Everyone has dreams. Whether they are big or small, they have vast importance in our lives. But, the procrastinator in all of us doesn’t have to win. With just a little bit of planning, accomplishing a goal is a simple task.
- Set a realistic but challenging/inspiring goal. Take a big dream, like “I want to be famous”, and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, like “I want to star in a science fiction movie”, “I want to go to three auditions a week”, “I want to move to another city” and “I want to save $5000 so I can move.” Make the goal big enough to challenge and excite you, but not so big that you hesitate to take the first steps.
- Plan ahead. Once you’ve broken down your goal into pieces, write down the steps on a piece of paper to make sure you have everything thought out. One of the worst things that can happen is you’re almost to the point of your goal, but you’re not sure what to do next. Also, give yourself deadlines for each step. Otherwise, you’ll end up procrastinating and never achieving your dream.
- Brainstorm ideas. Are there different ways to reach your goal? Write everything down that you can think of in three minutes, no matter how silly or impossible it may seem. For example, you could go to acting school, or maybe you could land a spot in a reality show that would get you started.
- Ask. No one can tell you exactly what you should do to achieve your goal, but one of the best sources for guidelines is to ask those who have done what you hope to achieve. Learn from the experience of others without trying to imitate them.
- Define and describe your goal. Write down when you want to achieve it. Write down the reasons why you want it. Write down what it would feel like after you have achieved it. Figure out exactly what it will take to get it. Be realistic about the time things will take. Many people don’t allow themselves enough time, and give up too soon.
- Be positive. Your goal should be written and have positive intent about what you want to bring into your life. This is very important, since the focus of your goal should not be centered around describing a problem you want to eliminate.
- Make contingency plans. Never forget about the problems that might come up on the way, and prepare for them. Positive thinking is important, but preparedness is better than being shocked or devastated when obstacles appear.
- Learn from mistakes. Making mistakes should be a subject at school to teach all children how to learn from them, instead of trying to avoid them. In the pursuit of a goal, you are likely to make some mistakes. Don’t see them as bad or get angry. They are important to correct you and to lead you to success.
- Draw on all your past achievements that are relevant to your goal. No matter how small you perceive your achievements, list them anyway. It could be something small, such as joining a healthy eating mailing list, to coming home from work late, yet preparing a tasty nutritious meal for your family in under 30 minutes. Once you review your list, you will be amazed at how all those small achievements soon add up, and how much you are really capable of doing.
- Visualize. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accomplishing your goals. Where are you? How did you get there? How do you feel? Do this often. Don’t get swayed easily with the noise and happenings going on outside. Put your attention on what you are trying to achieve. Remember the goal, and you will have control over the discomforts and difficulties. A good way to visualize is to practice self-hypnosis.
- Listen to your internal dialogue. What you are saying inside affects you physically, emotionally and mentally. Is your defense system inside trying to make you stick to your past, limiting beliefs and perceptions? Take over and challenge your inner critics. Monitor any excuses you might be making in relation to your goal. For example, saying “I don’t finish work until late and won’t have time to cook!” You must recognize that if you are truly passionate about your goal, it is up to you to make time.
- Make a list of your personal strengths in relation to your goal. For instance, if you have a healthy eating goal you might want to consider strengths such as your level of commitment to eating healthily, or the fact that you enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes or even that you are an excellent cook. The list of personal strengths you can draw up is endless.
- Seek help. Find the information, skills and knowledge that you need from other people, books, and audio or video programs. Speed up your learning process by emulating what other successful people have done. You save time and get results faster. Self-hypnosis audios are a powerful way to help you get fast, permanent results.
- Create benchmarks or milestones. A benchmark is something you can use to measure your progress and know you’re on track. For example, you can write “The first stage of reaching my goal will be done when I’m in the Entertainment section of the newspaper!” or “I’ll know I’ve reached my goal of being famous when I’m a guest on Oprah.”
- Make a timeline. Draw a horizontal timeline with a dot at each end. The left end represents now, and the right end represents a point in the future. Specify what you want to happen and when, from now until then.
- Be passionate. Striving towards a goal without passion is like a fire which slowly runs out of fuel to burn. Get excited; this will mean that you will love what you are doing. Methodically check your behaviors against impassioned dreams developed as a child. Always share the child within amongst your potential peers. This empowers the Law of Attraction that shapes the dreams of the child into the creative force of the adult.
- Revisit, evaluate, and if necessary, adjust your goals. Keep a written record of your goals in a place where you’ll remember to read them every day. They’ll change and adjust over time as your life does, so keep them up-to-date.
- Consider new opportunities and options that come your way. Sometimes things have a way of unintentionally leading you exactly where you want to go.
- Start working towards your goals today. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to get one step, however small, closer to achieving my goals?”
- Persevere. Now that you’ve got the momentum going, don’t let it stop! Some steps may seem less exciting than others, but make sure to stick to your plan until the end!
- Don’t forget the words of Lao-Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
- Be true to yourself. Your goal won’t be nearly as sweet if you achieve it by doing things you’re not proud of.
- Make sure your goal is SMART:
- Put it in writing. Writing reinforces thoughts. Even if you are the only one to see what you’ve written, writing down your goals can give more power to your intentions.
- Always stay in a good mood when finishing your goals (get your mind right AND SMILE). Not that it’s the law but science has proven goals get finished 2 to 20 times faster when you’re in a good or great mood. Imagine any goal you want, getting finished 20 times faster! How easy is it to focus when you’re not in a good mood? Don’t get tricked into slowing down!
- Things don’t always work out as you had planned. Stick to your goals, but be flexible.
- Don’t share your goals with people who might tear you down. But, conversely; find someone close to you or a coach who will play the devil’s advocate role – as learning to challenge yourself in new ways can help you to improve and get closer to your goals.
- Do not be tempted to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. If something doesn’t fit or it doesn’t feel right, try a different approach.
- Please remember that every coin has two sides. Do not be rigid in accepting or rejecting any advice. Goals such as freedom struggle are not necessarily Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related; nevertheless, they created history.
- Often times, when you get good at accomplishing goals people tend to become more likely to distract you. In psychology that fact of life is summarized like this: “Dysfunctional people hate seeing healthy progression of character in others”. So don’t let it get to you and recognize it, or that can get out of hand! Now dysfunctional, doesn’t mean mentally or physically handicapped. But if someone has a problem finishing tasks in any area of life, when they see you being successful, subconsciously their mind will convince them to build up sabotaging circumstances for you. That can also be summarized by the other psychological analogy “You become who you hang around. You stay the level of skill as who or what you believe”. So just remember to believe the ones with the good results when faced with a important choice.