Are you struggling to reach your goals?
If yes, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. Many people have goals and dreams that they’d love to achieve but never seem able to do so.
To make your goals happen, you need to:
Set Clear Goals — If you give it some thought, you’ll see that family, friends and colleagues who are the most successful in life all have definite goals. Those who are less successful, have vague goals that constantly keep changing.
Take Action — It’s the same with taking action. The most successful people know that goals can never be achieved without action; usually lots of it! The low-achievers in life seldom take the action they need to succeed.
In this ultimate guide to ‘making it happen’. Whatever you need to help you achieve your goals, I’m 100% sure this will become your go-to guide. Let’s dive straight in…
What Is Goal Setting?
If you’re unfamiliar with the practice of goal setting, then let me give you a quick overview of what it is and what it involves.
Firstly, goal setting is not wishful thinking. It’s easy to dream of impossible things, but for goal setting to be effective — your goals needs to be realistic and achievable.
For instance, you might wish you were a billionaire or a prince/princess of a country, but the odds of these things happening are VERY slim. It would be a much better use of your time and energy to focus on goals that you can definitely achieve. Things such as: breaking out of your comfort zone, learning a new language, changing your career, etc.
Start Off Small is one of the best goal setting exercises — Choose some small, easily achievable goals. Perhaps quitting coffee for one day a week; or waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal each day. Once you’ve built a habit of setting and achieving small goals, you’ll be ready to move onto bigger and more exciting stuff.
Find Your Life’s Purpose — It’s important when deciding on major goals that they align with your life purpose. If you fail to do this, then you’ll make your goals harder and more challenging to achieve. That’s because you’ll effectively be working against your natural motivations and inclinations.
So find your life purpose and then choose major goals that are in harmony with it. This is the little-known key to a happy, productive and successful life.
Set a Specific Date — Once you’ve decided on your goals, you just need to set a specific date when you want to achieve them by, and then make a plan detailing the necessary steps you need to take to get you there.
Read on, as I’ll be covering all this in the next few minutes!
Why Is Goal Setting Important?
When it comes to goals, the other thing to think about is the power they give you.
Let me explain:
If you set out on a hike from your home hoping to randomly find a stream or river that you could sit by and enjoy some time at, you’d probably walk for hours before you came across what you were looking for. (If indeed you found anything at all). However, if you spent just a few minutes checking on Google Maps where the nearest stream or river was to your home, you could quickly and easily plot your route to the desired site.
The loose approach of the former is a recipe for failure; while the efficient and pinpointed approach of the latter is a guaranteed recipe for success.
This is why precise goal setting is so important. It gives you the edge you need to achieve your dreams and desires.
Check out Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life for more proof of the incredible power of goal setting.
Why Do People Fail to Reach Their Goals? (And How To Fix It)
As I’ll explain in this section, there are 3 main reasons that people fail to reach their goals.
If you even fall into just 1 of the 3 categories, then your ability to get things done in life will be severely hampered.
However, I have some good news for you…
Whether you currently fall into 1, 2 or even all 3 categories, I will give you practical solutions that you can put into action right now. Solutions that will immediately give you the keys to effective goal setting and goal achieving.
1. The goal is not right
Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals — If you don’t know how to choose the right goals for yourself, you’ll end up becoming frustrated and disillusioned with the lack of progress in your life.
Years of helping people to improve their lives has taught me that those people who fail to become achievers have one or more of the below issues:
- Their goals are unclear and not specific enough.
- Their goals aren’t motivating or inspiring to them.
- Their goals are too big and easily become overwhelming.
- They lack focus and get distracted with too many goals and unimportant things.
- They lack a life purpose.
- They know what they don’t want, but don’t know what they DO want!
Get SMART! — Fortunately, there is a tried-and-test solution to these issues. It’s called the SMART goal setting method.
Here’s how it works:
Specific — Be 100% clear about what you want.
Measurable — Set definite targets that you’ll be able to tick off when you’ve hit them.
Achievable — Choose goals that push your boundaries but are still achievable.
Realistic/Relevant — Throw out any goals that don’t support your current needs and aims.
Time bound — Goals are far easier to achieve if you set a date of when you must achieve them by.
The power of the SMART method is that it gives you a clear path and time frame to keep you on track to achieve your goals.
Let’s say you wanted to learn a new language.
The first thing to do is to be specific about which language you want to learn! Next, you should ensure that your goal is constantly measurable. In this case, it could mean taking an online or in-person course that allows you to track your progress.
Before committing yourself, spend some time deciding if your choice of goal is achievable. Ask yourself these questions: “Do I have the time, energy and money needed to achieve the goal?” and “Is the goal a reasonable stretch for me?” (It shouldn’t be out of reach or too easy.)
Then look to see just how realistic the goal is before you jump in. In this example, you might want to look at your motivation for learning a new language. Is it enough to get you through the inevitable steep grammar and vocabulary learning curve?
The final step is to make your goal time bound. This is where you set a definite date of when you will be conversant or fluent in the new language. As well as this important end goal, I recommend you set deadlines for achieving the key steps needed to take you to your ultimate target.
The SMART method is a simple way to set and achieve your goals. Try it out on your next few goals, and I guarantee that — like me — you’ll be able to vouch for its effectiveness.
Finally, for more help on setting SMART goals, then please download our free guide:
2. Failed to plan
Instant Addiction — In today’s nonstop 24/7 world, we’ve become accustomed to getting things at the touch of a button, such as ordering a pizza and streamlining the latest movie.
While this technological age has certainly given us many benefits, it’s also had the negative effect of causing many people to lose their natural planning abilities. Most people don’t want to plan to get something — they want it right now.
This clearly works for home shopping and music/movie streaming, but it’s not practical or realistic when it comes to big goals such as changing career or boosting your mental and physical health.
If you’re currently struggling to make and stick to plans, then I suggest the following:
- Map out your plan — Break down your plan into milestones. These will be bite-sized steps that once completed you can tick off on your way to completing your plan.
- Create a backup-plan in case any milestones fail — As you’ve no doubt experienced, life isn’t always plain sailing. That’s why I recommend you always have a back-up plan in case any of your milestones get sunk by stormy conditions.
You might find it helpful if I demonstrate the above using a quick example.
Let’s say that your goal is to learn how to drive. You could map out this goal using a plan such as this one:
- Decide how much money you have available to spend on lessons.
- Research local driving instructors.
- Choose an instructor.
- Decide on frequency of lessons.
- Start taking lessons.
- Evaluate with your instructor how long it will take for you to pass your test.
- Book your test.
- Take your test.
- Pass your test!
Make It Easy for Yourself — I’ve deliberately made this example simple to give you an idea of how easy planning can and should be. And the best part? When you have a plan like this, you’ll quickly be able to start ticking off items from your list, which will encourage you and motivate you to keep going until you accomplish your goal.
For more inspiration, check out our free guide:
3. Don’t know how to take action consistently
Having goals is one thing; but they’ll remain elusive goals if you fail to take the necessary action to achieve them.
I’ve observed over the years that people who don’t take action to achieve their goals suffer from one, several or even all of the following roadblocks:
- Procrastination — failing to start or continue the necessary work.
- Analysis paralysis — needing everything to be certain and every condition to be ‘perfect’ before starting.
- Lack of commitment — just doing what’s easy and convenient; not tackling the hard stuff.
- Excuses — blaming external factors for lack of progress.
- Unable to handle failure — easily gives up if failure or mistakes are encountered.
- Incorrect focus — putting all the focus on the end results rather than the process and progress.
- Comparisons — allowing comparisons with other people to knock self-confidence and motivation.
Luckily, the above roadblocks are straightforward to overcome. You just need to align your environment with your goal, create accountability, review your progress and reward yourself for small wins.
This could look something like this:
You have a goal to lose 20lb of weight in the next 6 months.
If you tried to do this with no road map, then you’d probably fail to achieve your aim. However, by getting your environment right, such as by only stocking healthy food in your home, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success. Add to that making yourself accountable — perhaps by getting your partner on board with your goal — and you’ll start to find the motivation you need. Finally, if you keep reviewing your progress and reward yourself every time you hit one of your incremental targets, then you’ll have everything you need to help you reach your weight loss goal.
Need some instant inspiration? Then grab our Make It Happen handbook. This fantastic resource will help you condition your mind for positive action.
More Resources to Help You Get Your Goals
Setting goals and making them happen are the keys that unlock the doors to health, wealth and happiness.
If you want to succeed, be sure to check out the Lifehack courses, vlogs and articles and courses listed below.
- How To Stop Failing Your Goal And Achieve Success (Actionable Tips)
- How to Finally Reach Your Goals by Creating Dependable Accountability
- How to Hack Your Brain to Achieve Your Goals
- How to Set Goals Effectively and Grow Continuously
- How To Make Plans And Achieve What You Want (7 Pandemic-Proof Steps)
- How to Stay Motivated at Work While Working From Home
- One of the Best Goal Setting Exercises
- How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully
- 15 Characteristics of High Achievers You Need to Know
- 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation
- 50 Quotes About Setting Goals To Get Motivated And Inspired
- 10 Willpower Hacks to Help Achieve Your Goals
- A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success
- How to Take Smart and Massive Action in 6 Simple Steps
- The Psychology of Habit Formation (And How to Hack it)
- How to Stop Playing the Victim in Life And Fight for What You Want