I have a special bond with ambitious goals, which are rooted in my purpose and passions. Due to this, I have always been a passionate girl. This ambition is what fuels my goals and turns my ideas into my reality. In junior high school, I wanted to be the smartest girl in my class. I went home after school every single day and studied. There was no playing and no watching TV because I was so determined. This method worked! My grades were often the best in the class or close to it. During my senior year of high school, I had a goal of wanting to become school president. I worked so hard that I almost had a nervous breakdown and my mother had to step in to stop me from running myself into the ground. Despite the obstacles I faced, I won the election to fill the position of President for my class.
Since then, life has gotten a lot more complicated. I can no longer throw all my complete focus and energy to one goal at a time. I have a full time job that I enjoy and want to excel in, while working to build a business that I want to be my legacy. Through trying to balance it all, I have learned over the years that setting a goal is not enough to ensure success.
Goals are essential part of any achievement. I rely on my goals to wake me up in the morning, and to keep me pushing when I get exhausted, which happens often. There are a usually a few things left out of how to use goal setting to achieve success. You cannot just make list of things that you want to achieve, close your notebook and go back to bed. One of those goals on that list will require an immense amount of consistent effort, time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears. In order to aid you along the process, here are five things people do not tell you about goal setting:
1. Have a specific plan
This is hard because if you are anything like me, you want to start DOING! For example, I launched my t-shirt line after I thought I had waited a bit too long to start the project. It turns out I should have planned a bit more because inventory, printing issues, and overall branding are just a few of the challenges I have faced. In recent months I have doubled the readership here on the blog, but I am also doing a lot more planning and strategizing.
Writing a goal down does not a make the plan easy. You can start with the most ambitious goal in the world, but you will have to sit down and break that goal into specific steps that will create an action plan. For every ambitious goal, there are thousands of steps you will have to take on daily, monthly, and yearly basis before achieving that objective.
2. Be strategic
A strategy is defined as a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time. For me, I create strategies to help me execute on my plan. As a blogger, I have strategies for content, marketing and social media. Goals are usually a marathon, where you have to employ strategies that will keep you on track in the long haul.
3. Take action
After you have planned and strategized, you have to begin to take some action. Let your action plan be your guiding light because the more you do, the more you will learn. It is no secret that we sometimes get stuck in the planning and strategizing phase. I have found that the thing holding me back from acting is the gripping fear that can sometimes take over all of my will to take action. It would be dishonest for me not to acknowledge that this happens to me almost every single day. However, I remind myself that the fear is a sign that I should move forward with that act. The more we use fear as the thing that propels us to act and not the thing that prohibits our actions, the more we will achieve.
4. Expect challenges & failures
The other great thing about taking action is that you start facing your challenges and failures almost immediately. By putting off action, you are only putting off your challenges and failures. There is no amount of planning and strategizing that will result in no obstacles coming your way. The great thing about preparation is that they allow you to focus on overcoming an unforeseen challenge while keeping the goal alive.
5. Invest in yourself
Perhaps, the most important thing I have learned about goal setting in recent months is that you must invest in yourself. No matter how smart or hard working you are and how much you have achieved, you must understand your shortcomings to be able to fill in the gaps. Your goal may be great with a detailed plan and sound strategy, you will not reach your goals without the necessary skills, and talents. Be sure to invest some time in sharpening your skills by learning new talents or taking e-courses and webinars. All of these may cost you some money, but the return on your investment will show itself in your achievements.
Goal setting is hard. I have countless number of notebooks and documents with lists and goals. Some I have been able to reach with pure resilience and tenacity, but many I have forgotten and will probably never reach. The ones that I was able to reach would not be possible without the five step process above. I am sure that if you implement these steps into your goal setting, you will have great results! Be sure to share what achievements you have conquered in the comments below.