Some of the obvious of being achievable is first to be within the realm of possibility both with the goal and the timing. For example, to become a millionaire is not beyond the realm of realism or achievability depending on the amount of time you give yourself and where you are starting. Someone who already is worth $900,000 and sets a years deadline to reach millionaire status has a far more achievable and realistic, therefore believable, goal than someone has only a $100 net worth and sets the same year deadline. The later is far less plausible than the former.
But there is more you can do to make your goal believable and achievable once you have made sure it is first possible.
- You know what they say – first you say it, then you do it. Well this is very true for goal setting. The number one thing you can do to make a goal believable is to buy in to it yourself. See yourself having achieved the goal, see your life and world around you as if you already reached your goal.
- Put a deadline on it. Truth, unless you have a deadline, you are less likely to work on it. Give yourself a final deadline and benchmark deadlines to keep you on track.
- Every goal has an obstacle or rather obstacles. So prepare for them. Write down every obstacle you can think of that you will encounter and develop a plan to overcome it. That way, when they come you won’t be surprised and you will be prepared to overcome them.
- We all need help. Figure out who can help you reach your goal. Is it someone you already know or someone you need to get to know like a teacher? Generally it should include someone who has been where you are and achieved what you want to achieve.
- Make a plan and commit to your plan by taking action. Even the best plan will fail if you do not put it into action.
- WIIFM? What’s in it for me? Frankly we adults only have so much time in our day and a lot of demands on our time. So unless you know the purpose behind your goal and what you gain from it, you won’t work on it. If you don’t work on it, then it really isn’t achievable.
- Attitude is EVERYTHING! You are going to hit road blocks, plateaus and setbacks. It will be your attitude that gets you through it. Just as I explained with fear and excitement in Wednesday’s post, your decision on how you will feel determines much of what you will actually feel. I love the saying Fake It Till You Make It. Basically, keep smiling even when you don’t want to and before you know it, you will be smiling for real.
- Accept responsibility. With very few exceptions, the only one responsible for reaching your goals is you. This is powerful. Because you are the only one responsible, then you are fully in control of making it happen!
But as I said there are times when life takes things out of your control. We find ourselves in a conflict between reality and our expectations. When life throws us curves we have choices. We can either raise our reality or we can lower our expectations. We mainly want to raise our reality to reduce the gap between reality and expectations. But there are just times when that is not feasible.
For example, as I shared last month, I fell down the stairs and really damaged my tailbone. As much as I wanted, my activities became quite limited between pain meds, pain and side effects. And I was surprised at how much it affected me. (Sadly, is still effecting me as this should have posted yesterday.) I was left with no choice but to lower my expectations for the interim. By decreasing the gap between my reality and my expectations, I decreased the frustration I was feeling. I didn’t give up on my goals, I adjusted them based on my current reality. As I heal, I will raise my expectations based on my reality at that time.
I hope this small series helps as you work on your New Year’s Resolutions and I hope they help you keep and reach them! Let me know what you are working on and I’ll join in as one of your cheerleaders and encouragers. If you have another tip that has helped you reach your goals in the past, I’d love for you to share.