Six Steps to Achieve Your Goals
You have the ability to achieve your goals! But I know, goal setting is hard. Changing your life is hard. Setting goals can feel overwhelming, let alone actually accomplishing said goals, especially when you have tried over and over again with less than exciting results.
Over the years I have read countless articles, books, blog posts, listened to podcast, audio books, and even radio shows about the topic and I have learned A LOT. I have also set, achieved, and missed many personal goals, as well as helped countless others to so the same. What I have learned is that any number of goal setting methods will work (though I prefer this one that I personally designed!) as long as you master your mindset first, before you tackle the action steps.
Why mindset is so important is because your mindset got you your previous results. If you didn’t like those previous results than you are going to have to work on your mindset first, before you will see results. Not the other way around. I know you think that if you just worked on the goal and had:
you would feel better and change your mindset, but the truth is, you have to shift your mindset first, and then you will get the job, body, boyfriend you have always dreamed of. Just look at your previous attempts at goal setting:
You spend countless hours and energy planning and dreaming up big goals, or even small ones.
You do a ton of work on the goals and then it is impossible to stick with them, they don’t go as planned, you don’t get the results.
You have tried everything! Taken courses, signed up for accountability groups, read books, but you still feel like goal achievement is out of your reach!
The thing is, Gutsy lady, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can set goals without feeling like a complete failure. You can and see results. You can even set big goals and actually accomplish them. And you can feel amazing about it either way. I know, because I have and that is precisely what I have helped other Gutsy women just like you to accomplish, BIG goals.
In this six step goal setting system I have outlined, mindset is worked into each step to help you actually achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Use this blog post and this Free Printable Goal Worksheet I have created just for you!
Step 1. Be Specific and Break it Down
You have to get really clear on what your goal is and is not. You need to outline the W’s:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
Once you are very clear on your goal break it down into manageable chunks. Ask yourself:
- What will it take to accomplish this goal?
- What are the tasks that you will need to complete?
- How can you break it down into steps that are manageable and realistic?
Once this is clear define the W’s for each of these tasks or chunks you just created. It can also be useful to set how much time you want to allot to each task or how much time each week is needed to reach your goal. Breaking down the time in this way will help you to understand if your goal is realistic and assure you that if you stick to your plan it will be possible to achieve the goal.
2. Make it Measurable
You need to have a way to tell if you are on track to accomplishing your goal throughout each stage. It is not enough to just have the end point of the goal. You need to have stops along the way that will inform you if you are on track or if you need to recalibrate. And don’t worry, you will likely have to recalibrate several times throughout your goal achieving process and that is okay, normal, and important. You don’t always know at the beginning how hard or easy the steps will be to achieving your goal, if your plan will work, or if you need to make a new plan. Having benchmarks will help you to not veer so far off course that you cannot course correct. Remember those steps or chunks from Step 1? Each one needs a benchmark!
Once you have a benchmark for each step create a Plan B for each step. For example: create an “if ___ then ___” statement for each:
“If I don’t make it to the gym today then I will go for a walk this afternoon”
3. Set a Deadline and Get Accountable
The goal MUST be time sensitive or else you will not have the fire under you to get it done. Set deadlines for each chunk or benchmark of the goal as well as for the completion of the goal itself. Then Get accountable. Write down the goal and the timeline, then say it out loud to yourself, and then tell a friend, tell a loved one, tell the world (via social media?). The more people you tell the more you will feel the burn to get it done because people will be asking you how you are keeping up with your goal. If you really want to ensure you accomplish the goal, get an accountability partner. Someone who will push you, and maybe scold you a bit, not let you slide. Give them your goal breakdown so they can know your benchmarks and keep tabs on you. Daily or weekly check-ins are a great way to do this. Or do it together. Your accountability partner could also be striving for a goal as well and you can keep each other in check.
4. Define your WHY and Create your Vision
It is SO important to understand why you want to accomplish this goal. A good way to get really clear on your WHY is to stream of conscious journal about the goal and the reasons for setting it. Stream of conscious journaling is simply writing for a set amount of time, I suggest five minutes to start, without worrying about grammar or full sentences or making sense, just let it flow. Ask yourself:
- 1. What is your goal and desired result?
- 2. Where and when will you find this result?
- 3. What is the person who has the result thinking?
- 4 What is the person who has the result feeling?
- 5. What actions does the person who has the result take?
- 6. What do you need to stop thinking/feeling/doing?
- 7. What obstacles will be in the way? How can you solve each obstacle?
- 8. What will be different about your life when you achieve this result?
- 9. What will be the same?
- 10. Why do you want this result? Ask yourself seven times.
Once you truly understand why you want to achieve this goal you need to set about visualizing it. To do this write out a paragraph in the present tense about the who/what/where/when of having already accomplished the goal. Make it very visual, something you can see/feel/smell/hear about accomplishing your goal.
Then, read it out loud and visualize it every day! Feel and express gratitude for already accomplishing your goal! DO THIS, don’t skip this step, it is key to getting your head in the right place. When roadblocks come up, because they will, being able to tap into the why and the vision will help you to continue to move forward. For more on defining your why read this.
5. Work on Your Mindset
Get your mindset in gear. First look at your goal: is it realistic? is it attainable? is it too small? (check out this post all about Impossible goals and why stretch goals are the best, not small ones!). Then get clear on what may be your roadblocks. What could and will stop or hinder you from moving forward? Is it time? Is it people? Is it morale? What has stopped you in the past? What beliefs do you need to change? Are there some limiting beliefs about yourself and your goal that might stop you from?
Then identify what is fueling this goal? What need, want, or desire? Identify what you think about when you think about your goal- what is the main emotion you feel when you take action and when you think about and do your goal activities. Figure out why you feel this way and then ask: is this serving me? What do I want to feel instead?
Finally, identify if those emotions are coming form a place of abundance or scarcity. If they are coming from scarcity you need to make new, abundant emotions to fuel your goal. Ask yourself: what thoughts do I need to think to create those emotions? What does it feel like to love my goal? What does it feel like to be in abundance? Abundant emotions will be hard at first, but you need to practice. The best place to start is with feeling love and commitment for your goal. Check out my post all about abundance and get my FREE abundance worksheet and check out this post all about Goal Fuel.
6. Visualize and Let Go
Create a vision statement written in the present tense about your life in the future with this goal. You need to create a visual that your brain can believe about the person and the life you want to have with this goal. It has to be real; you have to be able to feel, taste, touch, smell, the life you want. Write about the weather, the house, the people around you. Talk about how it feels. Write about the actions and the results that got you to this future self. It has to be so crystal clear that you can picture it with your eyes close, like you have already lived it, like you are living it now.
The final, and most important step. You have to give up the old self. You have to give up the identity of the person you are now. This will be hard and uncomfortable. The work is becoming the person who has (whatever your goal is) not having the thing…it’s the process. Once you become the person then you will be open to getting it.
You have to become an entirely new person. You have to create entirely new thoughts, feelings, and actions. You have to practice having thoughts and feelings that the person who already has your goal would have. You have to work on your goals, not from who and where you are right now, but from who and where you want to be. You need to be, think, and feel as if you already have the result. Then you’ll take action from that place and create the result. Create a To Be or Not To Be List of all the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the person who already has the goal/life you want. Then create a list of all the thoughts, feelings, and actions you have right now that are not in alignment with these new thoughts, feelings, and actions…and then release them.
Okay, now that we have gone through the Six key steps to setting and achieving a goal the last part is the most important. You have written it out on the Goal Sheet, you have made a plan, gotten mighty real with yourself about why you want this and what you will do to get it, you have told someone, or the world, and now you are ready! WAIT!
First you must DECIDE to do it.
Decide you will achieve your goal and you will. Having a concrete desire and a steadfast belief that the universe has your back, that you are awesome, and an unwavering belief in your vision will make or break you when you hit your first roadblock. And you will hit them!
Things will get scary, people will scoff at you, you will doubt yourself, you will feel bad, and guilty, and like an impostor. But if you have made the decision to go for it you will stay the course, come hell or high water. Remember, you have done it before, you have set out to do things and accomplished them, you just need to remember that you can do it again.
I believe in you!
Need an accountability partner? I love to give people the kick in the butt they need to get to where they want to go. Read more here.
Need more goal setting resources?
Check out this post about the Emotions Fueling your Goal.
Check out Goal Setting Perspective- The Infinite First Step
Check out Your Brain on Fear
Check out Defining Your Why
And please leave a comment an let me know what goals are you working on right now? Has this helped? What is working for you?