In today’s post I’d like to talk to you about how to set and achieve challenging goals without setting yourself out for failure.
Although it may never feel like the perfect time to start making strides towards achieving your goals, in reality the only perfect time is now.
We all have big goals in life and some of them may seem out of reach at times, but nothing is impossible if you have the right plan.
Having an effective strategy to help you achieve challenging goals can be the most important key to your success. So to help you overcome any obstacle I’ve put together my best practices for how to reach challenging goals, wherever you happen to be in life right now.
1. First it’s important to focus your goals on S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.
Not all goals are created equal and it takes a strategic and SMART approach to reaching challenging goal. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bounded.
Specifically for challenging goals the word achievable is incredibly important. While it’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone, if your goal is not achievable from the start you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If you fear your goal has a high probability of failure perhaps it is simply too aspirational; it’s too big, which brings me to my next tip.
2. Break your goal down into manageable tasks what we call bite size tasks. This helps you to keep your goals in motion and achieve them one small step at a time. Do you know the old question, “How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time!” It’s the same with big goals.
Remember, each step you take brings you that much closer to reaching your goals and, by the way, each step you take motivates you to take the next step so while they may not seem monumental in the moment, all of these daily tasks add up to incredible accomplishments.
3. Similarly, my third tip for reaching challenging goals is to set specific milestones to keep you motivated in any situation, whether it’s hunting for a new job or hitting a new financial goal by creating and celebrating milestones. Along the way when you check a task off your to-do list, no matter how small that task may be it is a victory that pushes you one step closer to your goals.
To celebrate your small successes along the way you can do many things: you could be taking time off for yourself, you spend extra time with loved ones or it may mean to simply reflect on your latest achievement. These moments of reflection on your hard work help you to remember your why, your big picture plan.
4. The fourth practice is also my personal favourite tip, which is to eat that frog! Mark Twain said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the whole day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that’s going to happen to you all day long. Your personal frog is your biggest, hardest and most important task of the day.
You must develop the habit or the routine of eating your personal frog before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it. When using the eat-that-frog strategy, make a list the night before of all the tasks you need to do the next day once you begin the hardest task of the day. Work steadily and single-mindedly until it is 100 complete. Next, implement the 80/20 rule, also known as the pareto principle which can be applied to ANY goal. This rule states that 20% (twenty percent) of your activities will usually account for eighty percent of your results in almost any area.
When you break down the 80 20 rule you’ll find that two out of ten items, or a general to-do list, will turn out to be worth more than the other 8 items put together! Understanding this principle allows you to prioritise what tasks will achieve the greatest result in the shortest amount of time.
5. And finally, start achieving your goals now! The truth is it may never feel like the perfect time to start making strides towards achieving your goals. Yet, in reality the only perfect time is now, not tomorrow and not someday, but NOW!
I love to hear from you on this subject and so my question today is: “How can you implement these strategies to achieve your goals?” Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to follow up with you. And remember if you want to change your future take action AND TAKE ACTION NOW!
If you feel this was valuable in teaching you about how to reach challenging goals, subscribe to Bitesize English and share this with your friends and colleagues. Don’t forget to click the button on the screen for a free gift that will help you in your GOAL SETTING!