You may or may not have a set of written goals. If you do not, then I strongly urge you to make a written set of goals and clarify what you want to achieve. Whatever the case, you may be struggling with achieving your goals in life. In this article, you will learn some techniques for achieving your goals.
Think of a time in your life when you achieved something you really wanted. Did you doubt it would happen and believe that you could not achieve it? Or did you have a solid sense of knowing that it would happen and doubt never entered your mind?
It was the second, wasn’t it?
When Richard Branson set up Virgin Airways, did he sit in his office and wonder if it would ever work? Did Bill Gates sit in his office wondering if anyone would want to buy his Windows product? They may have done for a little while, but they did not let these doubts rule them. They knew their plans would work and that they would be successful.
When working to achieve your goals, you need that unerring sense of confidence and lack of doubt in yourself. You must know it is going to happen and that you will succeed. We are not talking about thinking you will succeed, believing you will succeed, or knowing you will achieve your goal. They are all intellectual forms of Knowing, Knowing with a capital K; that solid feeling in the pit of your stomach that you will make happen and you cannot fail. Expect it to happen and know there is no other way. It will happen. This Knowing gives you drive and commitment to see you through to the success of your goal.
But how do you get this feeling? One of the best and most effective techniques is visualization.
You currently use the power of visualization, probably without even realizing it. Have you ever run through what you are going to say to someone before you have the conversation? Or seen yourself in your mind giving a presentation before you give it?
That is the power of visualization, and it is very potent. You can use it not only for your goals but for any aspect of your life. Visualization is something most people are unused to directing. You will find initially that your attention will wander, but you have to pull it back to the task at hand. It is similar to building up a muscle through exercise – it takes time to strengthen it.
The exercise for visualizing your goals is very simple and is as follows.
- Select the goal that you wish to work with
- Picture an image of this goal in your mind
- Visualize yourself attaining your goal. Use all of your senses – touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste. Really feel your success with every fiber of your being and Know that your goal is as good as achieved.
- Hold this image in your mind for a minimum of 10 minutes – remain focused and positive. Challenge any doubts that rise and replace them with positive words and images of success. If you get distracted or your mind wanders, bring your focus back to your goal.
You can also hold this successful image in your mind as you go about your day-to-day business. Keep the image there and focus on your success. You get what you focus on – and if you focus on achieving your goal, then you will get it. Visualization is a method of programming the subconscious mind for success.
With some goals, you may want to keep them private. If you are trying to get fit and your friends know you have been less than energetic in the past when you tell them your goal, they will laugh and joke and not believe you. This doubt and disbelief can affect your belief in yourself and in your goal, which in turn can lead to failure to achieve the goal.
It is hard enough to overcome our own doubts and worries without having to also overcome those of the people around you. Keep any goals where you may be influenced by others to yourself and let the people around you see the successful end result.
Another method for achieving your goals is to use affirmations, which means you repeat your goal again and again to yourself. This is another method of programming your subconscious mind, which is the source of all action.
An affirmation is a sentence or two that is written in positive language with definite targets and timescales. A bad affirmation would be “I want to lose some weight.” Your subconscious looks at this and since there is no timescale it will not leap into action. There is also no definite target so your subconscious does not know what to aim for. How is “some weight” defined? It is 10 pounds, but also 1 pound and also just 1 ounce.
A good affirmation is “I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of this year.” This sends the right messages to your subconscious. It knows exactly how much you have to lose (10 pounds) and when this must be done by (the end of this year). You know precisely what you have to do and when it has to be done by.
If the goal is to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year, we need an action plan to get us to this goal and to make it happen. In this case, the action plan may be to reduce our chocolate intake and increase the number of fruits and vegetables we consume. The action plan is made up of a series of milestones. For example, if there are 5 months until the end of the year then our milestone would be to lose 2 pounds each month.
You may have a big goal such as “To have an income in excess of $100,000 a year by the time I am 35” (notice the goal is specific in both the timescale and the amount and does not put an upper limit on your earning potential.)
This goal can be very daunting to look at, perhaps even enough for you to give up and not strive to achieve it. To overcome this, you break your goal down into a number of smaller, more manageable steps.
Any large goal can be broken down into a number of sub-goals, which can then be broken down even further if necessary. Each of the sub-goals has an associated action plan with it. Using our income goal from above, sub-goals could be to understand taxation, to understand the investment, to start your own company, and so on.
Smaller goals are easier for you to handle, and help you to stay on course to your main goal. You also get the satisfaction of regularly having successes and achieving goals, which does wonders for your belief in yourself.
All of your major goals and their associated sub-goals and action plans need to be regularly reviewed – ideally daily. This ensures you remain focused on your goals and instantly know if you start to drift away from your target. It allows you to adjust your goals and action plan according to whether things are working quicker or slower than planned. It also prevents you from repeating actions and carrying out tasks that are not necessary. It keeps the goals in the forefront of your mind and does not allow you to forget about them.
Achieving our goals is something we all want to do, but it involves work. Rarely will they be given to us on a silver platter by a servant on bended knee. Achievement requires Knowing, drive, and commitment, combined with careful and meticulous planning and a firm belief in ourselves. With unwavering belief and commitment, there is nothing that you cannot achieve. Everything and anything is within your grasp – if you are willing to make the commitment to achieving it.