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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal

How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal

We’ve all been there. We get motivated to accomplish a goal, and we feel like we’re making real progress for the first few days.

However, after a week or two we notice that our motivation fades and with that, so do our efforts. Our progress tails off and eventually, we may quit altogether.

This is something that we need to avoid if we want to accomplish our goals. We can’t fall into some of the common traps that the average person falls into.

So, in this article, I am going to cover how you can take action toward your goals and get yourself to where you truly want to be in your life.

1. Study Those Who Came Before You

A little motivation never hurt anybody right?

On top of that, studying the people who previously accomplished the goal that you’re looking to accomplish can save you a lot of headaches in the long-run.

From these practices, you can begin to determine what challenges the person faced when they started to take action towards their goals. Furthermore, you can also gather information about what strategies they used to overcome those challenges.

Though what worked for someone else may not work exactly the same way for you, it’s definitely a good starting point. From this point, you can then begin to create and tailor your strategy based on the path that you want to take.

Once you know what path you want to take, you can begin mentally preparing yourself to take action.

2. Mentally Prepare Yourself

There are a lot of traps we can fall into as we try to take action towards our goals. The first one is failing to mentally prepare ourselves for the journey.

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Doing this means that you need to be able to visualize the obstacles and challenges that are going to confront you when you begin taking action and making progress. It also means that you can visualize yourself accomplishing the goal at the end of the journey.

Think about it this way, who do you think is more likely to overcome a challenge, the person who just dives into a task without any preparation or the person who has taken some to carefully consider the challenges and obstacles that they may face?

Obviously, the person who has taken the time to consider these challenges is more likely to succeed. But why?

Well, the answer to that question is that this individual has mentally prepared themselves for the challenges that they were likely to face. That way, when they begin to take action towards their goal, they have two crucial advantages in their back pocket.

First, these individuals know that these challenges are likely going to present themselves and that they will need to overcome them to achieve their goals. This means that they won’t be surprised or get negative when the obstacle presents itself because they already mentally prepared for it. They can continue taking action without being phased by the obstacle.

Second, because they knew this challenge was something that they were going to have to face, they will have been able to make a plan to cope with and overcome the challenge. This goes a long way to helping someone continually take action towards their goals.

3. Make a Plan

After you’ve studied what other people have done before you, figured out what works and what does, decided what’s likely to work for you, and then finally mentally prepared yourself for the journey, it’s time to make a plan.

This is the plan that you will follow as you begin to take action towards your goals. It’s often best to write these plans out in areas that are easy for you to view and access. This keeps your plan at the forefront of your mind and reminds you to keep your priorities at the top of your priority list.

In this phase of your journey, you are going to create a step-by-step progression that you can follow. You’ll set the mini accomplishments throughout the journey as well as the milestones that you’ll achieve and surpass along the way.

You’ll also write down the challenges and obstacles that you mentally prepared yourself for in the previous steps and what your plan is to overcome them.

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This can get overwhelming when it’s all done at once, so break your plan down into sections. Start with a section outlining the steps you’re going to take action on to accomplish your goals, and include the milestone you’ll pass in this process. Then, create a separate section where you outline the barriers and challenges you’ll face and how to overcome them.

Overall, just make sure that the plan makes sense for you personally.

Once you’ve created a plan, your next step is to figure out how you can begin tracking your progress as you begin to take action.

If you want more help with this check out this article.[1]

4. Track Yourself and Your Progress

Once you’ve created your personalized plan that you can use to take action, you should try to find ways to track your progress.

How you do this doesn’t really matter. You could create a habit tracker where you track the habits that you need to implement to achieve your goal. You could create a map of your milestones that you check off as you accomplish each of them. You could also even download an app that could enable you to track your progress with ease.

Just do something that makes sense to you.

This allows you to figure out what’s working best for you and what isn’t working, and make adjustments accordingly. This is the crucial reason why we track our progress as we take action towards our goals.

Because it’s highly unlikely, regardless of how well you prepare, that the initial plan you create will get everything right. There will be things you didn’t think about and you will have to remain adaptable. Tracking your progress will enable you to do just that.

You’ll be able to take action and identify what habits allow you to make the most progress.

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They say 20% of the things we dedicate our time to bring about approximately 80% of our results. If that’s the case, tracking your progress like this will help you figure out what moves that needle you and then adjust your plan accordingly.

If you want additional tips on staying motivated check out this article.[2]

5. Make it Fun and Stay Motivated

This is one of the more fun parts of learning how to take action towards your goals. If you want to make real progress, you have to make achieving the goal fun. Find ways that make it appealing to you.

For example, a reward system is often a good way to make taking action fun, and it’s a great way for us to remain motivated. This could be a small and fun reward after accomplishing a particular habit, such as going for a walk after writing a few pages of that book you’ve been working on forever.

You can very easily apply this to your goals as you take action.

Make a particular habit that you’re implementing as you work towards a goal something that you regularly reward yourself for. If your goal is to jog, maybe reward yourself with some relaxation time post-run. If your goal is to eat healthier, maybe go out for a fun activity after a week of healthy eating.

Get creative and make it fun for you.

Doing this will help you stick with it through the tough times because there will be tough times. You’re going to be challenged on this journey, and that is the only thing that you can be sure of.

So, finding ways to stay motivated while you take action will go a long way to helping you continually take action towards your goals.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. Used effectively, these strategies will help you to take action towards some of your massive goals.

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To sum things up, you’re going to study what people before you have done to accomplish similar goals and learn about their journey. Then, you’re going to mentally prepare yourself for the journey that is going to lay ahead of you as well as the challenges and barriers that you’re likely going to have to face, confront, and overcome.

Following that, you will have to create the plan you will follow as you take action. The important part of this is to remember that your plan has to be uniquely tailored to you and what you want to accomplish.

Find a way that works for you to track your progress so that you can figure out what works and what doesn’t, and invest more of your time and energy into the things that are working for you as you take action.

Then finally, make it fun for yourself so that you stay motivated to continue working even through the tough times.

More Tips if You Want to Take Action

Featured photo credit: Brad Neathery via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on March 4, 2021

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

If there was a rule book of life, there would be one particular page that was highlighted, underlined, and titled as most important. It would be the one which told you that you need to master effective goal setting and have an aim in mind before you get on with the process. While there may not be an actual rule book of life, we do have this helpful goal setting guide to offer.

Yes, goal setting is important. In fact, it’s more important than achieving the goal itself. This is because it is the sense of direction that is needed for you to fulfill any task in life.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed if this sounds new to you, as all the following information has you covered.

Today, you’ll find out all about the importance of goal setting, types of goals, and tips to define realistic goals for yourself!

What Are Goals?

To kick off our goal setting guide, you need to first recognize what goals are and how they are different from objectives, dreams, and expectations.

A goal is essentially your aim for the long-term future. It is the bigger umbrella, the main focus.

Objectives, on the other hand, fall under the umbrella of goals. They are the stepping stones that help you achieve your goals[1].

Objects vs goals for goal setting

    For example, you may decide you want to learn a new language. Your goal is to be fluent in the new language. Everything you do to achieve this goal, such as the daily tasks and monthly learning aims, are the objectives.

    Similarly, your expectations, visions, and dreams are not your goals. If you wish to learn a new language someday, that is your dream. If you see yourself fluently speaking multiple foreign languages, that is your vision. If you think you’re capable of learning a new language, that is your expectation.

    However, if you aim to fulfill these visions, dreams, and expectations practically, that is your goal.

    Why Is Goal Setting Important?

    Why should you bother with goal setting at all? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just get on with your daily objectives, follow a dream or vision, and let life take you wherever?

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    While that road can feel exciting and spontaneous, if you actually want to tick off things from your list of goals to achieve, learning how to set goals is necessary.

    Being committed to a goal puts your brain to work in one specific direction. Believe it or not, by having a defined goal, your brain does its magic unconsciously, 24/7, with full efficiency, to achieve the desired results[2].

    Goal setting is important to shift your focus, boost your motivation, and give you a sense of direction. Without formally defining a particular aim that you want to reach, you won’t be able to keep your objectives in line.

    Hence, this one tiny step can end up saving you a lot of hassle and time while also encouraging your productivity.

    Types of Goals

    Before we move onto the technique of setting effective goals, we need to first take a look at all types of goals in this goal setting guide.

    These categories will not just help you brainstorm new one for yourself, but it will also guide you to list them down in the right way.

    Time-Based

    One of the two broad categories of goals is based on time. These goals define how far in the future you want to achieve them.

    Daily

    There are certain smaller goals that you can easily achieve in a day or two. In fact, some of these daily goals can be recurring, too. For example, you may want to run for an hour every morning.

    Now, these daily goals can also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. You may be running every day because, in the long-term, you want to increase your stamina.

    Daily goals are highly effective for people who want to improve their mental wellbeing, time management skills, and stress management.

    Short-Term

    Next in line are short-term goals. As you would have already guessed, goal setting in this area is aimed at the near future.

    The great thing about these is that they are generally easier to achieve. This is because short-term goals are set for the foreseeable future. You are aware of the circumstances and have a general idea of how much the situation can change.

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    Just like daily goals, short-term goals may also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. Your short-term goal may be to lose 5 pounds in one month. That could be a goal in itself, or maybe it is just one objective to fulfill your goal to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the next two years.

    Another example of a short-term goal is to fulfill the checklist for promotion within the next 6 months. Or, you may want to reduce your screen time within the coming week.

    Long-Term

    Lastly, we have long-term goals that are meant to be completed over a stretched period.

    Whatever you want to achieve in a later stage of life is a long-term goal. An insurance plan, for example, is a long-term goal.

    Some long-term goals don’t have any time frame at all. They are goals that you want to accomplish at some point in your life. So, something like traveling the whole world is a lifelong goal with no specific time constraint at all.

    There’s one thing about long-term goals that isn’t great.

    They are the hardest to keep up with since you’re not seeing any huge achievements regularly. This may take a toll on your motivation. To tackle this problem, it is best to divide a long-term goal into various, short-term and daily objectives so that you’re always tracking the progress you’re making.

    Life-Based

    Moving forward, you can also start goal setting based on the results you want to achieve instead of the time period.

    Career

    Like most people, you will likely want to succeed and excel in your career. Anything that has to do with this intention, regardless of the time frame, is a career goal. These are usually measurable goals, such as receiving a promotion within two years, finding a job at a certain company within the next six months, etc.

    You can learn more about how to set successful career goals here.

    Personal

    The past few years have all been about emphasizing your personal health. So, when it comes to goals, how can we forget the ones that have to do with our personal gains?

    From health to finances to relationships, everything that brings you happiness and composure as a person is a personal goal. It’s important that these are realistic and attainable goals for your life.

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    Whether you want to get rid of your debt, quit smoking, start a side hustle, have children, or travel the world, all of these goals are personal and very important to have on your list.

    How to Set Goals

    The best way to guarantee the fulfillment of goals is to set them the right way.

    1. Use SMART Goals

    Every goal you define has to be SMART[3].

    SMART stands for:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-Bound

    In summary, your specific goals should be very well defined. They shouldn’t be generic or broad, and every detail should be clarified as you’re goal setting. 

    If you want to start running, how often do you want to do it? How long will each session be? For how long will you continue this habit?

    There has to be a connection between your goals and beliefs or you’ll never be able to achieve the results you want. Most importantly, do not be unrealistic. You cannot learn to fly, and forcing yourself to try is only going to demotivate and stress you out.

    2. Prioritize Your Goals

    As you’re looking into how to write goals for the next month or year, it’s likely you’ll come up with more than one. In this case, it’s important to prioritize which are the most important or the ones that have the tightest deadline. This is going to be subjective, as only you know which goals will have the most impact on your life.

    3. Think of Those Around You

    As you’re working on goal setting, keep your loved ones in mind. You may have a partner, children, or employees that depend on you, and you should take them into consideration with your goals. For example, if you set a goal to travel to 10 different countries in the next two years, how will this affect your children?

    If you want to lose 30 pounds this year, is there something your partner can do to support you? S/he will need to be made aware of this before you set off on your weight loss journey.

    4. Take Action

    Setting goals is the first step, but in order to be successful, you have to follow this with action. If you set goals but never act on them, they become dreams. Create an action plan laying out the steps you need to take each day or week in order to achieve your big and small goals.

    You can also check out Lifehack’s free guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. This helpful guide will push you to take action on your goals, so check it out today!

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    5. Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture

    Most people refer to the big picture as their vision. Whether it is the long-term result or the connection of the goal with your desire, keep it in mind to keep yourself from getting distracted.

    You can learn more about creating a vision for your life here.

    I also recommend you to watch this video to learn 7 strategies to set goals effectively:

    How to Reach Your Goals

    You can ensure your progress by following some foolproof tactics. The use of relevant helpful tools can also keep you on the right track.

    Tactics

    One rookie mistake that most people make is that they work on too many goals simultaneously. Create an action plan and focus on one thing at a time.

    Divide your goal into smaller, easily achievable tasks. Taking it one step at a time makes it much easier. However, do not break them down too much. For example, for long-term goals, you should go for weekly checkpoints instead of daily ones.

    Also, keep track of your progress. This will keep you motivated to work harder.

    Tools

    With so many categories of goals and so many aims, it is almost impossible to remember, let alone work, on all of them.

    Luckily, numerous goal tracker apps will help you keep track of your goals, as well as your plan to achieve every single one. Have at least one installed in your smartphone so that your plan is always within reach.

    The Bottom Line

    In conclusion, using a goal setting guide is not rocket science. All that it takes is strong will power along with all the knowledge that you’ve learned so far.

    Try out the tactics and tips mentioned above to be able to set successful goals so that you can achieve the life that you want!

    More Tips on Achieving Success

    Featured photo credit: Danielle MacInnes via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Smart Insights: The difference between marketing objectives and marketing goals?
    [2] Confluence: Goal Setting Theory
    [3] University of California: SMART Goals: A How-To Guide

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