success, follow through

Learn The Art Of Following Through: 5 Steps To Ensure You Will Achieve Your Goals

It is already February in the year of 2010. I wonder how many people are still following through their goals or New Year Resolutions? It is sad to say this but most people have already started to put their gym memberships to waste or have stopped following up on their new business plans.

Why is it so hard for people to follow through their goals? How do some people stick to their goals no matter what they face while others falter easily in the face of obstacles? There are certainly some things that those who succeed know that others don’t know. Read on and I will share with you the art of following through your goals.

The Art Of Following Through

1. The Power Of Certainty

Most people set goals that they want to achieve but it is not impossible to achieve your goals when you have doubts and mix emotions. To achieve your goals, you need to have the feeling of certainty that you will be able to achieve your goals.

If you lack the feeling of certainty, most likely you will take half hearted actions and continue to doubt your ability. As long as this cycle exists in your mind, you will start to dread doing your tasks that can bring you nearer to your goals.

Eventually you will have so many doubts that whether the effort you are putting in will give you the results that you want. This will make you feel so frustrated that you will eventually decide to stop following through.

Set any goals that you want but always make it a point to generate the feeling of certainty that you will be able to achieve it. Set goals that can stretch you and not those that you think that it is impossible to achieve.

2. Lesser Is Better

Most people set too many goals at one time and they ended up forgetting what their goals are. I wonder how can you reach your destination when you do not know where you are intending to go? Do not fall into this trap thinking that the more goals you have the more you will achieve.

This is the wrong mindset. Make it a point to set up a maximum of 3 goals and replace them only when you achieve the first ones that were set up. This will ensure that you can remember clearly what your goals are. Not setting too many goals can also help to prevent the overwhelming effect that can freeze you into inaction.

3. Reminders – Why Everyone Needs One

There will be times that you will stray off the path that you have intended to take. This is the time when reminders come into play and bring you back to your path. To drastically increase your chances of achieving your goals, you will need to remind yourself daily.

Some ways to do it is to create a vision board or write down your goals on a piece of paper. Paste them at your work station or at some where that you can see it daily. Spend some time daily to see your vision board or the goals that you had written down.

It does help to if you visualize daily that you had already achieved your goals. The positive images in your mind will help you to generate positive feelings that you will need to keep on moving forward.

4. Consistent Action

To achieve your goals, you will have to take consistent action every other day. You can’t expect to achieve your goals when you take action for a single day, rest for a week and start to take action again for 2 to 3 days.

Create the habit of planning your day. Ensure that you always complete some tasks that will help you move closer to you goals every day. Once you have created this habit of taking consistent action, be prepared to see the snowball effect and momentum that will help you achieve your goals much faster.

5. Support

You can break a chopstick easily but it is hard to break a bunch of chopsticks. If you are trying to achieve your goals without any support from others, it may seem like you are fighting against the world alone. This is not the feeling that you want to have. What are the chances of winning against the world with just a single person?

Form your own mastermind group. A mastermind group must consist of at least 2 people and preferably with someone who is positive and trying to achieve a similar goal as you are. The encouragement you can receive from each other will serve as a tremendous support that will help to keep you going even when you feel like giving up.

Parting Words

Most people set goals but they totally neglected on the art of following through their goals. Once you decided to pick up the art of following through, you can expect to see increased motivation and your fire and passion for achieving your goals will be burning much longer.

I welcome your comments and I love to hear whether you think these are effective tips that can help you to follow through to achieve your goals. If you have any other tips, feel free to share with us.

Vincent Tan is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain. He writes about personal development over at HealthMoneySuccess. His aim is to help people to awaken the sleeping genius within them so that they can achieve their desired success in life. He had created a free ebook, “Unleash Your Maximum Potential” and you can grab your free copy over here at Unleash Your Maximum Potential.

Don’t Forget to Follow PickTheBrain on Twitter!

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  • Avish Parashar

    “Lesser is Better” is a great lesson – I used to set 12 goals at the start of the year (figure one for every month makes sense, right?), but that was always too much. Now I am down to three, with one primary. This makes it much easier to focus and also keeps me from getting down that i haven’t made progress on the other 9!

    I think “Lesser” can apply to the size of the goal too. Rather than setting a huge goal like, “lose 50 pounds,” I have found that it’s better to set a smaller one like, “lose 10 pounds.” That creates good feeling and momentum, rather than the feeling of, “oh man, I still have 40 pounds to go”

    Nice post!

  • http://www.stevescottsite.com Steve Scott Site

    Vincent,

    Good summary of following through goals. I know for 2010, I’ve picked a number of goals I want to achieve. It kind of goes against what you said in point #2.

    But, I’ve managed to stay on track by creating a plan of action and sticking to it. Every single day, I make sure I take at least 2 to 3 small steps toward my goal.

    Anyway, great article on goal setting!

  • http://www.uncertainchange.com Tomas Stonkus

    Yup.

    You are right on. I have done all of the above things and I can feel that I am on the right track. It feels great!

    The most important one in my life is to remind myself about where I am going and what I am doing. Sometimes that reminder comes from other people, sometimes it comes from within myself.

    But if I am able to just stop sometimes and remember why I am doing what I am doing, then I feel recharged and alive once again!

    Thanks for reminder :)

    Best,
    Tomas

  • http://scrollandgun.com/ Lincoln

    Simple yet effective I like it. The power of certainty is overrated. Often times you need to act decisively when you are a leader, with less than all of the info. You need to be comfortable with ambiguity.

  • http://www.anxietysupportnetwork.com Dan @ Anxiety Support Network

    All good tips. I think the hardest thing to do is to not have the mixed emotions when we are chasing a certain goal. After all, we have no guarantee that our goal is going to happen; maybe it’s just a wild dream. This is a great time to reach out to others, as the article mentions. But, when you don’t have the results you desire, it is easy to become ingrained with self-doubt. Just my take, and thanks for the article!

  • http://enlightr.com/cloud Craig Thomas

    Nice post. I like the metaphor of the chopsticks – makes perfect sense.

  • http://www.moneymakingideasbonus.com/ Martyna

    hi :)
    yes, thanks for your post
    I have been following this path for a while now, setting goals, writing them down, having a card where I write everything that needs to be done in order to achieve what I want to achieve
    there are TWO additional points that come to my mind:

    1. in order to boost yourself with positive energy and to be self-aware of your progress on the way to the goal, it is great to write down all your successes, like every evening
    2. have a grand vision, be conscious of the bigger picture, so you may constantly assure yourself of the great great purpose of your project, goal, IT WILL MAKE YOU BULLET PROOF !

    best wishes
    Martyna

  • http://www.darrelldavis.biz Darrell Davis

    I think, Vincent, your point about replacing goals only after you achieve one is a key to success. Seems like every year people make brand new resolutions/goals, without any consideration as to whether or not they accomplished last years goals.

  • http://www.fawnmcmanigal.com Fawn

    These are great suggestions for following through on one’s goals. I agree that setting the goal is the easiest part of the equation. Doing the work required to achieve them is where people get lazy.

    I’ve found another exercise critical in my efforts to follow through. In addition to these five steps, consider doing a weekly after action review. When you sit down and evaluate your progress and/or current obstacle(s), weekly, you can make adjustments and improve your efforts for the following week. This may even entail tweaking the way your goal is stated.

    Thanks for the post!

  • larissa

    this blog totally rocks. it’s completely obvious to everyone. :)

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  • http://lifecoachtips.wordpress.com Guy Farmer

    Thank you for your great tips Vincent. In almost every instance it is those who follow through who actually make things happen in their lives. As you’ve indicated, it’s not enough to do something once and hope it will change everything, we need to keep moving forward. It’s like learning any new skill: At first we don’t do it very well but, as we practice, we get better at it. It’s the repetition and learning from persevering that creates change over time.

    Take care,

    Guy

  • Refresh

    Wonderful, I needed help and now I know how I can work towards acheiving my goals. my most notable problem seems to have been making too many small goals that took the longest for me to achieve.  I also liked the idea suggested getting a group together to help take action. I managed to get a few of my girlfriends together for a routine walk around our town, getting into shape has never been so fun (:

  • Robin

     I am pretty good identifying what goals to set.  However,  following through was something I just would not do at times even after breaking them up into smaller goals.

    I suspected part of the reason was my belief that I could not complete the action steps needed to accomplish the goals, or that my maximum efforts would not be enough, or something not within my control would keep me from achieving my goals. (Ex. Consistently studying thoroughly for classes in college but still achieving low grades in those classes.)

    This article helped me understand that it’s important to focus on cultivating  a “feeling of certainty” that I could a) achieve the goal or b) move on easily if for some reason that goal is not achieved. I definitely have been underestimating the power of certainty.

    My final comment is this: I think our culture places to much emphasis on the achievement of certain goals as a sign of being successful. In my own life, I think my “lack of following through” on certain goals is a reflection of my subconscious desire to rebel against these cultural norms.

    For example, how many of us are impressed more by those who have a nice car, a nice house, money, an advanced degree versus those who don’t have these things but have mastered inner peace?  Uhmmm….something to think about.

  • April Dunisch

    I think these are some great steps to stay motivated to follow through. The one thing I wonder is, if someone isn’t used to feeling certainty, how can one establish it?  

    • Clinton Cooper- COOP

      Hello April, That’s an amazing question! I would ask what other areas in this person’s life do they have certainty, e.g. Identity, purpose, talents, skills…if all of these are areas of uncertainty then I would begin addressing this person’s self-esteem and worth…this area tends to impact confidence. I would bet a dollar to a bag of donuts, once this persons begins to build their self-esteem, identify with their own value and begin to see who they are as a person-confidence begins to spill over into other areas of your life, effortlessly. It is challenging and un-motivating to follow through when a person doesn’t “know” they are worth completing the task, when they don’t “know” who they are in relationship to being successful. Success tends to allude those because of doubt. I hope this has helped.

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