The most successful people I have met all have one thing in common: they have goals. They know what they want, and they are willing to work hard until they have achieved their goals.
For most of us, we know what we want as well, but we seem to have trouble actually getting there. So what’s the difference between people who reach their goals and people who come up short? Staying focused. It’s easy to be excited about a goal when you start out. You’re dreaming about what it will mean to you once you’ve reached that goal, and it motivates you to take action. But there will come a time throughout the process that you become tired or frustrated about not making the progress towards your goal that you had hoped, and it’s easy to give up. So how can you stay focused on your goal until you have reached it, even when things get tough and tedious?
#1 Write your goals down on paper.
It’s easy to give up on your goals if you can’t remember what they are. Goals in your mind and not on paper are sure to get lost with the million other things you’re trying to remember. If you have a goal that you’re serious about achieving, write it down in a journal or somewhere permanent that won’t get thrown away. Sticky notes are a bad idea! The simple act of writing your goals on paper has been shown to increase your chances of achieving them by more than double.
#2 Review your goals twice a day.
Speaking of forgetting about your goals, you can forget about them too if you write them down and shove the journal in your desk drawer. If you’re serious about achieving a goal, you must focus on it every day. The best way to do so is by reviewing your goals at least twice a day; first thing in the morning and again before going to sleep at night. I like to keep my goals on top of my desk, which makes it convenient to review them before I start my day and before quitting at the end of the day.
When you review your goals every day, your subconscious will work on ways to help you achieve your goals, even when you’re not consciously thinking about those goals. You’ll begin to have ideas pop into your head that you otherwise would have missed out on had you not been reviewing your goals each day.
#3 Set deadlines.
How much can you squeeze into one day if you know that you MUST get something done? I’m guessing a lot! That’s the effect that deadlines have on us. We tend to stretch out or condense our tasks depending on how much time we have to get them finished. It works the same with your goals. If you set deadlines for each step, you will not only be much more likely to achieve your goals, but will do so in a shorter time frame. Setting deadlines will keep yourself accountable for sticking with your goals.
#4 Find people who want to help you.
Chances are, you’re not going to achieve your goals without a little help. You’re going to need knowledge, resources and support from others to help you along the way. There will be people out there that want to help you achieve your goals, you just have to find them. Most often, these are mutually beneficial relationships where you’re able to help each other. When you find others that want to help you, you’re not only gaining their support, but also another person to hold you accountable to stay focused on your goals.
#5 Do one thing each day to work towards your goals.
Inactivity or complacency is the biggest factor that holds people back from achieving their goals. You have to maintain motivation and focus to achieve any goal of value, and to do that you must be proactive. Set aside time each day (even on the weekends) to work towards your goals. This can be something as simple as brainstorming for ten minutes or making a phone call to someone who can help you move forward. As long as you’re constantly taking action, there is an extremely good chance that you will succeed.
Achieving your goals comes down to dedication, action and focus. If you can remained focused when activities become tedious or overwhelming, you will be well on your way to achieving those goals!
I’d love to hear about ways that you have maintained focus and achieved goals in the past! Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your comments and stories!