Renowned American motivational speaker and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey once said: “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” In these few words, Dr. Covey aptly sums up the importance of having a smart strategy for achieving your goals. And then there’s an ancient axiom that states: “Goals don’t work unless you do.”
However, to work on goals we need a plan or strategy. This can be the hardest thing to do because very often, we have wonderful goals but don’t know what we need to achieve them or even have a faint idea.
Therefore, if you’ve some goals, as you surely would, the best thing is to create a smart strategy and go about achieving them. If this sounds interesting, continue reading.
In this article, I will write about the 10 smart strategies for achieving your goals.
Ten Smart Goal Achieving Strategies
Obviously, everyone would have different goals. Some of us may have financial goals while others would have career goals and yet others, goals for their entire life. These 10 smart strategies that I’ll be writing about would cover all your goals in general. You can adapt these to meet your specific needs.
Set Smart Goals
You might wonder what smart goals are all about. The word “smart” is a short form for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound.
This means, you need to be very specific about what you want to achieve. Measurable means how would you measure the distance you’ve covered and what remains while achieving a goal. You might have very high goals. However, to achieve these goals, they need to be actionable- meaning you should be able to work upon them.
The ‘R’ stands for realistic goals. This means finding out whether the goal can be truly achieved or not. Very often, we set unrealistic goals for ourselves which leaves us frustrated when we fail to achieve them. And finally, every goal should have a time limit. Meaning, you need to be specific about how much time it would take you to achieve that goal or where you intend to stand after a specific period of time with that goal.
Draw Your Plan of Action
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Therefore, to achieve your smart goals, you’ll have to draw a superb plan of action. This plan should include your short-term, middle-term and long-term goals with specific details on how you wish to go about achieving them.
This is most important because short-term and mid-term goals often hold the key to achieving your long-term goals. Find out how far away you’re from your goal at the moment and make a plan on how much of it you wish to achieve in a few months to a year.
Also write what efforts you would need to exert to achieve these short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Exert these efforts diligently so that you achieve all these goals in due course.
Never Put Off Things
Putting things off or procrastinating as it’s known is the greatest enemy that prevents you from achieving your goals. Therefore, as a rule, do what needs to be done today and never put it off for tomorrow or a later date unless there are some really serious reasons.
When we procrastinate, we find all the work towards our goals piling on. And eventually, we’re unable to complete all the work that’s necessary to achieve the goal.
That’s the reason I emphasize that a goal should be actionable. And it should be actionable every day and over weeks and months or even years. You cannot put things off for the day, hoping to complete them tomorrow because you’ll have more work to do and that can delay or even cause you to miss the goal.
Set Daily Goals
The best way to prevent procrastination is by setting daily goals. This means, you’ll divide the work necessary for achieving your goals into small parts on which you can work daily. This makes it easier and simpler to work towards the goal rather than embarking on one long project that requires lots of time.
Setting daily goals also helps you to measure the quantum of work you’ve done towards achieving your goals and how much more remains. That way, you can adjust your daily or weekly goals to reach your final objectives faster or in due course, when you want.
Eliminate Addictions & Vices
Addictions and vices can stop us from achieving our goals even before we’ve started. That’s because addictions consume a lot of our time and resources. As a matter of facts, most addicts have very lofty goals. However, their goals do not as much leave their brains and remain unfulfilled lifelong.
If you’re serious about achieving your goals, consider giving up vices and addictions. There Are several types of addictions. Broadly, they can be defined as substance addictions and non-substance addictions. It’s a well-known fact that addictions are one of the greatest killers of ambitions and goals. Therefore, eliminating them in a proper and scientific manner should be your priority.
Include Money Making Goals
At some point or the other, achieving your larger goals is going to require some extra money. For example, you might wish to do an online course to fulfill your career goals by acquiring more skills. Or you might want to provide higher education for your kids. All these goals eventually need money to be fulfilled.
There are several small business ideas that you could utilize to fulfill your money-making goals. These would help you to take away the additional burden on your income and help save some money for investments for your future. As a matter of fact, there are several excellent small businesses that you can do, and during your spare time only.
Learn from Failure
Understandably, there would be a few failures when you set out to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, most of us get disturbed by these failures and we stop pursuing our goals. Actually, that should never be the case. In fact, every failure holds a vital lesson for us. And there’s a lot that we can learn from failures.
Therefore, if you fail somewhere while trying to achieve your goals, simply take it in your stride, Analyze the reasons why you failed and where and try to rectify that instead of getting rid of the goal itself and not working towards it. It’s worth remembering that even the greatest scientists and businesspersons have met failure while trying to achieve something or the other.
Identify Your Motivation
Obviously, you are working towards a specific goal or a set of goals due to some motivation. Identify clearly what’s this motivation and what do you intend to achieve from setting these goals. It’s very necessary to be inspired and draw inspiration while working towards your goals.
Often, we need to be reminded time and again about what compels us towards achieving some goals. Therefore, remember daily why you’re trying to achieve the goal and the benefits that you would get upon the achievement.
Time management is the key to achieving your goals. That’s because every smart goal comes with a deadline. And ideally, you should be working to achieve that goal within the set timespan. To do so, you’ll require astute time management.
The very first quote by Dr. Stephen R. Covey that I wrote earlier clearly mentions that time is of vital importance when setting a goal. Unless you respect that deadline and manage time, chances are that you would miss the goal or arrive at it too late to make any positive difference in your life.
Maintain Superb Health
Superb physical and mental health are two very important factors for achieving your goals. Clearly, you cannot work on a goal if you’re physically unfit or suffer from mental problems such as stress and anxiety, among others. Therefore, make your physical and mental wellness a priority in your strategy to achieve goals.
Daily exercise or a fitness routine and if necessary, visit to a psychiatrist can help maintain excellent physical and mental fitness. It’s not a rule that you need to visit medical experts only when you’re afflicted with some serious conditions. On the contrary. These medical experts or doctors can help you maintain superb physical health as well as mental wellbeing.
Other Strategies to Achieve Goals
There are some more simple strategies that you could combine with the 10 I mention above, to achieve your goals. One of them is to take an inventory of your skills and find how they match with your goals. If there’s a skill shortage, you can take an online course and cover those.
Also, take a good look at where you stand as far as your goals are concerned, every week. You can do so by keeping a log of your achievements towards the goal and going over it every weekend.
You can safely utilize any of these 10 smart strategies for achieving your goals. In fact, millions of people are using these to achieve their goals. You too could be one among such people. These strategies aren’t difficult, as you can see. However, you would definitely have to exert some extra effort on these strategies, if you’re serious about achieving your goals. Actually, having goals makes our life worth living. In the sense that a life without goals is like the proverbial rudderless ship that doesn’t know where it’s heading. Goals help us to remain active and enthusiastic in what we do. Therefore, use these 10 strategies while setting your own goals.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.