One of the primary reasons that people struggle to become successful is because they don’t have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. They probably have vague ideas of the benefits they would like to enjoy, but no solid goal setting strategy for getting there.
This kind of scenario will often lead to jumping around from one idea to another, but never really committing to any of them. When results don’t come quickly, it’s easy to lose interest and move on to something that might bring faster success with less effort.
Has this been your experience?
In these cases, the problem is rarely that success is unattainable. Most of the time the problem has to do with clarity. If we don’t have a clear enough vision of exactly what we want to accomplish, it is impossible to design a viable goal setting strategy for turning our vision into a reality.
We start with clarity because if we don’t know exactly where we want to go, we’ll never figure out how to get there. The reliability of the strategy is directly related to the clarity of the vision! So the first step toward successful goal setting is always to identify precisely what you want to accomplish. This principle applies to any endeavor in life. The clearer we are the shorter the journey.
Planning for goal setting success
Below you’ll find a simple 5-step process to help you develop a clear vision and put it into action:
1) Know exactly what you want to accomplish and why. Rather than just thinking about the perks and benefits that your success will bring, focus on identifying the reasons you want to accomplish this particular goal. Why is this goal setting endeavor so important to you and how will it add value to your life? How will this accomplishment affect or contribute to the lives of others and especially those closest to you? What are your deeper motives?
2) Have an approximate timeline for completion. Realistically, how long should it take for your objective to be completed? Barring any unexpected delays, have a general idea of when you should reach your goal. This is important because it adds clarity to your vision. Your mind will adjust your goal setting strategy and the corresponding actions you take to the timeline you establish. Very often things take as long we allow them to take, so having a tentative timeline adds structure to our goal setting strategy.
3) Have a list of clear action steps. Besides knowing exactly what you want to achieve, understanding the steps involved is absolutely vital. Think about the end result you want to create, and then consider exactly what you will need to do in order to get there from where you are right now. Write each step in order, and make a note of any obstacles you are likely to face along the way. Now, give some forethought to how you will overcome those obstacles so you won’t get caught off guard.
4) Have a solid plan for putting those steps into action. Is there a clear progression that needs to be followed for your goal setting strategy to work? If a delay comes up, will it require that you change the order of your action steps? You can’t plan for every possibility, but having a plan B will add flexibility to your strategy and help you stay within your timeline. Once you start, make sure you put your plans into action, and keep them in action.
5) Finally, re-evaluate and adjust as necessary. Once you are moving forward toward your vision, it’s important to avoid unnecessary detours and delays. To do this you will need to evaluate your progress and make any needed adjustments. Expect circumstances to change because they will. That’s why you need the ability to respond accordingly if you want to experience goal setting success.
Plan to succeed
This may sound like a lot of work, and perhaps that explains why success continues to elude so many. We all know the old quote: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Goal setting success in any area of life rarely happens by accident. Those who understand and implement the process correctly are the ones that succeed. In my Breakthrough Strategy Coaching practice, these are among the most common issues that hold people back.
How about you? Maybe you want to lose some weight or get in better shape. Perhaps you want to create a new business or take your career to the next level. In a relationship, both people can go through this process together with the goal of adding greater value to their partnership. If you have been chasing success in any area of your life, I encourage you to put more thought into the five goal setting steps listed above. If you do, you’ll likely find yourself on the fast track to success like never before!
Do you have a goal setting success story to share? How about a favorite strategy for achieving your goals?
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