Everyone has certain goals they want to reach. It might be weight loss or finances in your personal life, or specific business growth goals in your career. Regardless of what milestones you want to achieve, you won’t get there if all you have is the end result in mind.
Setting goals are just one part of the equation. Knowing how to get there is the piece of the puzzle that so many people leave out, which leads them to flounder, procrastinate and veer off course until one day they realize they’re completely off base and have wasted a lot of time and effort.
There are four easy steps you can take to ensure your goals are met. It’s a process that allows you to map out where you want to be and take steps to get there with ease.
Step 1 – Know your end result
In order to know what steps you need to take, you have to know how you’d like your journey to end. This is your outcome or end result. You have to be able to concretely define what you want that result to be.
This is the bottom line of everything that you’re attempting to do. Many people aim for something without ever knowing what they want the end result to be. The problem with not knowing your end goal is that you won’t realize it once you’ve reached it – if you even reach it at all.
Let’s say that you take up running for the exercise. Your end result could be to lose weight or get in better shape. Now let’s say that you set a more specific goal to take up running because you want to run a marathon that’s happening in the future.
Your end result changed from a generic goal of losing weight and getting in better shape to the end result of competing in the marathon, which has a specific length and is on a specific timetable.
Only you will be able to determine your end goal. It might be to finish college, grow your business by $50,000 in the coming year, lose 25 pounds, and so on. Have a large, verifiable goal to reach.
Knowing the end result is imperative for whatever it is that you want in life. You need to know this to be able to work your process. This might mean that you figure out different end results for different areas of your life.
What would make you happier, specifically? Visualize that end goal that you want. For now, don’t worry about timing. You can work on that as you develop your specific goal setting strategy.
Step 2 – Mini goals vs. long-term goals
Goals are something that can be used to improve your life. By having goals, you can check to see if you’re on track for how you want your life to turn out. Goals are helpful tools that can keep you headed in the right direction when you need to make a decision that involves changing some aspect of your life.
Encouragement is a by-product of having goals. Whenever you have a setback, goals can encourage you to keep going. By seeing how far you’ve already come, you realize that you’ve already made some strides forward.
Most success-minded people will focus on short-term goals over long-term goals because these are easier to make come true. Living in a results-oriented world causes people to lean toward short-term goals more often.
Dreamers who do very little action taking often focus on long-term goals, forgetting that they need a specific path to get them there. They stay paralyzed, feeling the long-term goal is too far out of reach.
Having short-term goals means that these are things that you do in the present or in the very near future – such as within a week or a month. An example of a short-term goal might be setting up an email autoresponder system within the next 14 days so that you’re ready to build a list.
A long-term goal is usually something that you can’t reach as fast as a short term goal. A long-term goal is one that you plan to reach within a few months or a year or longer after making it.
Long-term goals will be realized over time as each of your shorter milestones are achieved. For instance, your long-term goal might be to have a list of 100,000 subscribers.
So your short-term goals might be:
- Set up an email autoresponder system within 14 days
- Create a 10-day follow-up series for the autoresponders within 30 days
- Achieve a list of my first 1,000 subscribers using social media within 6 weeks
- Grow my list to 2,000 subscribers within 2 months using a giveaway event
… and so on.
Each time you’re able to look at your list and cross off an item that you achieved, it helps you build momentum toward reaching your ultimate goal. Whatever your goals are, you shouldn’t let them just sit there as nothing more than an internal dream that you have.
You need them around visually so that they can help remind you of what you desire out of life. You need to be able to see whatever it is that your goals are so that you’re reminded to take action.
You can create a vision board with pictures that will help keep you motivated. Or you can write them down in a notebook and list the reasons why you want that goal.
Studies have shown that goals that are visualized or written down are reached more often than goals that are not. It spurs you forward into doing all of the small steps needed to send you up the ladder of success.
Step 3 – Brainstorm action steps
Before you can take any action, you want to brainstorm ways to achieve your mini and long term goals. You want options, not a single path that you think will work. It allows you to think outside the box.
Some people refer to brainstorming as creatively solving a problem before it happens or while it’s ongoing. Without brainstorming, most people come up with between two and four ways that they can reach their goals.
When you start brainstorming from a research perspective, you often find better ways to do things, shortcuts and money savers. Don’t be afraid to network with others and ask for their best practices, too.
Brainstorming action steps is easy to do. You need a notebook or a writing program on your computer. You start by thinking about the steps that you need to take and you just write down whatever thoughts pop into your mind.
As you write down your thoughts, you may start to see how some of them are connected and might possibly overlap one another. This will help you see how you may need to prioritize or even group certain action steps.
When you brainstorm, you’re free thinking – and that can often let your mind pinpoint a better way to do something. Some people find it helpful to brainstorm on their own, while others can’t seem to move their mind away from a certain focus in order to come up with action steps.
If this happens, it can be helpful to brainstorm with someone else who understands the end result that you want. Brainstorming with someone else is as simple as having a conversation.
You simply tell them what you want to accomplish and say that you’re trying to come up with action steps that you need to take. Many times having someone else to bounce ideas off of can yield new ways to get things done that you may not have thought of on your own.
Brainstorming can also be helpful when it comes to seeking a solution about an action step. Some action steps require more effort than other ones do. You may end up needing to do more or find additional help.
If you don’t have someone to connect with as a personal contact or even an online forum friend, you can start researching the best way to achieve certain goals online.
Be very specific when you search. For example, if you needed the mini goals to build a list, you might type in “steps to build a list” and see what came up. You might discover a blog post or infographic that details these steps:
- Define your target audience
- Create a viable opt in offer
- Sign up with an email system
- Set up the list responders
- Create a squeeze page
- Promote your opt in offer
Maybe you didn’t have one of those listed in your mini goals, but now that you’ve seen it online, you can add it. It’s easy to forget all of the small steps involved in achieving a larger goal, and you don’t want to forget something important along the way, or feel caught off-guard if you realize it in mid-stream and have to reorganize your goals on the fly.
It shouldn’t require much time to brainstorm – or research. If you’re visiting other sites, just pop in quickly, scan the resource to see if you already have those steps on your list, and jot down anything that might be missing.
Step 4 – Implement changes
Once you’ve finished, it’s time to take action. You’ll be putting into place the ideas that were generated from your brainstorming session. When you begin to implement change, you have to understand that it’s normal to feel a sense of unease.
Most people are resistant to change. Just know that it’s normal and don’t let it throw you off course.
Create motivation as you start making changes. You have to be your own biggest fan when it comes to what you’re doing. Celebrate all of your small milestones. It doesn’t have to be expensive or huge – just recognize your efforts and honor your accomplishments.
The fact that you’re working toward a goal and doing things to get you to the finish line is something that should be respected and admired. Sometimes, there’s nobody there but you to toast to your success.
Keep your vision. When you’re implementing change, you don’t want to lose sight of your goal. Understand the value of the changes that you’re making. In other words, realize what will happen if these changes don’t take place.
As you implement change, make sure that you monitor what happens as you make the change. You want to be alert to head off any negative situations or obstacles that arise from implementing your action steps.
There will be some obstacles that you can’t foresee and that you can’t head off. For those, you’ll want to try to get to the root of the problem quickly. Understanding why there’s a difficulty implementing a change can help you know how to get back on track.
You also want to keep in mind that while you’re implementing change now, you’ll see some small benefits right away. However, seeing the end result of some of the other changes may take a little time.
As you implement these changes, make sure that you’re continually revising your goals because as these changes take place, your goals will also change. It’s okay to fix goals along the way, too.
Sometimes, when you’re on the path to something greater, and you’re educating yourself, you discover fantastic new ways of doing things! This might mean changing a mini goal, or even altering your large goal completely!
One thing you shouldn’t do, though, is allow yourself to get distracted by too many good possibilities to the point that you’re forever chasing a shiny new object and never following through on the action steps you’ve mapped out to reach one milestone in your personal or professional life.
Do you agree with the above Monday motivational article How to Achieve Successful Goal Setting With 4 Easy Steps? Please share your comments below.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom. She is also a business owner at BooksAboutMe. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative business sign up for the newsletter above or below!
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