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Secrets for Achieving Goals

Updated on April 1, 2014

Introduction

It goes without saying that everyone has goals with varying degrees of ambition. Goals generally fall into two main categories; personal and professional. Personal goals could be anything from losing weight to making sure you tell your spouse you love them on a daily basis, but sometimes can be as simple as cleaning the kitchen today. Professional goals usually have something to do with advancing your career, completing a project, or even getting a job. I do think that many goals can have a place in both categories, especially when they have a financial aspect related to them. For example: I want to complete a project, so I can get a raise, and move my family to nicer neighborhood. While the end goal is a personal goal, the two goals that were required to achieve it were professional. Regardless of what your goals are, it takes more than just having goals to achieve them. In this article I intend to give you some tips and tricks that have helped me achieve mine over the years. You may have heard some of these ideas before, but the most effective and powerful one is brand new

Mapping out goals

Mapping out your goals and what it takes to achieve them can help you, but don't stop there
Mapping out your goals and what it takes to achieve them can help you, but don't stop there | Source

Understanding what you want:

The most important part to goal setting is; understanding what you want. If a goal is more complex you might have to spend some time thinking about it and mapping it out. If you pursue vague goals you will get vague results, so it is essential that you quantify and understand what the goal is. “I want to lose weight” is a poorly formed goal but “I want to lose 10 pounds” gives you a clear understanding of when you have achieved your goal, and also gives you the ability create a plan to do it. “I want to make more money” is also a poorly formed goal but I want to make $100,000 per year even though I currently make $50,000 now” allows you to create a plan and even a projection of when you will achieve your goal.

When you understand what you want and have quantified it you can then create an achievement plan with milestones. If you want to increase your pay from $50,000 to $100,000 you could look at your current job and see that you can get a raise of up to 10% per year based on performance and if you know how to max out your metrics you can achieve your goal in 8 years. If 8 years is too long to wait you can then begin to research how else you can get there. Should you change jobs? Can you get promoted and reach your goal faster? If so, what would that take? Can you augment your earnings at work with a side business? The point I am trying to make, is that if you can quantify your goal, you can strategize a possible timeline for completing it. This is critical if you want to be able to use any of the following tips and tricks.

Creating a vision board and posting it helps many people visualize their goals.
Creating a vision board and posting it helps many people visualize their goals. | Source

"Pulling out a notebook and scribbling down your goals isn’t enough"

Write your goals down:

I hope this isn’t the first time you have heard of doing this, but it is certainly possible that you haven’t been taught how to do it properly. Pulling out a notebook and scribbling down your goals isn’t enough, even if you have very well formed goals and plans for reaching them. Your goals need to be posted in places where you look all of the time and you need to be able to interact with them regularly. What I mean by this, is that if you post them at your desk or on your bathroom mirror you are more likely to be reminded daily of what you actually want and how you plan to get there. If your goal has multiple parts to it, you can write it down in a way that you can check each part off as you go. I once set a goal to sell 58 licenses of a particular software product during the fiscal year. It was a very ambitious goal, but I posted it on my desk with 58 check boxes going all the way down the page and split into quarters of the year. Every time I sold a license I would check a box and my progress. This kept me interacting with my goal and kept it in front of me every day. It is easy to forget about your goal or lose track of your progress if you don’t do this. If you can post your goals in multiple places even better.

Goal Tracker

Excel is an easy way to create printable checklists to track your goals. This is an example of one that helped me.
Excel is an easy way to create printable checklists to track your goals. This is an example of one that helped me.

Use technology to help you with your goals:

There are so many tools out there you can use to help you track and achieve your goals. A recent search of “goal setting” in the app store for iPhone brought up 72 results with prices varying from free to a couple dollars and subjects ranging from losing weight, to being more productive, to general goal setting. Even without any special apps, your smart phone and computer can be great at helping you reach your goals. Just setting a daily reminder on your calendar to focus on what you want will help motivate you towards your goals. Once you know what your goals are you should begin thinking about how you can use technology help you set your goals, keep you involved with them, and finally complete them.

Your mobile phone wants to help you with your goals

There are plenty of apps that can help you from, track, and complete your goals,  Use technology to your advantage.
There are plenty of apps that can help you from, track, and complete your goals, Use technology to your advantage. | Source

Pick one goal:

This is a technique that I thought up myself, so you probably won’t see it anywhere else. I know I haven’t. Pick one goal that is more important than all the others and at least relatively long term. Use it as a password for things you log into all the time. What I really like about this trick is that it forces you to simplify your complex, quantified, and timelined goals that you already have written down and mapped out. They become one word, often with at least one capital, one number, and one symbol that reminds you of all of the plans you have laid out. Don’t let your browser auto fill your passwords for you, so you can type them in every time yourself and be reminded of what you are going to accomplish. This has been the single most helpful goal-setting trick I have ever used and if I had to pick one trick to help me reach my goals this would be it. The only downside is that, from what I hear, it is not the greatest way to manage passwords for Internet security. I guess you could come up with a different version of it for each password you need but I don’t know anyone that can keep track of that many passwords.

Now go set your goals and get everything you want out of life!

be truthful

Have you heard of using your passwords to remind you of your goals?

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