Each year many people set themselves New Year’s resolutions or goals. Many of these will be broken before the end of the holiday weekend. By the end of the first week they will be quietly forgotten about.
Maybe in the past you decided to quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle, or maybe start a business and quit the rat race, but something happened that threw you off course and you went back to your old habits. Sure, you felt bad about it for a while, but rationalised it by the fact that if X or Y hadn’t happened then you’d have achieved your goal. Sound familiar?
If you’re serious about achieving your resolutions or goals this year, then here are 6 steps which will help you on your way, so this time next year, you’ll be celebrating sucess and looking forward to achieving new goals rather than adding back to the ‘to do list’ the ones that you failed to achieve this year.
1. Be Specific
Most people fail from the word go, by not saying exactly what they want to achieve. Instead they have a vague idea of what they hope to achieve, but that’s about it.
What exactly do you want to achieve and why do you want to do it? Are you really wanting to stop smoking or do you just feel that you should? Same with loosing weight, do you really want to go on a diet? If you don’t want something badly enough, then you won’t achieve it. So, the more specific you can be, then the more likely that you can describe something that you actually want to do.
2. Write it Down
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, write it down.Writing something down is your commitment to the goal or resolution.
What exactly are you going to do, by when and how are you going to do it?
Once you’ve written your goal down and how you’re going to do it, put it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis – for example on your desk, your screensaver/wallpaper, pin or stick it on your wall, your bathroom mirror or your wallet.
Don’t write it down then put it in a file or a drawer and forget about it.
3. Picture It
Once you’ve decided that you’re really up for achieving the goal and what you’re going to do, close your eyes and take some time to think about what the successful achievement of your goal or resolution looks like. How does it look, where will you be, what will be next to it, on top of it or around it?
Once you have a clear picture in your mind about what success looks like, write this down too. Regularly read it out aloud to yourself to remind you what you’re trying to achieve and how you know you will have achieved it.
Then brainstorm some ideas about how will you have achieved your goal/resolution – will you need any help to achieve it?
4. Power Team
Once you’ve pictured you’re goal, think about who can help you achieve your it. Maybe it’s someone who has specialised advice, maybe it’s your other half to give you moral support. Maybe it’s a successful person who could mentor you? Maybe it’s your doctor?
When you’ve got a list of people in your mind who can help you with your goal, contact each of them and tell them about your goal and what you’re going to achieve. Explain what you’d like from them and ask them if they will help you achieve it. You’ll be surprised at how many people will say yes, especially if they can see it means a lot to you.
Which is why it’s really important that you are specific about your goal and how you’re going to achieve it. If you’re excited about your goals, then so will other people. If you aren’t serious, others will see that and won’t want to waste their time in helping you out.
Once you’ve got your power team together, regularly update them on your progress and explain any problems or barriers you are experiencing – don’t be affraid to ask for help.
Because you’ve created a detailed picture in your mind about how you’re going to achieve your goals you can start to plan what you will need to do to complete the goal. As Stephen Covey said in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Start with the End in Mind.
Think about what you’re trying to achieve then figure out what the step prior to achieving success is. Work backwards until you get to the very first task you need to do to start you on your path to achieving your goal.
Then to achieve your goal it is simply a process of working forward through each of these steps until you achieve success. The benefit of this approach is because you’re starting with the outcome (your successful achievement of your goal) you’re ensuring that each step takes you forward towards your goal.
So for example, if your goal is to set up a business online by the end of 2011, maybe success is making your first sale, to achieve that you will have had to had a product to sell, to have achieved that, you will have needed to create or find a product , before that you will have had to do research in your chosen market etc…etc. I’m sure you get the idea.
Once you’ve got a plan in place, the easiest and yet the most difficult thing to do is take action. But with the first step laid out for you this is so much easier. As the ancient Chinese Philosopher Confucius said:
A Journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.
Now, what’s holding you back to achieving success in 2011?
To help you achieve your goals we created a step by step workbook which helps you figure out what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get there, plus a handy goal tracker to measure your progress. You can read more about our workbook – Achieving Your Dreams The Tomato Way here.