Many of us have life goals whether it’s in our career or personal life; gaining new skills for a job, learning a new language, training for a marathon or simply personal goals for self-growth.
Isn’t it strange when two people with similar abilities and ambition can have a huge difference in their achievements? One may take much longer than the other, or one may fail altogether while the other excels. The success we gain from work or personal goals is dependent, not on how hard we work towards them, but on whether or not we have a good strategy for the achievement for these goals.
Developing a good strategy when setting goals is the most important and surefire way to achieve success. Here are three ways you can make sure your goals are on track to being fulfilled.
1. Embrace Each Experience As Growth And Forward Movement
Achieving our goals is a journey and one that needs nurturing and developing. Our growth and onward progression towards our goals whether at work or personal development, is hugely based on the experiences we have. Positive and negative experiences are usually plentiful along the way and it can be hard to notice the ones that have taught us the most.
For example, someone might be aiming for a certain position at work and the next step towards that goal is a promotion. If a person doesn’t get that promotion they could see it as a failure or see it as an opportunity for more time to work on certain skills in order to get to that next step.
A person who is focused on the end goal will do what it takes and has the ability to recognise the worth in each experience they encounter. While positive steps are a win, some of the negative experiences can sometimes be where the most growth occurs. Embracing these experiences and realising that they are hard to replace and have generated growth towards your goal is a sign of forward achievement.
2. Take Advantage of Both Vertical and Lateral Development
There are two types of growth and development when it comes to achieving our goals – lateral and vertical.
Lateral growth is when we exose ourselves to new ideas and experiences. This could be learning something new, travelling to a foreign country or reading up on a different subject but goal setting, drive and motivation are not the primary tools of this kind of growth. While lateral development is important, it is most important during the initial stages of goal achievement. It opens our mind up to new ideas and gets us used to thinking differently but where some people fail is using this type of focus as a way of achieving their goals in the long-term.
Vertical growth is the process of achieving, pushing ourselves and ambition. It is the negatively perceivable struggles, challenges and pressure that cause us to obtain our greatest achievements and victories. It’s about realising your potential and how far you can be pushed and in the process, gaining clarity to what you really want.
If someone’s goal is to lose a certain amount of weight they may decide to take up running. One person could happily run with no real plan and lose the weight while someone else may go bigger and strive to run a marathon and go through the painful and challenging experience of marathon training. While both may achieve the goal of weight loss, one will most likely keep up the running and enter more and more races because they’ve experienced the pain and suffering and come out the other side – they are motivated to strive for bigger and better.
People who are stuck in lateral growth tend to take much longer to achieve their goals because they aren’t prepared to face challenges and grow from them. People who adopt the vertical development technique move along on their path much quicker even though the path may appear more rocky and dangerous.
3. Checking In With Where You’re Going
Is the road you’re walking on leading to a bright future? While we don’t always know exactly where we’ll end up or if we’ll change our minds along the way – something many of us face in our careers (we change and grow after all) – people who achieve their goals in life do more solid research into where their decisions and goals will lead them down the line. They take time to ask themselves if their path has potential.
For some, it’s easy to choose a path and run as fast as they can to the end in order to achieve the goal much quicker. The problem with this is that they are running fast down a path they’re not actually sure is the right one.
That’s why it’s much better to spend time choosing the path first before you start running even if the path you eventually choose is a bit less smooth than the other one. By doing the ground work in the beginning, you are setting yourself up well even if, at some point, you decide to change course.
Setting goals is what life is all about – whether big or small, for your career or your personal life and development – the way in which you go about achieving these goals is paramount to your success. Check in with your mindset and make sure you are focused correctly. Remember to enjoy the journey towards your goals and realise the lessons you learn at every step.