The New Year is the time for setting goals. Unfortunately, by some estimates almost 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.
If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, though, that does mean that one-fifth of people actually do improve themselves every year through effective goal setting. What sets them apart? And how can you ensure that you’ll be one of them?
That’s what we’ll be looking at with these 5 ways to achieve your goals.
5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals
#1 Find a Source of Lasting Motivation
People who achieve their goals do so because they have a strong reason to succeed. A reason that is a lasting part of their life. They aren’t setting goals because the year is turning. They are setting goals because they want to create a new self or a new situation for themselves.
Of the following two motivations, which one do you think is more driving? More lasting?
- I want to double my revenue this quarter.
- I want to be able to take my family on a two week vacation this summer without having to dip into any of our other budgets.
The first one is a clear goal, and it might be good enough for some people. But for many, a metric isn’t enough.
The second goal setter has a reason to drive them towards the goal. A fire lit under their butt so that they can’t get complacent, lazy, or uncommitted.
So whether you are setting short term goals or long ones, make sure that you go beyond the metrics to uncover why you need to accomplish each one. It can be helpful to think of how achieving each goal will benefit you, your loved ones, and the world. These three areas of influence encompass the most important sources of inspiration to achieve your goals.
#2 Obsess Over Your Goals
Elon Musk said, “Your will is the most accurate way to predict the future.”
In other words, it is within your power to shape your life in the direction you want it to go. That’s what goal setting is all about, after all.
And while some people might warn you to not lose sight of what matters most in pursuit of your goals, we are telling you to make your goals your obsession.
If you set the right goals for the right reasons, then obsessing over them is naturally going to involve keeping what matters most clearly in your sights.
How to Obsess Over Your Goals
- Write them down somewhere you’ll see them every day.
- Make sure they are the reason you wake up in the morning. Otherwise, you haven’t set the right goals.
- Share your goals with friends, family, and mentors. The more accountability you build, the less likely you will be to abandon your goals.
- Make it clear to others that your goals are the center of your life—they are your plan for the future.
#3 Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up
You have probably already heard that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So it should come as no surprise that if you want to achieve your goals, then you need to surround yourself with other achievers.
If the friends and family that you most commonly associate with are naysayers or underachievers, then they are going to bring you down.
However, it’s not enough to simply avoid the negative. You have to pursue the positive. You have to actively build a circle of motivation and inspiration.
It can be easy to read this advice and say, “Yeah, yeah. I’ve got good people in my life.” But avoid the temptation towards passivity. Stop right now and really think about who is in your life. Write down the actual five people that you spend most of your time with.
Do they drag you down? Are they neutral influences? Or do they lift you up?
Must Read: 5 Types of People To Surround Yourself With
#4 Track Your Progress
Another big difference between goal achievers and the rest of the world is visualization. People who change their own life—people who change the world—have the ability to see the future for what it could be rather than getting stuck in the present.
But this sort of visualization doesn’t come easily or naturally. And a good way to work your way up to it is simply to track your progress in your goals. By taking record of your accomplishments, you are actively acknowledging the changes you have made in your world.
The more you do this, the more natural it will become for you to envision a future in which you have achieved your goals.
Methods of Tracking Your Goals
- For numeric goals, create a progress bar on a white board or similar visual.
- Spreadsheets are a great way to track data that you can manipulate later to notice your average success and other important metrics.
- For less quantifiable goals, keep a journal or even public blog. Make regular entries to update yourself and others on how you are getting closer and closer to your goals.
- No amount of progress is too insignificant to track. Remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
#5 Reward Yourself
While intrinsic motivation is generally recognized as the strongest, most lasting fuel for success, most people still get a good dose of satisfaction from the occasional external reward. And, while your goals themselves will be a reward, dangling a little carrot in front of yourself along the way can really help the journey feel easier and more fulfilling.
Tips for Rewarding Yourself
Decide ahead of time what your rewards will be and at what milestones you will earn them. For example, if your goal is to increase your monthly revenue by $2,000 dollars this year, you might reward yourself every $500 increase with new gear for your computer.
Don’t let your rewards counter your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, for instance, it’s probably not a good idea to reward yourself with unhealthy food. Instead, you could invest in new workout equipment or even a new wardrobe once your current clothes don’t fit any more.
Make your rewards match the difficulty. Think of video games. You don’t get the epic gear from overcoming the minions. You win it after defeating the big boss. So to ensure that your rewards are properly motivating, match the enjoyment they provide with the difficulty in achieving the goal.
Final Thoughts on 5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals
This New Year, don’t become another goal dropper. We’ve outlined 5 ways to achieve your goals. Take them seriously, apply them, and make a better future for yourself, your loved ones, and the world.