When we are planning for a special vacation we do our research, plan the itinerary, save the money (hopefully), make time in our diary, find the best travel prices, book flights, hotels, adventures, transport, meetings with friends and on and on. FINALLY we go on our AMAZING trip. And then we have the memories, education and fantastic feelings that stay with us forever.
Now think about that process and apply it to achieving something significant in your life – A Massive Accomplishment. First you have to get clear on the destination. What exactly is the goal you want to achieve? Write down exactly what you want. The more detail, the better. Be very clear on the picture of what you want to achieve. Then work out a timeline that is both achievable and exciting. A timeline that scares you but if you achieve that date you will really have a feeling of satisfaction. Next break down the broad milestones you need to hit to move forward on your goal. Divide these milestones into actions needed. These Milestones need to be dated along your timeline and the actions timed correctly before those milestone dates. Then these need to be transferred to your daily diary or calendar.
For example, if you wanted to set up an online dropship shop through Amazon in 4 months – that would be your massive goal (you would need a lot more description than that though). Next you break that down into milestones like – confirm products, set up payment system, set up marketing system, set up beta testing phase etc, etc and give these completion dates within the 4 months. Then list in great detail all the actions needed to achieve each of those milestones. For example when setting up the payment system you need to check reviews on the various payment systems, write a list of your requirements and specs, do your research and build a short list of options, further test those options for suitability, decide on correct system, complete contracts, integrate into your website and with your bank, test functionality etc, etc. Each of these action can then slot easily into your timeline. And there you have it. A complete goal with daily, 30, 60 and 90 day action plans that all compound to help you reach your final goal within your timeline. Lastly you make sure your calendar is populated with these top priorities and action items and then get to work.
I also suggest the Never Miss Twice Rule. If for some reason you missed doing something on your action list on one day then ENSURE that you get it done the next day (as well as that day’s actions. Never get behind. That creates stress and can mean procrastination sets in. There will be times when “life” gets in the way and you don’t achieve everything you set out to do or when things take longer than you predict or when issues arrive that you did not put into your timeline – this is OK. Reset the goal and keep going. Don’t Quit!
As you can see, the above is a ROADMAP. It is a plan for where you want to get to. Without such a plan you can founder, get distracted and not be clear on what you want to achieve. People tend to want to float around getting a simple daily “To Do List” done, that appears to get their daily chores finished but this does NOT get big goals accomplished. Big GOALS NEED PLANNING! This is why it is important to sit down and really THINK about and PLAN what you want to achieve. Think about what you want to “BE” “DO” and “HAVE”. This is an exciting exercise as you begin to realize that you can achieve amazing things and help a lot of people along the way. When you start to realize how big an impact you can have on the world, you start to get excited about your future. And that excitement will give you the drive to do more.
Written goals help our subconscious brain get involved in our success. Setting a goal focuses us onto the target as if we had already accomplished it and therefore our brain believes that the desired outcome is an essential part of who we are. This gives us more drive and energy that we can exert towards that goal. A strong goal also releases neuro-chemicals. One of these is Dopamine which creates a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. It also helps with motivation and attention. Therefore, having small action items daily that help us work towards our BIG GOALS and recognizing that we finish each of these action items releases Dopamine and therefore helps to maintain our focus and enjoyment of the process.
Regularly setting goals and checking progress on those goals makes goal setting a habit. When the setting of goals and related actions becomes a habit then reaching goals becomes more automated and expected. As you “Expect” to reach a goal you feel less confusion and anxiety and therefore less procrastination. Work out what “Regularly” means to you. Will you get goals each year? Each quarter? Each month? Will you check in on your goal progress and how well you completed your actions on a weekly basis? If so, put this in your Diary NOW. Set aside important time each week to assess your results and make sure your weekly planning is on track.
So, back to the question “Why do we need to set goals – regularly?” We must set goals regularly to give ourselves direction, purpose and meaning. We must set goals regularly to push ourselves to do more and help more people and have a greater impact. When we achieve more we can also help others who may not be in a position to help themselves and to give back to our community. Everyone benefits when we achieve our goals. Make goal setting and taking relevant action a habit in your life.
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