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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

10 Ways Successful People Achieve Their Goals

10 Ways Successful People Achieve Their Goals

Setting and achieving goals is one of the best ways to improve your life. Goals reduce boredom and the sense of drift that many people experience, plus working on your goals gives your self-confidence a great boost.

Let’s look at ten ways that successful people in various fields use goals to improve their lives. As with any approach, your results will vary depending on your commitment and understanding. Consider this article an introduction to the important principles of goals.

1. They use a proven goal setting system

It is important to start working on goals with a proven system. In December 2014, I bought and used Michael Hyatt’s excellent 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever program. As a result of going through the program, I set nine goals for 2015. The process Hyatt lays out takes a few days (though one could compress it into a weekend in a pinch) and it worked out. Hyatt has achieved significant success in the publishing industry, as a professional speaker and as an author.

2. They balance planning and action

Planning and action both play an important role in achieving major goals. Some professions – architects, engineers and project managers for example – have developed strong planning skills and approaches. Unless you are building a space ship, it is vital to put a time limit on planning.

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In my experience working toward annual goals, I find it is helpful to plan 1-3 actions to be accomplished in the next week.

3.They set goals for all areas of their life (not just career and money)

Many of the experts and articles on goal setting focus on business and career goals (e.g. earn more money, increase one’s sales commissions, launch a new product). That is an understandable focus, however a relentless focus on career goals to the exclusion of other aims tends to lead to unhappiness and decreased productivity.

Successful people take the time to define leisure goals (e.g. visit wine country in California with my spouse), health and fitness goals (e.g. run a marathon race) and personal growth goals (e.g. learning a language). It is a mistake to assume that the rest of your life will somehow drift into place if you fail to set goals.

4. They set their own goals for their life

Many companies and employers have an annual goal setting process for their employees. Successful people know that this activity is only one part of their goals. As business philosopher Jim Rohn observed: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

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Working on your own goal ensures you have an active and interesting life outside of the office. Besides, it is fun to set and achieve demanding personal goals.

5. They have a goal review system

Putting your goals into writing is a vital step that many successful people use to reach success, however it is not enough. When you are working toward challenging goals that takes months or years to achieve, regular goal reviews are essential.

Business consultant and author David Allen proposed the Weekly Review in his classic book “Getting Things Done.” Successful people add the step “review annual goals” to that weekly review. During that time, successful people reflect on their progress, challenges encountered and plan for future steps.

6. They seek expert help when they face challenges

Seeking out expert guidance and advice makes a major impact on achieving your goals. Seeking outside help takes several forms. For example, a young George Washington developed relationships with powerful people in colonial Virginia to launch his career. Your relationships and network can play an important role in supporting your goal achievement.

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In addition to your personal network, there are other resources you can access to reach your goals. For example, if you need to learn more technology skills to get the type of job you want, you can take a course in programming or earn a certification.

7. They are thoughtful about sharing their goals

Successful people understand that their goals say a lot about their interests, desires and challenges. Given that reality they are selective in how they share their goals. For example, a successful person may share their business goals in the context of a mastermind meeting where they can receive helpful comments and advice from other highly motivated people. In contrast, a successful person building a side hustle is unlikely to mention that activity at their corporate day job.

When in doubt, do not share your goals as you are working on them.

8. They seek inspiration to get through tough times

Disappointments and challenges are part of the picture when you work on challenging goals. Fortunately, many other successful people have sought outside inspiration to get through tough times. Strategist Ryan Holiday has found much practical help and insight from studying Stoic works such as The Meditations by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

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Tip: To sustain your motivation in the face of challenges, develop your self-knowledge with personality analysis tools such as the DISC Profile.

9. They are not perfectionists in their goals

In certain circumstances, it makes sense to adjust your goals. You may adjust the deadline on a goal. I have done this myself in 2015. In my case, I adjusted the exam date for a professional exam because my studies and self-assessment tests indicated that I had to study further. You may also need to abandon goals (or put them on hold) if you suffer a serious illness.

Remember your goals are the vehicle on the path to success. Sometimes you have to leave a goal behind if it is simply not working for you.

10. They celebrate goal achievements!

One of life’s great pleasures is to celebrate achieving a goal. Many of us have the experience of celebrating graduation days and earning degrees. Here is journalist Minda Zetlin, writing in Inc Magazine about several ways to celebrate success at work. You can give yourself a day off or you may decide to issue a press release for a major corporate success. Zetlin also suggests reflecting on how far you have come (e.g. “a year ago, I had never run for more than five minutes and today I finished my marathon race!”)

Featured photo credit: Business Suit/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on May 13, 2021

How to Move Forward After Achieving Goal Success

How to Move Forward After Achieving Goal Success

After achieving goal success, you will feel like you are on cloud nine. You have overcome a challenge in your life and, as a result, built a habit that will bring you to new heights.

It’s a wonderful feeling, but eventually, that dopamine-high from the success fades away. And like so many other people that have obtained success, they are left with a big question:

What should I do now that my goal has been achieved?

People are ambitious, but after successfully reaching a goal, people can lose themselves or slow down their momentum of growth. This part of the process is a problem that many individuals face at some point if they haven’t faced it already.

To help you on your way, here are some suggestions for what to do as soon as you achieve goal sucess and how to better proceed forward.

Moving Forward After Goal Success

When you first set yourself a large goal that you’re working towards, it’s easy for you to focus solely on that goal. There isn’t any kind of space at all to think about what you should be doing after you achieve goal success.

Fortunately, there is some basic information and lessons that can help you once you reach goal success and move forward in life. These are principles that millionaire Paul Scolardi has put into practice to great effect.[1]

Here is a breakdown of these principles:

Stay Humble

You might not be striving to become a millionaire like Scolardi. However, it’s still an important lesson to keep in mind. While you’ve made great progress with goal success, it’s important that you don’t underestimate what you left behind or look down on those who are in the same situation as you were.

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Growth is a fragile thing, and it can easily be replaced with bad habits that push you back into a worse situation.

Furthermore, acting cocky or arrogant about your achievements can push people away, whether that’s friends, family, or key supporters. That’s not good because growth often stems from sources beyond ourselves. Many millionaires have mentors to help guide them; athletes have coaches.

We don’t often hear about them in particular stories, but many people are involved in your growth in one way or another. Stay humble and recognize who those people are and acknowledge them.

Train Yourself to Set Bigger Goals

I’ll be expanding on this idea further below, but the idea is that once you achieve a goal you didn’t think you could achieve, you want to continue by setting an even larger goal.

You want to progressively set goals that you think are impossible to achieve after every successful leap in achievement.

For example, if you’ve achieved a high ranking position at your job as part of your goal success, an even bigger goal would be to build your own business in that particular industry.

You can learn more about setting big goals here:

Work Harder and Smarter

When working on your goals, maintaining confidence, positive thinking, and work are all needed for achievement. Naturally, if you’re taking on a larger endeavor, you’ll need to put more motivation, confidence, and work into that, too.It also pays to work smarter and reflect on your achievements. What helped you achieve this goal in the first place? What method or approach did you take to make all of this happen for you?

Many people lose their way because they let their goal success get to them, and they lose what got them into that lofty position in the first place. That stems from a lack of reflection, so make sure you look back to what helped you get to where you are right now.

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People also tend to get bogged down in procrastination, which makes achieving future goals more difficult. If this is a problem you often face, check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination.

Ignore Critics

Haters and critics are all the same. Whenever you achieve something, there will always be people who will try to drag you down. It turns out that many people are jealous individuals and go as far as wishing that you would fail.

Part of the problem is that many people who haven’t worked toward goals expect goal success to be simple. Not only that, but we are often oblivious to the amount of work that’s needed to bring people to pinnacles of success.

Take Scolardi as an example. Unless he shares his particular story of how he became a millionaire, we don’t really know what he went through to get there. All we know is the tip of the iceberg—that he wasn’t a millionaire and now he is.

Even if your goal success is going to impact a small area, you’re still going to get haters or people who don’t believe in you. Successful people know it’s best to leave them be, as your success has nothing to do with how they are feeling.

What to Do After Goal Success

With these four principles in mind, you would want to apply these in your life moving forward. Better yet, apply these right now while you are still working towards your goals.

But what comes next after you have achieved success? After all, these principles are great, but not all of them will bring you that momentum you need in the aftermath of your success.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Set That Bigger Goal or Expand It

As I mentioned before, you want to be setting larger goals. The ambition of people is endless, and deep down you are always looking to achieve more. It sounds greedy, but striving for more doesn’t always have to be in the form of money or high achievements.

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You could reach out to more people and help them with their problems. Or maybe, you want to form a deeper connection with your family and friends. Perhaps you want to train for even better physical health and test it by participating in a triathlon.

Whatever the case may be, you want to set a larger goal than before. In many industries and aspects of your life, there is always room for some kind of expansion. Therefore, when you put your mind to it, you’ll find that there are also other ambitions that you have and other areas where you can pursue goal success.

Another way to look at this is to expand your original goal beyond where it was before. In some cases, there are natural progressions similar to how you want to set milestones that lead you to accomplish your goals.

For example, if you’re looking to lose weight, and you’ve hit your target, the next target would be to train your body in a specific way, such as training for a local marathon. You’re still striving for physical activity, but you’ll be training in a different way that your body isn’t used to.

2. Help Others Out

Another approach is along the same lines as staying humble. Instead of looking down at people, devote some of your energy to helping people out. Chances are you got involved in a community or group that helped you achieve your results in some way.

Since that group or community helped you, why not give back to them?

This isn’t necessarily progress, but it gives you the respite you need to figure out what you want to do next. All the while, this allows you to pass down and reinforce what you have learned.

Remember that your ideals are important, and they can shift if you stray from the path that brought you goal success in the first place. Helping out your community is a good idea to help you stay true to your morals and ideals and focused on your goals.

3. Look at Other Baskets

As the saying goes “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s a fitting phrase in our lives, as we all have many aspects (or baskets) to work on.Along the same lines as the first suggestion, perhaps some of you spent so much time building up one basket that you ignored another. In that case, why not look at other baskets and give them the attention that they need? Review your goals to see which areas of your life need more attention in the short term and long term.

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4. Practice Self-Reflection and Find Yourself

Take some time for yourself. Pause, self reflect, and aim to find yourself once more after this big step of success.

It makes sense that after goal success, you’ll want to move onto the next big thing, but it’s important you go back to yourself.

As mentioned above, there are many aspects of ourselves, and if we focus on one part of ourselves, we weaken the identity of something else. I learned this the hard way as I spent so much time at work that I neglected other areas of my life, like my health and family.

These aspects are part of my identity, and neglecting those for a time caused my life to crumble. All I had was my work. All of that changed when I took it upon myself to look at who I was and who I wanted to become and made active changes in my life to find myself again.

Final Thoughts

People want to think that success is easy to obtain and solves all of our problems, but that’s not often the case. With each success you achieve, there will be something else that will demand even more from you.

Of course, you are free to stay in your current position, but maintaining is important as well. By keeping all of this in mind, having these principles, and applying these practices, you can better prepare yourself for what’s to come.

More Tips on Achieving Goal Success

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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