Around January 1st we all have a drive within us that compels us to reflect on the year that has passed and re-evaluate what we want to do and who we want to become in the coming year. For most people however, the goals we set on January 1st usually are forgotten by January 15th. Why is that? Why would we have a desire to do something but have things get in our way and frustrate our efforts to create the changes we want? It’s not because we are lazy or unmotivated or fickle as a pickle. It is for a reason that is actually quite simple and quite solvable.
You see, as we are moving towards our goals what happens is that a number of things tend to come up and can block us from achieving what we want. These blockers are; lack of faith in our ability to accomplish the goal, failure that we experience as we attempt to reach the goal, negative comments and beliefs from ourselves and friends and family, a feeling like we don’t have enough time and analysis paralysis. As we are stepping towards our goals, these blockers come up and if we don’t know how to jump over them and move past them, we can be stopped from accomplishing the goal.
So how do we jump over these goal blockers? Notice that I said how do we get past them, not how do we avoid them? That is because everyone in the whole world experiences these goal blockers to one degree or another. It is natural that they come up and to some degree even helpful. You see when we understand that they are going to come up and we learn how to overcome them, we develop a strength of character that is much greater than if we could have just easily done what we sought out to do in the first place.
So how we do we jump over these goal blockers?
To understand how we do this, we must first understand what a goal is and know how to set the goal in such a way that we are most likely to achieve it. There has been much said about goal setting and there is an acronym that is used frequently in goal setting. I love this acronym because there is a great deal of truth in it, however I have made one modification that is essential to really help us achieve our goals.
If we are missing this critical piece, we can miss the mark on what we want to achieve in this life. It is something that most goal setting gurus don’t talk about or explain but is critical to achieving success in any area of life. It is the one thing that helps us leap over all the things that hold us back from reaching our goals and allows us to move past our self doubt, lack of time and fear of failure to step towards the life we desire. I learned about this missing link at an event called Master Your Power Within. I wish I could share with you all the things I learned about setting goals but this information was covered over the course of several days. I will however share with you this one critical piece because if you use it, it will be incredibly valuable in helping you achieve success.
The missing link that rockets us forward towards our goals is applying a motivator to our small, consistent, daily steps towards our goals. This means that when we do our daily goal we get to do something we enjoy but if we don’t do our daily goal we miss out on something. This motivator must be powerful enough to drive us to take action.
Now that we understand how critical it is to have a motivator in place, what are all of the steps needed to set a clear goal that will help us to be successful in achieving it? It is to be smart about setting our goals. How do we be smart in goal setting? This is how…
Specific - We set a specific goal
Motivation - We set a reward if we do it and a consequence if we don’t Acountable - We set up a system to be accountable to doing our goal
Realistic - We make sure it’s a measurable goal that we are likely able to achieve
Timely - We set a deadline to complete the goal
Here is an example of using S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.
Specific - I will workout every weekday for half an hour
Motivation - If I do it, I can check my e-mail
If I don’t do it, I can’t check my email
Accountable - I will tell my husband if I worked out or not
Realistic - I will run on Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday and life weights on Monday and Thursday
Timely - I will do this type of workout for the next 30 days
PRINCIPLES IN ACTION
I was wanting to write a book but I had no time to actually sit down and write it. I am a busy mom with 2 toddlers, I own my own business and I work from home. I had intentions to write but never actually did it until I committed to writing my book for 15 minutes every morning at 6:30 am (see how I used SMART goals to set a consistent daily step towards my goals). Then I attached a motivator to it. If I wrote in my book for 15 minutes I could take a shower. If I did not write in my book for 15 minutes, I couldn't take a shower. I became more motivated than ever before to write in my book so I would avoid feeling gross! I remember one night at 10 pm frantically writing in my book for 15 minutes so I could finally have a shower!
Now that we understand what goals are, what can get in our way, how to set clear and specific goals, and how to put motivators in place to actually accomplish them, we are good to go right? Well almost. Now it is time for a little less conversation, a little more action (as Elvis would put it).
Specific - What is one specific goal you have this week?
Motivation - What reward will you get if you do it? What consequence will you get if you don’t do it?
Accountable - What will you do to be accountable to this goal?
Realistic - How is this goal realistic & measurable?
Timely - What specific time will you work on achieving this goal daily?
Now that you understand how to set and achieve goals, the ball is in your court. Either you can dismiss what I have said as something you have heard before, or you can take this message seriously and use this knowledge to propel you forward toward your dreams. It is within you to work towards and accomplish what you truly desire that is good and that you are willing to work for. So go ahead, take that first step. After all, that is how all things come to pass.
I promise that as you do this, you will be lifted and strengthened. You will receive help from the Creator and you will be able to achieve things you did not think were possible. You see, when we are in momentum, doing our best, and committed to being our best, the Creator helps us move forward.
Please comment below about the goals you have and your thoughts about this article. I would love to hear from you! What other topics would you like to know about that would help you to succeed in your goals?