Setting goals is easy – most of us don’t have a problem jotting down a whole list of things we want to achieve. However, actually getting around to accomplishing these goals is not so straightforward. Too many goals go unfulfilled not because they weren’t feasible, but rather due to how we failed to give enough thought towards how we wish to achieve them. Deliberate, conscious planning on how to meet your goals and achieving them is necessary for your plans to take flight. Here’s a three-step guide on how you can achieve this:
1. Break down the overall goal into smaller ones
Goals can appear intimidating or impossible when you regard them head-on, so break them down into smaller, bite-sized chunks. The first thing you can do when planning on how to reach your goal is to think of the smaller milestones that you can reach as part of the greater journey. For example, if quitting smoking is your goal, you can break this seemingly impossible goal down into manageable steps such as not smoking for a day, to a week, then a month, and so on.
2. Consider what you need to do on a daily basis
In order to achieve the smaller goals you have set for yourself, actions need to be taken and sacrifices will have to be made. Plan ahead regarding what needs to be done daily so it won’t feel so impossible when you actually have to do it. In the case of quitting smoking, a daily plan would include thinking of what to do when the urge to smoke arises. You can then think of ideas to go about doing this, such as implementing a rotation of activities so that things don't get too repetitive or boring. When you have the small daily actions actions nailed to a tee, it becomes much easier to make it through the week which of course snowballs over time.
3. Keep track of your progress
Make it a habit to keep a journal to chart your progress regularly. The very act of keeping track will motivate you to stay on track. Plus, keeping a journal also helps you look back on past achievements and this will motivate you to keep going. Of course, you will need to be honest with your records. Just remember that it's alright to mess up and doing so won't in any way tarnish your “clean streak”. A good journal should help you to learn from your mistakes instead of covering them up.
Achieving the goals we set out for ourselves is no mean feat but with a good deal of careful planning, it will definitely be that much more attainable. Once you've had your first taste of success, you're guaranteed to be hungry for more!