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Simple Tips for Achieving Goals

Achieving Goals: Harder AND Easier Than You Think!

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Updated February 22, 2012

Simple Tips for Achieving Goals

Achieving goals can provide a wonderful feeling of accomplishment!

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Achieving goals is often more difficult than people realize. We may have a burning desire to see changes in our lives--less stress, a healthier lifestyle, more money in the bank account--but actually implementing those changes involves much more than merely motivation (though that's necessary as well)! If you already have motivation, this information on achieving goals can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Achieving Goals: Visualize What You Want

Books like The Secret and concepts like The Law of Attraction have caught on in a major way lately because they give voice to what most of us intuitively understand: visualizing what you want in life is an essential step toward achieving it. A major part of achieving goals is actually knowing what those goals are. Many people start with big concepts like, 'I want to have more money', 'I want to live a healthier lifestyle', or 'I want to be happier'. What they don't realize is that these goals are vague and sweeping enough that it's very difficult to know what steps to take, when you've done enough, or when you're close but need to make a few changes in direction.

As you work on achieving goals, remember that setting goals is an important first step. Try to:

  • Imagine where you want to be. How does it look? What, specifically is different? (For example, is something that's currently bothering you now missing, or has something been added to your current situation?)

  • Research the benefits of your proposed change. This can help you to stay motivated, and be fully aware of how your life would change after achieving your goals.

  • Ask yourself, 'How will I know when I've met my goal? How will I know when I'm off-track?' and write down your answers in a journal.

  • Experiment with Law of Attraction principles of visualizing what you want. Whether you believe in 'the law' or not, these techniques can really add to motivation, and help clarify goals as well.

  • Create a vision board to remind yourself of your main goals and keep them in the forefront of your mind in a pleasant way. (See these techniques for how to create a vision board.)

Achieving Goals: Break It Down

How can you reach your major goals and most ambitious dreams without burning out and losing motivation in the process? How can you get where you want to be when it's difficult to maintain a new habit for more than a week or two? The secret lies with breaking large goals into smaller ones! This keeps each step do-able and allows you to reward your progress along the way. This is also the secret to reaching several goals at once; you have enough energy to meet several small goals in the same time frame, and work toward achieving large goals in multiple areas of your life. When breaking down goals, consider the following:
  • First, find the large goals that you want to meet. Then, look at each step it would take to get there, each rung in the ladder up. Try to identify steps that build on the completion of the ones before.

  • Next, break those steps down, if possible. Keep dividing the steps until you create small goals that can be achieved in a month or so--or even a week. (Some people like to have a goal for each day!)

  • Work on maintaining the right difficulty level. If the goals are too small and easy, you won't feel challenged and may lose motivation; feel free to increase their difficulty. If you find that your goals are too difficult, give yourself permission to set easier goals before you lose confidence, burn out and give up. Setting the right pace is an important part of the process.

  • Write it down! This page on goal setting allows you to reflect upon and clarify your goals, and see what others are doing to work toward theirs. There's strength in numbers!

See page two of this article for more ideas and resources for achieving goals.

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