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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How To Set Your Goals And Achieve Them Without Stress

How To Set Your Goals And Achieve Them Without Stress

Setting and achieving goals do come with a lot of responsibilities, but this does not mean that they have to be unnecessarily stressful. Too much stress can impact your physical and mental health. It can reduce your productivity and stop your growth. If you want to avoid stress while you strive to achieve your goals, then the way you set your goals matters a lot.

From setting your goals to achieving them, the following are some proven steps that will help you achieve unprecedented success and still minimize stress.

1. Leverage the Power of Imagination

Leveraging the power of your imagination in this context means using mind pictures to think about areas of your life, where you want to be, and what goals you should set to get there. Being confused about which goals to set can lead to setting the wrong goals, and pursuing the wrong goals can lead to wasted time and frustration.

However, when you take quality time out to set your goals using the power of thoughtfulness and imagination, you will be able to identify the things that are important for you to accomplish. Therefore, when you decide you want to set your goals, find an environment that can inspire you and boost your creative and imaginative power.

2. Align Your Goals With Your Purpose

Several studies have pointed out that people tend to get to achieve their goals when those goals have roots in their life purpose.[1] A life purpose is something that your entire life is designed to achieve. It is the thing that drives and motivates you to get out of bed every day and hit the ground running.

If you have not yet identified the purpose of your life, then your first priority is to discover that purpose.

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When you have discovered your purpose, then align your goals with the purpose. Your personal, career, financial, and family goals, etc. should actually stem out of your purpose. Everything should fit into the ultimate agenda for your life.

It’s just like building a house. Every unit is placed together to bring out the beauty of a masterpiece called a building.

3. Prioritize Your Goals and Focus on One Goal

Because of natural human limitations, no one can effectively achieve multiple goals at a time. This is why it is important to prioritize your goals.

Start with writing a list of goals that you want to accomplish. Write out everything that you think is important to you. Then, rank each goal based on how important they are to the next stage of your life purpose and plan. Arrange them in order of rank and importance and focus on one goal at a time. When you have achieved one, you can move on to the next goal on your list.

4. Make Your Goal SMART

After picking a goal you want to work on, the next thing is to make it SMART. This means that the goal should be stated in Specific terms, with clear objectives that are Measurable and within Attainable range. It must also be Realistic, not just something premised only on hope. All these should be within a Timeframe that will align with your life’s progress.

Knowing how to set SMART Goals will help you get the job done as you get a clear-cut direction on your goals.

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5. Break Down Your Goal Into Milestones

Achieving your goal will be significantly easier if you learn to focus on smaller units of the goal rather than the whole goal itself. This means that you can break down your goals into smaller units that you can complete in the short-term.

For example, if you have the goal to self publish a book in a year, you can break your goal into milestones to make it achievable. This includes activities like creating and researching your book idea, creating the outlines, researching the potential content, writing the manuscript, getting someone to edit it, peer review and endorsements, graphics design, publishing and marketing, etc.[2].

Each of your milestones should have a timeframe within which they should be completed.

6. Develop an Action Plan

Your action plan has to do with the strategy and tactics you put in place, and the series of tasks you will have to execute to achieve your goal. You will need all these if you don’t want to get stuck while striving to achieve your goal.

You can develop more than one action plan or have alternative plans apart from your main plan. You can concentrate on implementing the main plan and only use the alternative plans when the need arises.

Your plans can fail while pursuing your goal, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change it. You can be flexible with your methods and strategies instead of changing or giving up on your goal. Always be creative in finding new ways to mitigate the challenges you may encounter along the way.

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7. Keep Yourself on Track

Among other things that are required to achieve your goals, maintaining focus and keeping yourself on track is very important. Make use of all the available resources around you to ensure that you are constantly on the path of achieving your goal. Below are some useful ideas:

Create the Right Environment

Being in the right state of mind and in the right physical environment are essential to achieving your goals. You need to be in a place and around people that will inspire you and support your dreams. This also includes making time for your goals, a time free from other distractions.

Make Use of Motivational Techniques for Optimum Performance

Whatever you set out to achieve, you will need to get motivated for optimum performance. There are different motivational techniques that you can adopt for this. An example is having a vision board, a collection of images and text that points in the direction of your goal and motivates you to take action every day. You can also have a collection of texts and quotes written by you or someone else and use them as affirmative words to speak positively about achieving your goals.

Ask Someone to Help You Be Accountable

Another way to keep yourself on track to achieve your goals is to have someone to be accountable for you. This person is someone who believes in your dream and is happy to see you achieve your goals.

To start, share your goals, plans, and your timeline with the person. Then, have a regular schedule of discussing your progress with the person.

Celebrate Small Wins

Success, they say, begets success. If you win small, you have the tendency to win big. One of the ways to keep focused and stay motivated is by celebrating small wins and rewards.

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First, you have to learn to identify the small wins. This can be the completion of a task or a milestone. Do not wait until you win big to applaud yourself. Celebrate the small wins and it will inspire you to do something greater and better.

Final Thoughts

The goal of this article is to show you that you can set and achieve your goals without going through the stress that most people go through. By carefully choosing your goals and aligning them with your life purpose, focusing on one goal at a time, and making it SMART, you will be on the right track towards achieving your goals.

In addition, working on milestones that create short term rewards will keep you on track and motivated to achieve your bigger goal. Lastly, when you encounter difficulties while working to achieve your goal, try changing your action plans instead of up giving up on your goal.

More Tips on Achieving Goals

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on February 23, 2021

What Are Vision Boards And Why They Work

What Are Vision Boards And Why They Work

We hear people saying that vision boards are a fad, that they are not worth doing, and that they should be forgotten. However, this is simply not true. Vision boards can be very useful, and they are definitely worth taking the time to create. That is why so many celebrities and notable figures in the world are choosing to create and use them.

Beyonce has been known to use vision boards to help her with her future goals, as has Oprah Winfrey and if they work for these two incredibly powerful and talented women, then it makes sense that anyone can benefit from them.

But what are they? Rather than simply being a collection of images, vision boards are so much more than that.

To help you to learn more, I have put together our guide to what they are, how they can be made in four steps, and why you should make an effort to make a vision board for yourself.

What Is a Vision Board?

We all have visions and goals that we want to achieve. They may be in our personal lives, or they may be in our careers and businesses. While we may know what it is that we want to achieve, this doesn’t mean that it is always easy to focus on our goals.

The idea of a vision board is that it is a visual representation of what we want to achieve. We can use it to show our end goal and where we see ourselves being in the future. Not only this, but a vision board will also help you show the process of how you envisage getting to these end goals.

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A vision board can be made from a variety of images. What you choose will really depend on you. However, you need to make sure that it reminds you of what your goal is and what it means to you. They should be something that you want to display and that is as eye-catching as possible.

Colour and texture are key parts of any vision board. However, how you use them is entirely down to you and you alone.

How To Create a Vision Board?

Making a vision board may sound straightforward, however, it can be more complicated than you realize. There are plenty of things that you need to think about along the way.

While the way that you make your vision board will really depend on you, there are 4 steps that you should follow to make sure that it is clear and useful for you in the long run.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you define your goals. To do this, you need to list the areas of your life that you consider to be most important to you. We can’t tell you what these are since they are a personal choice. However, some of the most common examples of these areas include your family, relationship, hobbies, friends, fitness, well-being, and finances.

When you have identified what areas of your life are most important to you right now, then you can start to drill down even further into them and identify what goals you have within them.

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If you focus on sports and fitness, then maybe you want to teach yoga or train in a sport. If travel is important to you, then maybe plan a trip around the world. If you want to expand your mind, you could identify an instrument or language that you want to learn and if you are thinking about your career (and maybe your finances, too), then starting a business could be a key goal for you.

You shouldn’t spend too much time on this, else there is a chance that you may overthink things rather than letting them come to you. Only spend around 10 minutes on this step. Make sure that you write down anything that comes to mind as you can use these things later on.

Step 2: Gather Your Inspiration

Once you know what your goals are, then you need to start thinking about how you can create a visual representation of these goals. Think about words and images that match in with what you want to achieve.

Of course, the most obvious place to look for these images is in magazines, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to only magazines. Other great places that you can use for inspiration for your vision board include:

  • Postcards
  • Stickers
  • Wrapper paper
  • Materials
  • Things from nature
  • Online searches

When you see something that works for you, then cut it out or even rip it out and place it on one side. You may be surprised by just where you can find your inspiration, and you shouldn’t discount something just because it doesn’t fit in with what you think should inspire you.

This step will take a little longer than the last. So, you might want to make sure that you have a nice cup of your favorite hot drink—ready to browse through and find your inspiration.

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Step 3: Map Out How You Want Your Board to Look

Now, we have got to the point where you can start thinking about what your vision board is going to look like. You will need to grab some things for this step. You will need some cardboard (the bigger the better), scissors, glue sticks, markers, fabric, decorate tape, stickers, gems, or sequins.

To start, you just want to lay your images out on your board. You don’t want to glue anything until you know how you want them to be arranged. The last thing that you want is to stick things down, commit to that setup, and then find out that you want to change them.

Once you are happy with how things look, then you can stick it all down. You may want to use some of the added decorative things that you have put together, such as decorative tape, sequins, stickers or simply use different pens or paints to add color.

The main thing to remember is that your vision board is all about you, so what you create should be appealing to you. You can look online for help on how to put things together and make up your board but, ultimately, you need to focus on it being a representation of you.

Step 4: Make It Happen

The last thing on the list is to make sure that you bring your vision board to life. First, you need to make sure that you display it in a place where you will be able to see it. After all, that is the main reason for taking the time to make your vision board in the first place.

Display it in a place that you go to every single day. This could be a home office, your bedroom, or perhaps in a hallway before you leave the house every day. Having it there will remind you that you need to follow those dreams and achieve those goals and will also show you how you can do it.

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Then, it is down to you. Do whatever you need to do to make it happen. Push yourself and focus on what you want to achieve. You may make excuses and you may sometimes think that you just can’t do it, but I promise you that you can—that you will one day get there. Of course, your vision board is just a part of the process, and really, it is down to you to make it happen. So, do it!

Why Do They Work?

We know that vision boards sound like they are a lot of work, but the truth is, they are as hard as you make them. Not only this, but they are well worth putting all that effort into to create them.

With a vision board, you will able to see what it is that you want in the future and identify how you can get there. When you can see it, there, in front of you, then you are going to want to get there, and you are going to feel much more motivated to work towards these goals. Not only this, but the process of making a vision board is more fun than you may realize. This means that you can look forward to doing it rather than ignoring those goals and stopping yourself from achieving what you want in the future.

More Tips on Creating Vision Boards

Featured photo credit: Andy Art via unsplash.com

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