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Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

I’m sure you have all heard about setting goals that are “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s an incredibly effective way to set a goal as it keeps you accountable: it is realistic, it has a deadline, you first have to make sure it is attainable and within your abilities, and you must have a way to measure your success (or lack thereof).

However, some people have issues with SMART goals. They find them constraining and un-motivating as it does not leave room for the big life goals that move us forward. Goals that are not specific are incredibly motivating. Goals like: Become an expert on XX, Be a Famous Fiction Author, etc. These types of goals are necessary to give life passion, a fire – to propel you forward. The goal many not be measurable enough, but it feels amazing to have such a goal. That is where the REACH goal comes in.

A Reach goal is an ultimate end goal that moves you. It need not have a deadline or even be terribly specific, but it must motivate you – it has to get you going every day. It has to make you want it. And it is that drive that is often missing from the SMART goal, which often makes life just seem like an endless to do list. So, to make your goals more effective, couple SMART goals with a Reach goal.

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This is what you do:

Find a life goal that motivates you

You can have more than one, but definitely less than 10. Usually 5 reach goals are enough for a lifetime. These are the goals you want to have accomplished by the end of your life. These are the goals you will the most proud. These are the goals to fuel you.

Write the reach goals down – and look at them every day

It’s easy to think that with such motivating goals, you’d constantly be reminded of them, right? But it’s actually pretty easy to forget our reach goals. It’s very easy that during the chaos of everyday life we get caught up in the motions and completely forget the goals that will move us to greatness. So write them down, and look at them. Every day. This is the motivation part.

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Pick a couple of SMART goals for each Reach goal

Most people can easily pick a couple of reach goals. What is hard is making them happen and that is where the SMART goals come in. It’s now time to write down the goals that will get you to take action. Go to your list of reach goals and under each of them, write down a couple of SMART goals that will help propel you forward. Follow the directions and make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Write the SMART goals down – and look at them every day

Your SMART goals will change constantly while your reach goals will remain the same. As you accomplish one SMART goal after another, you will add a new goal to the list. I recommend you carry a piece of paper where there is plenty of room to add and cross out your SMART goals as you go along, but not too big where it will be difficult to carry. Look at this list daily.

Make each goal work for you

The purpose of the reach goal is to motivate you. So when you look at the paper with the goals, imagine yourself attaining the reach goal. Visualize how amazing it will be to achieve the goal. Think of how good it will feel. Believe in your ability to accomplish the reach goal. Let it fuel and drive you. Feel the goal running through your veins.

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Then, look at the SMART goal and let them guide you and narrow your focus. Make plans around the SMART goals, commit yourself to them. Believe you are capable of achieving these goals. Write any necessary steps in your daily to-do list. Look at the SMART goals constantly to make sure you’re on the right track.

Let the reach goals fuel you and then let the SMART goals take the wheel to drive you forward.

The more you visualize yourself achieving the reach goal, the more you believe you can do it, the more your life will steer in that direction. The more you focus on achieving the SMART goals, the more you guarantee the reach goals will happen, and the more motivated you will become to continue doing more.

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So if you find yourself demotivated by your SMART goals, it’s time to think up some reach goals. If you find yourself constantly day dreaming about achievement but never getting any work done, it’s time to pick some SMART goals. If you combine both, your goal-achieving ability will be unstoppable!

Featured photo credit: flick user: Rachel Kramer via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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