measure your weight, how can you tell if you have hit your goal or if you are making progress? You can’t.
Create a Scoreboard
What you can do is to create a scoreboard to measure your progress. Like in sports, you have a scoreboard to tell the player’s and the match’s progress. Take a glance at the scoreboard and you can tell if your team is winning or losing.
Read this article and learn how to build your own scoreboard now:
6. Commit to being consistent
If you want to achieve your goals this year, you need to be consistent. It really doesn’t matter if your goal is 3 months away or 9 months from now. You just need to be consistent.
There is no point to work hard and take massive action for one week and then stop taking action for the rest of the month. It is not going to work.
If you want to see results, you must commit to consistency. A lot of people get it wrong to think that to be successful, they need to work extremely hard. No, it is better to be consistent than to be working hard for a short moment and stop doing things.
Just like getting fit, you can’t work out 20 hours straight in the gym and then rest for a month. You will not get fit that way.
Instead, try to be consistent. Just exercise for 30 minutes every day. And if you can maintain the habit for 2 or 3 months, you will start to see the results. You will notice your body becomes firmer, your strengths developed, and ultimately, when you look at the mirror, a slimmer and fitter body.
This is why the Big 5 Technique works. Hence, be consistent in developing the habits. Take action consistently every day.
7. Stop starting and start finishing
A lot of people start a new project or a new goal when they don’t see the results they want, don’t let them be you.
Instead of adopting the mindset of starting something new, adopt the mindset of a finisher. Finish and complete what you started.
Most people jump from one goal to another; from one project to another; and from one opportunity to the next whenever they don’t see any significant results. They’re being too impatient.
You have to learn to be patient and let time work on its magic.
Too many people set a yearly goal, but after a month or two down the road, they have abandoned the goal and start another one.
You must learn to be more determined with what you want. Don’t just do something for a while and then when things don’t work out, or when things becoming hard, you choose to give up and jump ship.
Stick to your goals and plans until the end. Read this article here and learn how to keep your momentum going.
8. Get the help and support you need
You just have to accept it that you don’t have everything you need, and you need help and support to be successful in life.
No man is an island. There are times when you needed help and you need to know where to find it.
When you are on your journey to achieving your goals, there will be times when you doubt yourself, when you feel a disconnect from your goals and feel like no motivation at all, and there are also tough times when you want to give up.
These are the times when you need to seek help. This is why even professional athletes have mentors and coaches. They understand the importance of having someone to guide them and they know if they have the support they needed, they can grow to a higher level.
The same applies to you. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who can help you to reach your goals?
- Who are the people who have accomplished what you want?
- Who can you learn from improving your skills and knowledge?
Seek their support and help. Trust me, it is extremely difficult to achieve success all by yourself. You need to have a lot of determination and willpower to go through hard times by yourself.
Plus, when you have someone to share the load, the stress, and the challenges, things become easier. So, go and get the help you need.
9. Challenge yourself for explosive growth
Sometimes you just need to challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. You need to have times when you take massive action for explosive growth.
Don’t get me wrong, you still need to be consistent, but once at least once a week, work to produce explosive progress to reach your goals.
Let me give you an example here. If you want to lose weight, you can opt to jog for just 30 minutes a day. So every day, you jog and run for 30 minutes. And once a week, take massive action and exercise explosively.
You want to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone for growth. You don’t want to keep yourself too comfortable because when that happens, you will lose your drive and interest with your goals.
Remember this quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.”
You have to go through more and deliver the extra if you want to grow. Therefore, from time to time – I suggest once a week – do something go beyond and do the extra that challenges your mental strength to go further.
That’s the secret of how successful people are able to produce outstanding success in their lives. They consistently challenge themselves to grow beyond their comfort zone and to do the difficult things.
This article from ThoughtCatalog.com gives you some great ideas on how to challenge yourself daily to lead a more fulfilling life. You should check it out.
10. Reflect and evaluate
Finally, to achieve your goals this year, you must reflect and evaluate your results. You can’t just take action blindly without evaluating your progress.
The last thing you want is to work hard on the wrong goals. If you’re in the wrong direction, running faster will only lead you to the wrong destination faster.
Obviously, you don’t want that to happen. So once a month or once every quarter, take time to reflect on the areas of life that truly matter to you, like your career, finance, and relationships, etc.
If you don’t spend time thinking and reflecting, you may not know if you what you do are what you truly desire. You want to climb the ladder of success, but just make sure the ladder leans on the RIGHT wall.
You should read this article from PositivePsychology.com. The article shares 87 questions you can ask yourself for reflection and also provides some exercises to improve the effectiveness of it.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.”
I don’t know how far away you are from your goals or how much time you have left to hit your targets, but I do know that it is still not too late to make a difference if you start implementing these 10 actions steps above.
Even if you fail to achieve your goals in the end, don’t fret because you can always start again with better experience and skills. Hence, use these 10 steps to become more effective and efficient in what you do.
So, where are you right now from your goals? Are you going to do something to hit your goals or are you going to let them slip? My friend, I have provided you some sound advice here, but what you do with it is your choice.