3 Steps to Successful Goal Achieving

You know that goal setting is a smart idea. And you may have even heard that setting and working towards goals is likely to make you 40% more income.   But still you don't manage to keep at it long enough to get the results you're wishing for...

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."  And working a good plan successfully involves setting goals!

So let's get started. There are many ways to slice the successful goal setting process, but for maximum effectiveness, I'm going to suggest you include the following three steps:

1) Have a big enough "WHY"

One of the key features of successful goal setting is having a big enough WHY. This means that before you even start with the actual goal setting, ask yourself why you want to that goal. You need to have a goal that is big enough to be exciting - to you!

And make your WHY specific too... Sure, you may want more money. Most people do. But why do YOU want it? What is it you want the money for? Is it to buy stuff or to reduce the stress caused by lack of sufficient funds - or to buy freedom?

And regardless whether it's about more money or something else, make sure your WHY is big enough. If your desire for it isn't at least an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, it won't inspire you enough to do the work required to make it happen.

When you have clarity and a strong WHY, the commitment and passion will come as part of it, and chances are you'll be more invested, determined and focused to do the work and achieve your goals (especially if you include the following steps as well).

2) Create a goal

Taking your WHY into consideration, create your actual goal. As you do so, make sure it meets the following conditions:

a) It is in alignment with your values

For example, if spending time with your family is important to you, don't aim for a position that requires 70 hour work weeks or a lot of traveling.

b) Create a SMART goal

SMART stands for -- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Make sure your goal meets all those criteria.

To make a goal "specific" as well as "measurable" - don't aim for something vague like "make more money" but for making a specific amount of money, i.e., "an additional $5,000/month" or "increase revenues by 50%" - or a specific number of additional clients ("get five new clients").

To make a goal "attainable" and "realistic" - avoid planning to make a $30k next month, especially if you're struggling to make ends meet today. Instead, pick something that's within your reach, though be sure to make it a bit of a stretch - or it won't be exciting enough to bother with. Or as I like to say make it doable but a bit scary!

c) Write it down! 

Yes, this needs to be said explicitly! Only 31% of people write down their goals. And those are the ones proven to most likely to meet their goals.

d) Give it a deadline

Most people get inspired by deadlines. If you know you have to meet your goal by a certain time, you're more likely to take action.

e) Divide and conquer

So you have a goal that excites you - and chances are it's a big goal. The challenge with big goals is that they can intimidate you.

So what do you do? You divide and conquer. Remember the old adage - "How do you eat an elephant?.... one bite at a time." So break down your big goal into small steps and approach them one at a time.

f) Take action

Finally, make sure you take action on your goals daily, one sub-goal at a time. Make it your personal commitment that you do at least 1 thing each day - no exceptions! Put the steps into your calendar, and cross them off as you complete them. And before you know it, you've achieved your goal.

3. Celebrate along the way

Some people feel that they don't deserve to celebrate until they have reached their goal. That's a very frustrating approach - and is likely to result in failure.

Have you ever attended (or even participated in) a marathon race? There are water stations all along the way. Imagine making the runners wait for water until they cross the finish line. Not many would make it that far, if any. Their bodies need water and refueling along the way.

It's the same way when it comes to successful goal setting. You need reinforcement on a regular basis, including a regular pat on the back or rewards.

Success breeds success, and the more success you allow yourself to experience as you move towards your goal, the more success you'll have - and ultimately, the more likely you are to reach your goal.

Bonus Step) Get support

Here's a bonus step. To help with successful goal setting, it's a good idea to get input from an impartial source, such as a consultant, coach or an expert on whatever it is you want to achieve. Plus, it also helps to have support along the way, as you take those steps, one at a time, to achieve your goals.