There are two pieces of news for you: one bad and one good.
Let’s start with the bad one: 70% of people never actually achieve the goals they set for themselves.
The good news is that you can easily become one of that 30%, the “chosen ones,” those rare species who reach them.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled the best strategies to achieve your goals and enumerated some possible “jams” on your road that can prevent you from doing that.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Top 5 Strategic Ways To Reach Your Goals Successfully
#1 Try to set SMART goals
The SMART strategy is a cornerstone for the majority of managers.
It was first mentioned and explained in 1981 by George Doran, the President of Management Assistance Programs.
What does SMART mean, and what to do with it?
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable/attainable
R – Relevant/realistic
T – Time-bound
Let’s see how the SMART methodology works (naturally, an example is about reading books):
- Specific – narrow down your goal and specify it to the fullest extent possible;
Before specification: My goal is to read more books.
After specification: My goal is to read the five newest books by Colleen Hoover by December 18.
To do the whole specification thing, answer the five W-questions:
What goal (countable) is it that you pursue?
To read the five latest releases by Colleen Hoover
Why do you need it?
Because reading is a beneficial hobby itself, I liked the previous works by this author, and I want to learn about her as a novelist completely.
Who will be helping you with it or can you do it alone?
I’ll be reading alone.
Where will it be executed?
In my room.
When is it planned to be achieved?
In 28 days, by 18 December 2022.
- Measurable – how will you measure your accomplishments, and what will prove that?
In total, there are 1659 pages:
I’ll set the 60-page milestone per day.
- Attainable – can you finish it within the set timeframe?
It’s accomplishable. I’ll manage to read 60 pages a day. At the average reading speed, it will take me 102 minutes.
- Relevant – does it correspond to your values and desires?
Yes, Hoover’s stories are thrilling and thought-provoking.
She manages to create both deeply lovable and hateable characters.
I’ve always been eager to construct her identity as a writer in my mind’s eye by reading all of her books.
- Timely – how will you schedule it to make sure you do it on time?
20 pages from 7:30 am till 8:05 am
40 pages from 8:30 pm till 9:40 pm
So, there you go.
You’ve got the SMART plan sorted out.
#2 Write down your goals
Setting goals in your head isn’t enough.
You should pen everything down on a sheet of paper or even draw/paint the end result of what you want to get.
Why is it necessary?
Neuroscience says that people who picture goals or describe them vividly are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to fulfill those.
When you put everything down on paper, you imagine it more clearly and narrow your focus.
It helps you break down your goal into small, easy-to-schedule chunks.
Moreover, this process evokes excitement and short-term motivation.
#3 Share your action commitments with friends
According to Dr. Gail Matthews, the Professor of Psychology at the Dominican University of California, successful goal achievement is possible if you tell your friend about it.
And even more than that – report on the progress achieved.
Her research shows that 76% of those who wrote down their goals, shared commitments with friends, and sent a weekly progress report to their pals either completed their goals or were more than halfway through.
#4 Reward yourself for accomplishing each task
Rewarding yourself for even the smallest achievements provokes spikes of dopamine in your body.
Based on the study, rewards also boost your intrinsic (internal) motivation.
However, not every reward is a good reward.
There are some key aspects to remember when picking a proper reward:
- It shouldn’t negate your achievement.
E.g., if you’ve just got rid of the old garments that were piled up in your wardrobe and fell out every time you opened it, don’t purchase a new outfit to stuff it into an empty place there.
- It should be the same size as the task.
A smaller reward for a smaller task, a larger – for a larger one.
- It should be something immediate, motivational, and enjoyable.
Such rewards can be the simplest things that make you happy: a cup of coffee/tea, a walk in the park, another book for the next read, etc.
You earned it. Get that book already.
#5 Master the power of now and schedule everything
I’ll start on Monday…
Yeah, we’ve been there.
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”– Benjamin Franklin
You must have heard this quote thousands of times already. It’s attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the leading figures in American history.
He shared his daily scheme and described the technique of using each day productively in his autobiography.
“Let’s start a new tomorrow, today.”– Neil Gaiman
Now is the best time to start achieving your goals. Let’s do it now and make today your new Monday.
The only thing left is scheduling.
Use one of the following to-do list makers and daily planner apps:
- Trello, etc.
If you still struggle to motivate yourself and start achieving your objectives, grab the bonus tip below.
Let Books Help You With Motivation and Goal Setting
Whether it be reading more, losing weight, or studying to complete your TEFL course, here’s a list of must-read picks for you to get motivated and achieve your desired targets by setting them effectively first:
- The Magic Of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
- Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
- Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
- Your Invincible Power by Pamela Hamilton and W. T. Hamilton
- The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
Start with these six. You can cope with them in 28 days or even faster, depending on you.
Remember the SMART strategy and all the rest?
What Prevents You From Achieving Your Goals
Let’s deal with those cunning and sly things that stop you from focusing and reaching your aims.
Excuses and self-sabotage
I’ve got no time.
We’ve been there too…
Who sabotages your desire and efforts to move forward?
You yourself, of course.
Dr. Judy Ho, a clinical neuropsychologist, believes that self-sabotaging is a process of undermining your plans to stay safe in your comfort zone.
It happens when the wish to eliminate challenges and failures is greater than that to accomplish your goal.
She explains everything in detail in her book Stop Self-Sabotage.
One minute on TikTok or Instagram won’t do any harm, will it?
If it’s one minute, it won’t. But let’s be honest.
Your one minute will turn into an all-night-long eternity (we’ve been there as well).
To accomplish a milestone, get rid of a distraction:
- Remove it physically if it’s an external distraction (put it somewhere you don’t see it);
- Switch off the gadgets that distract;
- Make a tough decision and take control of distractions (delete the game, delete TikTok);
- Be honest with yourself and identify your internal distraction (it may be one of the feelings that make you procrastinate);
An eye-opening truth for many is that procrastination isn’t actually about productivity and laziness.
It’s about your mood and emotions; psychologists say fear/anxiety, self-doubt, stress, etc. But it also turns out that when we procrastinate, we feel even more stressed!
Did you know that reading can help you relieve stress?
But what if you’re not stressed at all?
First and foremost, you should ask yourself one crucial question and give a sincere answer.
What exactly do you feel right now?
Name the emotion – be with it – decide what you can do about it.
Btw, there’s a great self-help book, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr. Julie Smith, who can help you tackle any emotional entanglement and find meaning in what you do.
Research in neuroscience blew it up by demonstrating that the brain cannot, in fact, do tasks simultaneously, as we hope (think) it does.
It switches between them, but it doesn’t contribute to our productivity at all.
Trying to do multiple things at once, you become ineffective and inefficient.
“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”– Samuel Smiles
Ready To Achieve Any of Your Goals Now?
Now that you know the best tactics for accomplishing your goals and the most frequent bottlenecks that prevent you from doing that, you can achieve success in anything you plan.
It’s now or never! (Or are you gonna live forever?)