How To Set Goals And Achieve Them Consistently

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Have you set any goals for yourself lately?

Did you plan the goal thoughtfully and fully or was it simply another “I’d like to….” goal with no real target, no realistic deadline, or just another pipe dream that won’t ever be achieved?

We have all been there and done that.

I couldn’t imagine the sheer volume of ‘goals and dreams’ I’ve had that have and will never come to fruition.

But there does come a time when you can cross over and make a dream a reality. It starts with choice first and foremost, then action. Until both of those are combined, you’ll float along wishing away your life, floating down the river to wherever its twists and bends take you.

If you’re reading this and determine ‘Yes, I’ve dreamed about this long enough, I want to make it a reality’ then read on.

Here are a few recent goals I’ve set out to achieve;

Build and launch my first paid eCourse

Last year I decided I wanted to create an eCourse to help small business owners de-mystify online marketing and help them create a clear strategy for their business. I got the idea around October/November and it stewed in my mind for weeks.

I figured it would be good to get done over the Christmas break, but several things happened that prevented it. Then it was the end of January… then the end of February…

With all the delays/excuses and other activities pushing it further and further back I knew this wouldn’t get done until I made a proper commitment and gave myself the time required to complete it. I made an agreement with a friend of mine who is also publishing his first course that the 4th of April was the deadline.

This week, on the 4th of April, that course went live online. It’s now done.

Both of us achieved our goal and met up on the 5th of April for a celebratory breakfast. We both agreed that had we not held each other accountable, it wouldn’t have happened.

Learn a song on the guitar

Towards the end of last year, I watched the movie Begin Again. I really love that movie and have watched it about a dozen times. The music just hits a nerve and the story is compelling.

I started to sing along with one of the songs ‘lost stars’. I thought, ‘gee it’d be cool to learn that song.’

In December, my wife Jayne asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said I wanted an acoustic guitar as a combined birthday/Christmas present.

I made it a goal that I would learn to play and sing that song within 3 months. On the last day of March, I played and sung that song in the privacy of my study… probably not at a performance level, however I did it!

Not bad for someone who couldn’t play guitar or sing.

Return to 80kgs

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I made the decision to return to 80 kilograms. That’s my current health goal and today I weighed in at 112.1 kilograms (down from 129.8 kilograms) which equals 17.7 kilograms weight lost.

This goal is longer than the shorter goals mentioned previously. I’m not in a rush to reach 80 kilograms but the goal I do have is to be under 90 kilograms by New Years Eve this year. Along the journey, I will set myself small goals. Right now, I’ve only got 2.1 kilograms to go to crack the 110 kilogram mark, so I want to achieve that by the end of April.

After accomplishing each goals, I have the opportunity to choose new goals. Over time, my achieved goals give me options to choose new goals – in many cases, goals that I could not consider until I had achieved the early target.

As an example, my goal with my eCourse is to sell $X by the end of May. I couldn’t do that unless that course was built and live and ready to sell. My guitar and singing goal is to learn ‘Love Your Way’ by Powderfinger by the end of June. I couldn’t do that without purchasing the guitar and learning the chords and practising every day.

Goals aren’t really that hard

Did you ever study after high school finished?

If so, you set a goal. Most likely the goal was to get a job doing XYZ.

You saw the goal and defined the pathway to get there, which was attending university for 3 years and passing.

So you went to uni, did the 3 years, passed, then got the job.

Simple right?

So why not just do that again? And again? And then again?

Tips to achieve goals

For most, if not all people, goals only ever eventuate if they have 5 components;

They are very specific.

My health goal right now is to return to 80 kilograms in weight. It has a very specific number. My business goals also have a number associated with it. It’s a very specific number that I’d like to achieve. If your goals aren’t specific, how will you ever know if you attained it?

If you say “I want to travel” you’ll reach your goal with the very next step you take. You’ll be driving down the freeway, window down and head out the window yodelling because in that moment, you’re travelling.

No. That. Won’t. Happen.

If you say “I want to travel to Paris and spend two weeks there next year in their summer.” There is a much higher chance of you making that happen.

Be as specific as you can.

They are measurable.

One trap with achievement, is that it can easily be a moving target. Saying something like, “I want to be happy” isn’t a good goal to have. Why? Because ten minutes after you’re happy, you wont be.

So you’ll continually chase the rabbit down the rabbit hole never quite grabbing its tail.

Make it something you can measure.

If you said “My goal is to make an extra $50,000 by Christmas” then you have a measurable target. “My goal is to spend more time with my kids” is a measurable target.

Set a goal you can measure.

You can take action with goals.

Your goals will generally start with an action verb like“quit,” “earn,” “visit,” “eliminate,” “make” and so on…

It means it will take conscious effort. An action on your part. Goals without actions are nothing more than dreams. We’re not talking about dreams, we’re talking about goals and getting things done. Making things happen. Changing from one state to another. Becoming a force of nature. Ok… maybe that’s taking it too far. Or is it?

Be prepared to take action.

Lets get real for a second.

There are times when some dreams are simply not realistic. Me setting a goal to sing in New York City and outperform Celine Dion is not a realistic goal.

On the other hand, me setting a goal to sing in New York City busking could easily be a realistic goal.

Goals can be anything you choose and at times it’s good to have transformational goals – goals that stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone. I love this quote;

Oprah Winfrey – “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”

Learning new skills, developing your abilities and growing sets us up for new opportunites. You’re preparing yourself for greater things. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. So while I say, ‘get real’ don’t let that hold you back.

When I announced I wanted to learn to play ‘lost stars’ in 3 months, my guitarist friends all said ‘no, you won’t be able to’. But I did. So back yourself and take a chance. What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t achieve your goal?

Be realistic, but stretch yourself and keep dreaming big.

Create a deadline

If you set a date that you want to achieve a goal, then it provides you with a target. A deadline. A non-negotiable date that you will or won’t achieve.

The benefits of setting a deadline are that you can often then picture what has to happen before you can reach your goal.

In the case of me developing my ecourse, I set the date and then did the following;

  • Find a software solution to host the course
  • Integrate that into my website
  • Plan the course modules
  • Create the modules
  • Create the extra resources
  • Film the course
  • Edit the course videos
  • Review the course
  • Upload all the content of the course to the software
  • Set the pricing
  • Set the terms and conditions
  • Create new graphics for the course
  • Set the course live

All of a sudden the work takes shape because there’s a lot to do in a short period of time. I can then order each task and work on the tasks methodically, achieving each one as I go – almost like completing mini-goals.

When I fell behind, the implied pressure caused me to focus my attention on building the course and pushing through the barriers to get back on track.

Set a date to achieve your goal by.

Goals are simply a tool to get you to where you want to be

I have a great sense of achievement from getting these goals done.

  • A few years ago I didn’t have a business, but now I have two (with a third in the pipeline).
  • A few years ago I never coached anyone, but now I have coaching clients.
  • A few years ago I wasn’t an author, but as of today I’ve had 196,681 people read what I’ve written (Actually more, but I can’t track some numbers).
  • A few years ago I’d never been to the USA, now I’ve been twice.
  • A few years ago someone else told me what to do, now I do whatever I choose.

So many good things come from setting goals and challenging yourself to achieve new things.

The easiest option and the most unrewarding, is to travel through life and let life and circumstance push you around. Today, I say, choose what it is you want. Set your intentions on it. Write down your goals and then get on with making it happen.

You CAN do it!