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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

5 Steps You Must Take to Be Successful in Achieving Your Goals

5 Steps You Must Take to Be Successful in Achieving Your Goals

Goals: We love them, we hate them, and we should never live without them. So many goals set and so little time to accomplish them or so little drive to pursue them!  How can you actually achieve your goals?

While there isn’t a magic wand that you can simply point at your goals and watch them become realities, you can definitely take steps to ensure you achieve the goals you set. Let’s explore the steps you can take but keep in mind that you are uniquely and wonderfully made; so take what you can use and tailor it to fit your needs. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, it’s about the journey to finding what drives you and keeps you focused on achieving the goals you set for your life.

Step 1: Believe

Believing is an interesting concept: it takes an element of knowledge and faith. You must believe that you can achieve your goals because you have the “knowledge” necessary to achieve them (if you don’t have the knowledge, get it!) and you have the “faith” to pursue them. Believing that you are capable of achieving the goals you set for yourself may be the single most important thing you can do when setting out to achieve your goals. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? So, whatever you set your mind to, whatever goal you want to achieve, believe that you have or will have the capacity to achieve it.

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Step 2: Do it anyway

At the risk of sounding oh-so-cheesy: think of Phil Collins and the song “Against All Odds” when setting out to achieve your goals. Sure, people may laugh on your face or behind your back, life may ridicule you for having a goal, and you may second guess yourself more than a dozen times, but even if you are “against all odds” when pursuing your goal, do it anyway. You have one life to live, and nothing to lose by trying. You will live no life and lose everything if you don’t try at all.

The amazing world re-known speaker Les Brown is a perfect example of this very important step; after being labeled “educable mentally retarded” Mr. Brown went on to be a broadcast station manager, political commentator and multi-term state representative in Ohio. Sure, everyone around him doubted his intelligence and capabilities, but he continued on and pressed toward his goal. When all odds seemed to have been against him, he did it anyway.

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Step 3: Be fearless

Ok, so you believe you can do it, you are doing it against all odds, now, you must strive to be fearless. While there is a good chance that you’ve already messed with your comfort zone if you’ve gotten this far down the steps, in order to achieve your goals, you must cleave on to fearlessness. Why is being fearless so important? Because you will fail many times, and it is only through fearlessness that you will have the courage to face failure and say: “I am moving forward, I am pressing on.”

Step 4: Practice Persistence

In order to achieve success when setting out to reach your goals, it is imperative that you be persistent. You must be persistent not only in following all these steps but also on your strategy to achieve your goals.  Whatever plan you set for yourself in order to achieve your goals, don’t cut yourself any slack. Be persistent in the time you get up, the time you go to sleep, the time you take to plan and the time you take to dream. Persistence will not only keep you standing firm and tall in the face of failure but it will build self-control, a crucial ingredient for success!

Step 5: Be patient

Patience these days is a very rare quality. We are practically born with an inpatient gene, one that carries us through life with the expectation that because our mac & cheese is done in exactly 3 minutes, everything else in life should follow that pattern. Well, this I-want-it-now disease is your biggest threat to achieving your goals. Nothing that is worth pursuing is done in the blink of an eye; it takes times, hard work, and you must definitely be patient. When desperation for the lack of success starts to creep into your soul, practice patience and remind yourself that you have been created for greatness and are endowed with the necessary abilities to succeed in the achieving all your goals.

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Featured photo credit: David Gavi via unsplash.com

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Sarita King

motivational warrior!

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Last Updated on June 16, 2021

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

If you are making slow progress on a goal you’ve set, maybe it is the wrong goal in the first place. Perhaps factors, including your attitude or environment, do not allow you to make your desired progress. However, it is easy to blame timing and luck; if you set a goal, you and only you are accountable for achieving it (read the achieve my goals guide). The question is, how?

Start With Why

On my career path, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore and learn things practically. After a successful corporate career, I spent two years trying to establish an entrepreneurial consultancy, only to realize marginal success.

The consultancy formed based on my core values, candor, curiosity, and collaboration, but unfortunately, my customer base and projects were seemingly random and disjointed. While I understood I needed to establish a consistent and repeatable approach to content marketing to drive my clients’ results, that approach was not apparent in the brand I had built. Things got so rough that I had to resort to collecting unemployment at the onset of the pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I delivered a webinar called earning trust in uncertain times: coronavirus edition. Afterward, I received an email from a participant. He shared some thoughts on a campaign for his jewelry company and asked for feedback. When I read his email, I realized I could quickly help him to gain clarity, so I sent him a note with an offer to get his message on track. He offered to pay me for my time, and I said to myself,

“I am adding value, and I can charge for this!”

This first client needed to shift my offerings from general marketing consulting to a more diversified career that focuses on personal brand building.

It took a global pandemic to realize I needed to shift my goals to align with the change I was trying to make in the world, to a new business, coaching that applies my skills in an authentic way to me and valuable to prospects and customers.

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Start With Your Identity

James Clear discusses identity-based habits as deeply rooted in a person’s outlook toward life.[1] As a businessperson, identity-based practices are what impact business goals and your approaches towards achieving them. Identity is what you believe in, and outcomes determine what you seek to achieve. A permanent change comes from transforming the who part of behavior—the character.

Whether it is a coaching program I develop, a class I teach, or a marketing campaign I create, I always start identity. According to The Brookings Institute:[2]

Identity is a unique, inherited collection of assets, history, traits, and culture that distinguishes it internally and externally and can unite people and places.

But this logic also applies to personal goals. If losing weight is your goal, your focus is on an outcome rather than an identity-based plan, and you may lose motivation. Think, “Why am I trying to lose weight?”

  • Is it to be more healthy?
  • Did you get some lousy test results at the doctor?
  • Are you at risk of severe health problems?

It may help reframe your goal around a positive statement like, I am working to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Motivation has to come from a place of confidence and belief in yourself. You know what they say about the air mask on the airplane – put it on yourself first.

It is ok to set goals for others; for example, “I am losing weight so I can live for my kids;” however, if you don’t set goals around themes that you can own, and you don’t do it for yourself first, then the people in your life will not receive any benefit.

Think about what you achieve from your efforts — the outcomes. The reality that you are looking at right now must also allude to the fact you promise to create for your clientele, and that is not possible unless you believe in it and make it believable for others.

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Be Specific About What, How, and When

Your values need to align with other people and systems to engage in meeting your desired outcome, so make sure to put in place a process that accounts for what motivates you, that you can reliably complete until you achieve your goal.

If you are not specific and clear about how many pounds you are trying to lose and when you will lose then, then how will you know if you met your goal in the first place?

BJ FOGG, the author of Tiny Habits, suggests that you start small. In the Tiny Habits method, you always start with a tiny behavior. Some examples:

  • Floss one tooth
  • Read one sentence in a book.
  • Take one deep breath.

According to Fogg, an excellent tiny behavior has these qualities:

  • takes less than 30 seconds (even better: just 5 seconds)
  • requires no real effort
  • doesn’t create pain or destructive emotions

Make sure it’s a habit you want to have in your life. Don’t pick something that’s a “should,” choose new behaviors you wish to.

The next thing to learn is where to place the further tiny action in your life. Just like planting a seed, you want the right spot for it, a place where it fits naturally and where it can thrive.

Be flexible and adaptable. We are in a complicated and volatile world, and things change on a dime, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to change how you go about achieving your goal or even what goals you are trying to accomplish first place.

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Be aware of bias. As you set out to achieve your goals, it is critical to be aware of the bias that can sneak in and sabotage your thinking. Yes, it is essential to collaborate with others to achieve your goals, but you need to understand yourself and make sure you are not getting in your way before doing that. Here are some common forms of bias.

  • Confirmation bias: People tend to listen more often to information that confirms the beliefs they already have.
  • Selection bias: Selecting individuals, groups that do not provide diverse perspectives for you to consider.
  • Self-serving bias: People tend to give themselves credit for successes but blame failures on external causes.

What about serendipity? Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control.

Dr. Christian Busch, author of The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, spent a decade exploring how, if acted upon, unexpected encounters can expand our random social encounters can enhance our worldview, expand our social circles, and create new professional opportunities.

Serendipity is usually about connecting dots that have previously remained elusive. Busch’s findings suggest that Good luck isn’t just chance—it can be learned and leveraged. When you are perceptive, curious, open-minded, and eager to see opportunities, others might see only negatively. If you notice something unusual but can connect that bit of information with something else, you are in the right mindset for achieving serendipity.

Motivation and a Realistic Plan

Only you can choose the goals you set. Motivation is critical in meeting your goals. But choosing goals is not enough; you need to select the right goals and define a plan that keeps you accountable for meeting your goals.

Author Gabriele Oettingen defined a methodology you can use to get better at achieving your hopes and dreams. It’s called WOOMP![3]

WOOP stands for:

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  • W = Wish
  • O = Outcome
  • O = Obstacle
  • P = Plan

WOOMP, there it is! WOOMP will force you to be hyper-realistic about your goals and be action-minded in your approach to achieving them.

Show up Consistently

In order to turn your vision into reality, you will have to regularly show up by consistently organizing, leading, and building to get to your goals.

“Some people show up when they need something. Some people show up before they need something, knowing that it will pay off later when they need something. And some people merely show up. Not needing anything, not in anticipation of needing something, but merely because they can.” — Seth Godin

Final Thoughts

While I would be happy to be your trusted advisor and coach, the answer has to start with you. My process will help you to define and document an ownable set of values and marketing frameworks that will make you more appealing to clients/ employers, especially on LinkedIn. These values will translate beyond work, as well.

More on Making Progress

Featured photo credit: Aj Alao via unsplash.com

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