I have not written a goal article for a while and I thought it was time for one after I was on Bigger Podcast 68 where we talked a lot about goals. I think goals are an extremely important part of becoming successful at anything you do. You cannot just think about your goals, you have to take action on those goals in order to achieve them. There was a recent study that describes how action and accountability increases the chances of succeeding at your goals; Strategies for Achieving Goals.
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1. Stop Thinking… Start Taking Action
Why Doesn’t Thinking About Your Goals Work?
Thinking about your goals does work, but if you only think about your goals and do nothing else, there is a good chance you will never achieve those goals. There are multiple reasons why only thinking about your goals does not produce results.
- If you only think about your goals you may forget what they are
- If you only think about your goals you may forget important details about those goals
- There is no accountability if you only think about your goals
- There is no plan for action if you only think about your goals
It is important to think about your goals, the more they are in your head the better chance there is you will achieve them, but you must do much more than think about them.
2. Write Down Your Goals, All of Them!
When I took Jack Canfield coaching one of the first tasks I had to do was write down 101 goals.
This was very difficult, because most of us don’t think about specific goals and most of us do not have that many goals. My coach told me the average person in the coaching program could not think of more 70 goals. The act of writing your goals down is a huge step in improving your chances of achieving those goals. If you write them down you won’t forget them, you won’t forget the details, and you can constantly remind yourself of those goals. It is also really fun to mark goals off of your list once you accomplish them.
A goal does not have to be a huge gnarly goal, it can be something as little as taking the kids to the Zoo or reading a book. The great part about a long list of goals is you will be reminded those little goals that are easy to accomplish. Read your list once a week and you will be reminded of little things you want to do in life.
3. Rate Your Goals for How Important They Are
Not all goals are the same, some may take an hour and others years to accomplish. Some goals may not affect your life at all and others are massive game changers. Rating your goals by how important they are too you lets you put priority on the goals that would make the biggest difference in your life. These goals don’t have to be the hardest to accomplish, but they might be.
4. You Must Have a Plan of Action for Your Goals
Goals do no good if you have no plan of action on how you will achieve them. Take the most important goals on your list and write down what actions you can take to accomplish those goals. What do you need to do, how often do you need to do it and when do you need to do it. The action can be education, networking, a business plan, a meeting, anything that gets you closer to that goal. Write down when you need to take these actions and once those actions are completed, write down the next steps.
5. You Must Have Accountability for Your Goals
If you read the study I linked to, you will see that there was a huge difference in success rates for different goal achievement methods. Group one was asked to “simply think about the business-related goals they hoped to accomplish within a four-week block and to rate each goal according to difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skills and resources to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation, and whether they had pursued the goal before (and, if so, their prior success).”
This is actually a pretty detailed plan for achieving goals, but the study did not require anything to be shared or written down for the first group. The last group was asked to the same as the first group as well as write their goals, write action commitments, share the commitments with a friend and send a weekly progress report to a friend. 43% of the group one participants succeeded in their goals and 76% of the group that had a plan, wrote their goals down and shared their goals succeeded.
The more goals you have, the more detailed they are, the more you plan actions for those goals and the more you share those goals, the better chance you have of achieving them. I know it has helped me tremendously. I wrote out my goal to purchase 100 rental houses, not only did I write it out with a plan of action, but I shared it on my blog. There is nothing more motivating than being held accountable by thousands of readers! Remember, even if you don’t achieve all your goals, you will be much better off than if you never had goals.