In simplest terms, your life goals are what want to achieve in life. They are the benchmarks that you use to evaluate how well you are doing to be the person you want to be. Life goals are not the small objectives you set for yourself in the short term, they are the ambitions you want to accomplish in the long run. They are the ultimate targets you want to hit before you die.
Big or small, every individual has certain life goals they want to achieve. Having goals in life is, in fact, part of being human.
In a previous article, we talked about self-growth and how to speed it up. Today, it’s all about setting life goals and achieving them.
How to Set Your Life Goals and Achieve them?
There are no strict clinical constructs to craft life goals. Your goals are absolutely defined by you. Your decision of setting those goals is influenced by your interests, your current situation, your surroundings, and of course, the craze to where you want to be years later in your life.
While you are the one to define your particular life goals, there are educated, rational, tried, tested, and proven ways to go after defining those goals and ultimately achieving them.
Today at ListPink, we will talk about 12 steps towards setting your life goals, working through them, and finally accomplishing them. So, let’s start with step-1.
1. Evaluate Your Options
Before you set goals, take some time to evaluate your options. Make a list of everything you can do to achieve the outcome you want. Then figure out how good you are at each one. Some of your options will be better than others. Also, you will find yourself better at some than others.
Your current skillset may not necessarily be the ultimate factor in deciding what you want to achieve in life. Look deeply into the things that interest you the most, that motivate you, things that make you happy when you do them. See what you are most passionate about.
Once you find out your first passion, it’s time to evaluate it for compatibility. To see if you can realistically achieve it. For instance, setting a goal of becoming an astronaut while you have a bachelor’s degree in arts may not look so realistic.
2. Decide on Your Goals
Setting your goals is, in fact, the first step towards achieving them. Once you define your goals, you already have accomplished a step towards your final success.
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end, Aristotle.
Set your goals around your life priorities
The purpose of setting goals is to help you achieve what is important to you. So make sure that your goals support your life priorities. This is important for two reasons: firstly, if your goals are not aligned with your priorities, then they are not worth achieving. Secondly, if you don’t achieve your goals, and they are not aligned with your priorities, then you will end up feeling disappointed and demotivated.
Set goals that are challenging
This is important for a number of reasons: it motivates you to put in the work to achieve the goal, it helps you to improve yourself and your skills in the long term, and it is more rewarding when you do. Some goals are easier to achieve than others, but if you set goals that are too easy, you won’t feel much satisfaction when you achieve them. And that will motivate you to set new, even more, challenging goals.
Goals that have a time limit
It is important to set a time limit for your goals. This can be an outside deadline or a time limit that you set yourself. The reason for this is that it helps you to focus on the goal, and it makes you feel the urgency to achieve it.
Objectives that are realistic
If you are going to achieve them, then they need to be achievable. If you can’t achieve them, then why set them as your goals? Many people set goals that are too far out of reach. This can be a big mistake, as you will end up feeling disappointed and demotivated.
Things that are important to you
They must be important to you if you are going to put in the effort to achieve them. Otherwise, they are likely to continue to be placed at the bottom of the never-ending list of things to do.
Set goals that are specific
Make sure your goals are specific. Goals that are vague will result in you not knowing exactly what you need to do to achieve them.
3. Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals helps you to focus on them. When they are written down, they become more real. Having them in writing makes it easier to evaluate your options. It also helps you to make sure that you are working on the right goals. It is also much easier to modify sub-goals if they are written down.
4. Map Out Your Plan of Action
Once you have set your goals, you need to map out a plan of action. This is where you define the steps you need to take to achieve the goal, and it’s vital that you take the time to do this. It will help you to clarify your thoughts and ensure that you don’t skip any steps along the way. It will also ensure that you take the time to put together a realistic plan that you can then work towards.
Set deadlines for each step of the plan
This is a vital step, as it provides you with a realistic time frame in which to achieve your goal. Without setting a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate and put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Deadlines are also important because they keep you focused and committed, and help to keep you on track.
Break your goal into smaller, more manageable chunks
Once you have mapped out the steps you need to take to achieve your goal, and set deadlines for each step, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks can help you to stay focused and to avoid being overwhelmed. Working with smaller, more manageable chunks also helps you to see progress being made.
Make time for goal setting
You have to ensure that you make time for goal setting and planning in your life. Because you have to work out the steps you need to take to achieve the goal and set deadlines for each step, you need to make time for this in your schedule. If you don’t, then it’s easy to fall behind with your goal or to be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to set aside a specific time each week to set your goals, and to get your plan of action ready.
Get yourself organized
The more organized you are, the easier it will be to achieve the goals you set for yourself. One of the best ways to get organized is to set up a system that allows you to keep track of your goals, plans, notes, records, and so on. This will help you to stay on track and be able to monitor your progress.
Find a support system
Finding a support system to help you achieve your goals is vital. This means finding people who are prepared to support you, motivate you, and keep you accountable.
For example, if you have a friend who has similar goals and is also prepared to commit to achieving them, then you can hold each other accountable. You can also help each other to stay on track and keep motivated. A support system can really help you to make your goals happen.
Get into the right frame of mind
The way you think about your goals plays a huge part in whether you achieve them or not. If you think that goal setting and achievement are easy, and that you can do it without much effort, then you will be more likely to succeed.
If you think that it’s hard, or that you will fail, you are more likely to end up as a statistic. You must think positively about your goals, and about yourself, if you are to achieve them.
Visualize your success
Visualize your success. This means picturing yourself achieving your goal, and seeing yourself doing the things that you will have to do to achieve it. You can do this while you are working towards your goal, while you are at work, or even when you are in your car.
Take one step at a time
Don’t put pressure on yourself by thinking that you have to achieve your goal in a short period of time. Take things one step at a time, stick to your plan, and don’t skip steps. If you take baby steps and commit to moving forward each day, then the chances are good that you will be successful in achieving your goal.
5. Work Really Hard
If you want to achieve your goals, you need to work hard. The truth is, almost everyone thinks they work hard, but the reality is that most people don’t work as hard as they could or should. When you set goals and then use them to motivate you, you can get more done in a shorter period of time. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to think bigger and work harder.
Hard work is not something you should be afraid of. The more you work, the more you can achieve, and the more you can achieve, the more you will want to work (to achieve more). In the end, you’ll be excited about what you are doing, and you’ll feel great about yourself. Hard work is a great habit to get into, and it will help you get more done, faster.
6. Never Give Up if You Stumble
Sometimes things just don’t work out as you planned. It’s important to accept this and not to beat yourself up over it. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. And remember that you can learn from your mistakes.
It is very easy to give up when you are trying to achieve a goal. There are always times when you want to throw in the towel when you feel like you can’t push forward any longer. It is in these times that you need to be the most mentally tough and persistent.
7. Enjoy The Journey Towards Your Destination
It’s important to enjoy the journey towards achieving your goals. If you feel stressed, pressured, and unhappy, then you are less likely to achieve them. Remember that life is all about balance, and having fun and enjoying yourself is an important part of it. Get the balance right, and you are more likely to achieve your goals.
Celebrate your small successes
You don’t have to wait until you have achieved a goal to celebrate. When you achieve a small step forward, you should celebrate it. This means taking time to appreciate the fact that you have achieved it and to feel good about what you have done. Celebrate your small successes, and you will be more likely to achieve your goals.
Reward yourself for motivation
When there is a set period of time involved in achieving a goal, you need to break the task down into manageable chunks, with a reward for meeting each chunk. This will motivate you to stay on track and see the goal through to the end.
Take a break to get refreshed
When you have been working towards a goal, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. To overcome this, you need to take regular breaks. This will help you to maintain a sense of freshness and to prevent you from becoming tired and bored.
Remind yourself you are capable
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you aren’t capable of achieving goals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you are just “not good enough” to achieve your goals. But it’s important to remember that you are capable. You can achieve your goals if you want to.
8. Take Necessary Corrective Action
Goal setting is a process. It involves reaching one goal and then setting another, and moving forward towards that one. If you find that it becomes too difficult to achieve your goals in the way that you set them, then it’s important that you are prepared to change them. This could mean adjusting the time frame or even changing the goal itself.
You need to be honest with yourself. If your goals are unrealistic, you need to make changes. It is better to lower the bar and make it achievable because the worst thing that can happen is that you will fail to achieve your goal, but the best thing that can happen is that you will achieve it. You can always set the goal again at a higher level later. Many people never reach their goals because they have set them too high.
You need to take corrective action to get you on the right track. This is where the process of goal-setting becomes very empowering. It is important that you don’t procrastinate. Go back to the drawing board and see if you can make the goal more realistic without taking away the motivation or value of achieving it.
For example, if your goal is to be debt-free by the end of the year, but you find that you are struggling to achieve it, you could change the goal to be debt-free in three years. This way you don’t feel so overwhelmed, and you can still be debt-free at the end of the three-year period.
Adjust your goals
When you have a goal, know that it is a target. You can’t reach it if you aim exactly at it. You can hit it, or miss it by a small margin. So, to stay on track, you need to keep adjusting your goal to stay on track. This will help you to stay focused and committed.
Consider your progress
After a set period (e.g., every two weeks), stop for a moment and consider your progress. This will help to maintain your motivation: you will be able to see that you are moving forward, and this will encourage you to continue on the path to success.
9. Track Your Progress
Know what you want to achieve, what steps you need to take to achieve it, and what you have done so far. This tracking will help you to stay on track and to maintain a sense of progress. It will also help to keep you focused on the present and prevent you from getting stuck in the past.
When you keep on top of what you are doing and what you have already achieved, you can reinforce your desire to reach your goals and to stay on track. This will in turn help to prevent you from losing motivation.
10. Make The Needed Sacrifices
If you want to achieve your goals, you must be prepared to make sacrifices: this could include spending less time with friends and family, giving up leisure activities and hobbies, or working longer to reach your goals. If you are not prepared to do this, then you are unlikely to be successful. The truth is that you need to take control of your life and do what you need to do to achieve your goals, even if it means disappointing others.
It is important to note that the sacrifices you make are directly proportional to the level of success you will achieve. If you want to be really successful, you need to be prepared to do what it takes.
For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, you need to be prepared to make changes to your diet and lifestyle and to work hard to achieve your goal. If you want to write a book, you need to devote time to writing, and to do what it takes to produce a high-quality book. It is a very simple equation: the more you are prepared to sacrifice, the greater the potential for success.
11. Push Yourself Beyond Your Limits
Research has shown that if you want to achieve a goal, your chances of success are greater if you push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. This is counterintuitive because it is easy to think that you can’t do something if you don’t believe you can. But pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits can actually lead to success. That’s because you learn more and gain valuable experience, building your confidence over time.
12. Remain Consistent and Determined
Consistency is the key. Achieving goals requires consistent action over a period of time. This means that it is important to develop an appropriate approach to goal setting, and a well-considered plan of action to achieve the goals. You can then work to implement this plan, taking action on a regular basis to move closer to achieving the goal.
If you are inconsistent in your approach, you will be inconsistent in your results. For example, if you set a goal to run for ten minutes every day at the same time, but you don’t run daily, you are unlikely to achieve the goal. Alternatively, if you decide to run for one hour every day, but only run for five minutes, you are going to have just as little chance of achieving your goal.
13. Celebrate Your Success
Now, this is an unnecessary step that we didn’t need to tell you to do. Once you reach your destination, the feeling of accomplishment will automatically overwhelm you. You will feel proud of yourself. Your loved ones will celebrate with you. What a time to be yourself, and what a time to be a successful individual!
That’s all for today’s post. So, are you ready to get up, evaluate your options, decide on your life goals, and start working on them today? Wish you a happy journey and a fulfilling outcome!