Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 3, 2020

How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

“I’m living in a real-life groundhogs day?” is my first thought as I begin another bleary-eyed morning, puttering around trying to muster up the energy to do something. The ideas fly around in my head like busy cars through a spaghetti junction; it feels crowded and chaotic. My attempts to grab onto an idea and hold it long enough to do something are futile.

Before I knew what hit me, I’ve thrown on my Sweatpants, turned on the TV, become mentally exhausted, and have started battling the waves of remorse—all before noon. Sounds familiar?

Everyone gets stuck in a rut from time to time. While it looks different for each of us, it can manifest in our thoughts like this: “Man I have so much stuff to do right now….but I really don’t know where to start,” or “Gosh I really need to get to work on these projects, but I really don’t have the juice to get going.”

The combined self-doubt and guilt that results from knowing that you should be taking action but aren’t can be paralyzing. The only way to climb out of your rut is to start taking action towards your goals right now.

But how to take action towards your goals?

Here are 5 steps to help you climb out of that rut and take action on your goals right now.

1. Reconnect With Your Goal

What are you actually trying to accomplish? Be specific.

Advertising

Are you trying to get a raise, promotion, new job offer, create a new product, change your diet, expand your business, or establish a new habit?

It can be difficult to get focused enough to take action if you have forgotten exactly what it is that you are trying to do.

Take a moment and visualize your goal:

  • See yourself accomplishing it—what is the experience like, how do you feel as you are working towards it, what obstacles do you see coming up?
  • Think about how it will feel once you accomplish it—remind yourself what you have to gain from accomplishing this goal as well as what’s at stake if you don’t accomplish it.

Taking a moment to reflect on these important questions will help to reorient and ground you.

2. Identify Your Why

What is the reason you want to achieve this goal? You will often hear this referred to as your “Big Why.” Identifying your WHY is the key to getting out of the rut and unlocking your ability to take action towards your goals.[1]

You need a deep understanding of your WHY to do what it takes to reach the finish line. It is the reason that you are able to commit your time, effort, and resources to accomplish this goal even when things are not going as planned.

Not sure what your “WHY” is? Take some time to brainstorm all the reasons you want to accomplish the goal. You may come across some that are obvious but superficial reasons, like making money or buying that house you always wanted. Those reasons are not your “WHY”.

Advertising

Instead, think about why you want to make money or buy that house: Is it because you want to provide a strong future for your family? Are you someone who wants to give back to the community? Are you deeply connected to helping other people succeed? Do you want to effect change in the world? The deeper reason is your “WHY”.

Once you identify your “WHY”, it is easier to find the energy to get motivated and take necessary action.

3. Make It Real, Write It Down

When you write your goals down, you are 42% more likely to achieve them.[2] When you write things down, you’re forced to think about them. The visual representation of your goal serves as a reminder whenever you lose focus and a point of orientation when you feel lost.

Lastly from a learning perspective, your brain may respond better to the physical activity of writing the goal than the abstract activity of contemplating the goal.

Take the time to write down your goals. Here’s how:

  • Decide if you want to focus on quarterly or monthly goals.
  • Identify the projects and resources necessary to accomplish that goal.
  • Break those projects up into a chronology of tasks.
  • Allow those tasks to become your weekly goals. Write them down at the beginning of each week.
  • Use your weekly goals to inform your daily goals. Each morning, check in with your daily goals.

At first, it can take a while because you’re not used to putting them down on paper. Be patient and keep at it. Over time, these practices will become much easier, and you’ll eventually learn to take action toward your goals.

4. Tell a Friend

Sometimes the best thing you can do is tell on yourself. When you share your goals with others, it allows you to hold yourself accountable in a new way. You are more likely to take action toward your goal if you know that your friend will be following up with you about it.

Advertising

One way to do this is to recruit an accountability partner. Someone who you know is also working on achieving goals that might be similar to yours or facing similar challenges on their success journey. You can set up a time once a week or once every other week to check-in and share your progress.

You would be surprised how much insight, inspiration, and motivation comes from partnering up with someone else who is hard at work trying to accomplish their goals, too. Not only will you get the benefit of being held accountable, but you will also get the opportunity to exercise your active listening and problem-solving skills as you help to hold your friend accountable.

5. Anticipate the Internal Push Back

It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone. It’s cozy and safe. But nothing great ever came from playing it safe. Our species has evolved by taking risks.

So, what happens when you want to take new action but you’re already in the comfort zone of inaction? There is a total internal freakout.

Yet, if you know it’s going to happen, it’s less unsettling. It’s like when you get a tattoo or a piercing, you know it’s going to hurt so you mentally prepare yourself to push through it anyway.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to handle the internal push back you will experience.

Meditation, Yoga, Mantra, and Mindfulness practices are great ways to start to tune-in to yourself. YogaGlo, Insight Timer, Headspace, The Chopra Centers Website, and IanBoccio.com are great places to explore these concepts more.

Advertising

Ultimately, the more connected you are with yourself the better equipped you will be to bravely step beyond your comfort zone.

One Small Step Starts an Avalanche

Planning, writing, talking, and reflecting are important, but nothing beats action. After all, you are reading this article because you want to take steps to take action toward your goals right now. Now, it’s time to take one small intentional step towards your goal.

You have already broken your goals down into smaller projects and turn broken those into a chronology of tasks. Now, it’s time to get strategic and start planning your action.

Luckily, you’ve already identified what tasks need to happen first. Grab your calendar, scheduling app, and make an appointment with yourself to complete the first task.

The completion of that task is a small step that will start an avalanche momentum. Keep setting time aside each day to work on your goal-related tasks. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back reflecting on how far you’ve come.

Final Thoughts

Goals without action are just good ideas. It can be difficult to take action if you are in a rut, especially if it feels like the entire planet is in the rut too.

Luckily, there are things you can do to get out of your rut: remember to reconnect with your specific goal, identify your big “WHY”—the deep reason that motivates you to pursue the goal, write your goals down, share your goals with your friends, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of an accountability partner.

Don’t be afraid of the internal resistance—it’s inevitable. Be brave and face it head-on. Lastly, get strategic and plan to take action. One small step can lead to an avalanche of progress.

More Tips About Achieving Goals

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Awilda Rivera

Success Coach - Author - Speaker - Yogi - Advisor

How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now Feeling Out of Place in Life? 5 Ways to Get Back on Track How to Change Yourself and Live the Life You Deserve How to Get Your Life Together When You Feel Overwhelmed How to Gain Self-Knowledge and Live up to Your Potential

Trending in Smartcut

1 How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes 2 How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time 3 What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity) 4 8 Essential Project Management Skills for Productive Work 5 What Should Be Your End Goal In Life Above All Else?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on August 4, 2020

How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

SMART goal setting is one of the most valuable methods used by high achievers today to actualize their life goals time after time. SMART goal setting is the inverse of random or carefree goal setting without strategy.

Perhaps, you’ve always wished to get back in shape, get an annuity, or take control of your finances, but you failed to act. When you approach your goals with a care-free and nonchalant attitude, you’re less likely to achieve them.

You should have a strategic goal setting method in place, and learning how to set smart goals is imperative in this case. The method is time-tested and purposeful, meaning it can help you achieve your goals now.

To achieve your goals consistently and join the pack of high achievers out there who have consistently achieved many of their goals, you must be prepared to do what these people have been doing, and be ready to do the right thing: SMART goal setting.

What Is the SMART Model for Setting Goals?

SMART goal setting is a goal-setting method that considers certain factors about a goal relative to the person setting it. These factors are simply the five different letters in the SMART acronym for goal setting.

It is relative to the person setting the goal because what is true for A may not be true for B; or what is possible for A or within A’s ability to achieve may not be possible for B or within B’s ability to achieve.

What does the goal setting acronym SMART stand for?

  • S—Specific
  • M—Measurable
  • A—Achievable
  • R—Realistic/Relevant
  • T—Time-bound

Is it possible that this acronym can make a long lasting impact in your life?

Is it possible that a mere goal setting metric like SMART can help you achieve so many of your unfulfilled goals?

Is it possible that if you practice SMART goal setting, you will be able to have faster results, understand your goals better, overcome the habit of procrastination, and achieve a lot?

The power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

Advertising

It is important to extend the inquiry by asking: How many times have you said you’ll do “X,” but failed to do so?

We all have goals, and we all have 24 hours each day at our disposal. While some people find it easy to achieve their goals without procrastinating, some find it difficult to do so.

For some people who have succeeded again and again in achieving their goals, they have simply found an easy way of doing this. Is there something they know that you don’t?

How Smart Goal Setting Makes a Lasting Impact

Smart goal setting examples can be found all around you. Through SMART goal setting, Stephen Cooley was able to grow his real estate business to the point of closing at $110 million in sales when the average price point of homes was between $100,000 – $200,000 in South Carolina[1].

Through SMART goal setting, Steve Jobs was able to improve the fortunes of Apple and prevent the company from going bankrupt, even when it had barely 90 days left before being declared so.

SMART goal setting can make a lasting impact in your life in several ways.

Make Your Goal Clearer

When you use the SMART criteria to set goals, it is easier for you to understand the various phases of your goal.

By using SMART goal setting, you’re able to ask yourself relevant questions pertaining to your goal.

Motivate You Into Acting on Your Goals

When you use SMART goal setting and break down the goal into smaller goals or milestones, the bigger goal no longer looks intimidating or impossible.

Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, wrote in his book How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be about how they applied the rule of five in marketing their book, Chicken Soup, and were able to make the book a best seller after some months[2]. The rule of five simply means doing five specific things every day that will move you closer to achieving your goal.

In order not to be overwhelmed, you would have to measure your performance using the right metrics. Here we are considering the Measurable and Achievable aspects of the SMART acronym. It is critical that you measure yourself in terms of lead measures.

Advertising

What are lead measures? They are the things you do that leads you closer to your goals. On the other hand, you would have to avoid “lag measures.”

While lag measures mean a successful outcome that you wished for and got, they can be emotionally draining and deceitful because, whenever they don’t happen, you can become discouraged.

Therefore, it is better to stick to lead measures.

Help You Save Time

You can achieve more when you use SMART model goal setting.

To be strategic, your goal would have to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If you can’t identify any of these points in your goal, you probably will be wasting your time on a wild goose chase.

When your goals are written down, it’s easier for you to go into action mode.

Improve Your Self-Discipline

Self-improvement is an important thing for everyone to do periodically. When you set SMART goals, it makes you realize that you have to sit up and work on achieving them.

How to Set SMART Goals

See the source image

    To make your SMART goals work, use the following tips:

    Specific

    Every goal ought to be specific. It is important to guard against making vague goals because even when they have been achieved, you may not know. This is because you weren’t specific enough.

    For example, “I will start planning toward retirement” is vague. Rather than write that, you could say, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan.” This is more specific.

    Advertising

    When you are specific on your goal, it’s easier for you to identify all its components and work accordingly toward achieving it.

    Measurable

    Your goals must be measurable. When they are measurable, it’s easier for you to follow through.

    A goal like this is not measurable: “I want to make millions of dollars.” You can make it more measurable by saying, “I want to make one million dollars selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each.”

    Also, using our SMART goal setting examples while explaining the Specific acronym, you can make the goal more measurable by saying, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month.”

    Achievable

    How realistic or actionable is your goal? Is it practical enough to fit into a given time frame? Is it something you are able to achieve in your capacity?

    You would only be setting yourself up for failure if you sets goals that are not reasonable.

    A goal like this is highly unrealistic and, therefore, not achievable: “I want to be the Governor of Texas in six months,” especially since the elections will be coming up in three years.

    Goals must be written down relative to the experiences of the one setting them. They must resonate with you. It is important that you have at least some of the resources needed to actualize this goal.

    It is also important that you consider your time frame. When the time frame to achieve a complex goal is too short, it is rare that such goal will be completed.

    Thus, using our previous example, if you write “I want to make one million dollars in ten days selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each,” you would only be setting up yourself for failure.

    This is especially true if you’re not a popular author or if you’ve never sold even up to one thousand copies of any of your previous books, whether e-copy or in print.

    Advertising

    Realistic/Relevant

    Before you proceed to making the commitment toward that goal, you need think about how realistic and relevant it is.

    Being realistic means you should be willing to make all the commitments required for that goal to be achieved. If your goal is relevant, it fits into the life you’ve imagined for yourself.

    Time-Bound

    Every goal must have a commencement date and an end date written down. It is also important that you break down your goals into phases, chunks, bits, or milestones.

    The act of having deadlines set to your goals is ample motivation that drives you into action. Without a deadline, it is not possible for you to know if you’re making headway with your goals.

    “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month for the next twenty five years” is a time-bound goal.

    Remember that some goals are short-term while some are long-term. It is important to always bear this in mind, because this will help you in making a clear and realistic strategy when SMART goal planning.

    Without SMART goal setting in view, much of our goals may likely end in our minds, on paper, or just midway into implementation. SMART goal setting reveals to us all the action points of our goals and helps us to have an awareness of every aspect of our goals.

    The Bottom Line

    What matters at the end of the day is what you do with the contents of this article because the power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

    It is not enough to have a goal. It is not enough to put it down in writing. It is important to have a strategy in mind while putting it down. This strategy is a guideline or set of rules that point you in the right direction. It is SMART goal setting in the given circumstance.

    After writing down your goals, you will have to be ready to take action. There should be a clear action point. Write down what you need to do on daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

    When your goals are realistic, they make them worth the chase. One of the things to bear in mind is that, in order not to be overwhelmed by the daunting nature of your goals, remember to always break them into milestones, chunks, or bits. In fact, take one day at a time.

    Do not bother yourself with the one-year, three-year, five-year or ten-year plan as this may likely overwhelm you with fear and doubt. Let your focus be on each day. What will I be doing today? Consider this and go for it.

    More on the SMART Model for Setting Goals

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next