Changing your life involves setting and achieving goals. You’ve seen me post about SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based – and you know the value of goal-setting and putting in consistent work. There’s no better way to improve your personal life, your career or business, and your community life than using goal setting.
You’ve probably gone through phases when you said something like, “I want to read more books,” “I have to exercise more often,” or “I need to stay in more consistent contact with my family members.” And maybe you did a pretty good job of working toward your goal for a short period of time.
However, eventually, you might have let your goal “slide” a bit as you reverted back to your same old routine. And before you knew it, you found yourself wishing that you had put more effort into that goal.
Why weren’t you able to achieve those goals? In all likelihood, you shifted your focus to something else you wanted.
The good news is that now you can accomplish those desires – with a new approach.
These tips will help you maintain focus on your self-improvement pathway and reach your goals:
1. Have a good idea of your overall life plan. When you know where you want to go in life, you can then develop the steps for how to get there.
* Consider this illustration: If you endeavor to have closer relationships with your sisters and you want your kids to have life-long, close relationships with their cousins, draw up steps you can follow to progress toward those goals.
* For example, establishing the habit of calling your sisters each week and scheduling monthly family visits are helpful steps toward your goals.
2. Select ONE area of improvement at a time. Because you’re making adjustments in your life, it’s wise to work on only one improvement for now. Think “focus.” As you integrate your steps for this improvement into your daily routine, then you can start working on accomplishing another desire. Trying to accomplish multiple goals at the same time dilutes your focus and makes you less effective.
3. Reflect first. Why do you want to achieve this? For example, why do you want to exercise more or remain in closer contact with your family members? Knowing why will compel you forward in your quest. Ensure you’re clear on exactly what you want.
4. Jot it down everywhere. If you carry a written schedule, write down your area of focus each week along the top of the page. Doing so will provide you with a consistent prompt for your goal and serve as a reminder to stay the course.
* In your Smartphone schedule, you can type in your goal as a recurring meeting. This way, you’ll see your goal often.
5. Schedule times to work toward your goal. When will you exercise? Which days and time of day will you call your sister? The wonderful thing about Smartphones is that you can set an alarm to remind you that it’s time to take action toward your goal. Actually scheduling the time instead of basically “hoping” you will get it done increases the likelihood of achievement.
6. If you skip your goal for a week or two, simply return to it. One of the top ways we let go of our self-improvement plans is by thinking we’ve “ruined” our goal, so we just let go of it indefinitely.
* Instead, strengthen your efforts by saying to yourself, “That was a really rough (or busy or hectic) time, but now I’m getting back to my goal.” And then do it.
* Renew your enthusiasm and restart your progress. Taking positive action will get you back on track much faster than abandoning the goal.
7. Determine how to keep your motivation going. Depending on your goal, design a plan to keep you motivated. Maybe it’s posting achievements on the calendar or hanging a new swimsuit in the closet where you’ll see it each day.
* You might find it useful to work toward your goal before retiring to your favorite chair and the television remote for the evening. Let your leisure time reward you.
Use these tips to get started now on designing the incredible life you seek. Once you make these steps a habit, you’re well on your way to achieving any goal you desire.